Under coach Houston Nutt, the Hawgs
were 20-1 when playing in
Ironically, Nutt's only loss at War Memorial Stadium was a 43-14 drubbing at the hands of the Tigers in 2004, LSU's last visit to "The Rock."
Well, make that two in a row now.
No. 8 LSU spoiled
Trindon Holliday returned a kickoff 92 yards in the fourth quarter for the game-clinching score, and LSU's defense held down the stretch as the Tigers defeated the Razorbacks for the fourth straight time.
"It feels very weird to lose," Nutt said. "It's a bad feeling. I would much rather have it the other way; it's much more fun that way."
LSU (10-2, 6-2 SEC) now must wait
for the outcome of the SEC Championship Game to determine in which bowl the
Tigers will land.
Although the Tigers aren't in the title game, LSU coach Les Miles feels his team is as good as the divisional representatives and deserves a BCS bowl berth.
"We've made a case for the BCS,
certainly," Miles said. "When they're picking the best team from the SEC,
they'll have something to talk about. We have had the distinct impression that
we were the best team in the SEC West. The SEC West Champion is
All four of the Tigers'road
opponents were ranked in the top eight, with three of them (
"This is a tremendous victory,"
Miles said. "
Last Friday, not only did McFadden rush for 182 yards on 21 carries and two scores, Jones broke the century mark as well running for 137 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown.
"We knew they had two of the best running backs in the country coming into the game, so our focus was to stop them," said LSU defensive end Chase Pittman. "We did not do a great job of it, but well enough to hold on for the victory."
McFadden broke free on an 80-yard
touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to draw
McFadden broke free on the Hawgs'
first offensive play following the Doucet touchdown to put the pressure back on
the Tigers. But LSU counter-punched with Holliday's impressive kick return, and
"To answer right there (after Darren McFadden's 80-yard TD run), the very next play, is so huge," Miles said. "When (Holliday) gets out in front, he's tough to catch."
"It makes losing even harder when you're that close," Jones said. "We just have to take it as a stepping stone and learn from it. We can't blame anyone. We played our best."
With no time-outs remaining,
Rather than using McFadden or Jones in their two-minute attack, the Hogs relied on quarterback Casey Dick.
Four passes later – all four passes broken up by the LSU secondary – and the Tigers were on their way to victory.
LSU won despite allowing the Hogs to score three times on the ground and total 298 net yards on 39 carries.
Meanwhile, Russell controlled the game by completing 14 of 22 passes for 210 yards. Keiland Williams spearheaded the LSU rushing attack in the first half, while Alley Broussard, Jacob Hester and Justin Vincent took the bulk of the load in the second half.
Williams finished with 68 yards on 13 carries, including a 29-yard touchdown sprint for LSU's first score.
Dwayne Bowe led the Tiger receiving
corps with five catches for 68 yards and a few key blocks that opened holes for
the LSU running game. Buster
Dick, who started the final three regular-season games for the Hogs, wasn't much of a threat when he wasn't handing off to McFadden or Jones. He finished 3-of-17 passing with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Monk and a key interception late in the fourth quarter that set up Doucet's score.
McFadden, who lined up in the shotgun in several formations, was 2-of-2 passing for 33 yards.
LSU won the toss to open the game for the 10th time this season and elected to defer its decision to the second half.
However, the PAT was missed by
Jeremy Davis to give
Later in the quarter, LSU answered with a six-play drive of its own that spanned 70 yards.
LSU overcame a holding penalty that
forced second-and-long from near midfield when Russell connected with Bowe for
22 yards for a first down in
On the next play, Williams bounced
around the right end and outran the
Colt David's PAT gave LSU a 7-6 lead with 4:51 to play in the first quarter.
On its first possession of the
second quarter, LSU wasted little time increasing its lead to 14 points. A
20-yard catch by
Facing a third-and-13 after a sack,
the 6-foot-6 Russell connected with
The PAT by David gave LSU a 14-6 lead with 10:55 to play in the half.
The two-point conversion that would have tied the game sailed over the head of Jones, and LSU would take a 14-12 lead into the locker room.
On their first drive of the second
half, the Tigers marched 70 yards in 15 plays but couldn't poke the ball across
LSU led 17-12 with 7:24 left in the third quarter.
Near the end of the third quarter,
LSU again penetrated
On the ensuing possession, the Tigers defense came up with a huge stop on fourth down when Rickey Jean-Francois sacked Dick for a 15-yard loss in LSU territory.
On the first play after an LSU
punt, Dick was picked off by LSU safety LaRon Landry, who returned 19 yards to
On third-and-goal from the 7,
Russell notched his 26th touchdown pass of the season finding Doucet, who
wrestled the ball from an
After the David PAT, LSU led 24-12.
On the next play from scrimmage after a touchback, McFadden darted through the LSU line for an 80-yard touchdown that closed the gap to 24-19 with 10:31 to play in the game.
Holliday showed his stuff by returning the kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and a 31-19 lead.
Then, after a 63-yard kickoff
return by Jones,
With 4:53 left in the game, Jones
scored around the right side. But