The sophomore running back from
"It makes losing even harder when
you're that close,"
The LSU defense, the nation's No. 1 defense going into the contest, didn't have an answer to the 6-foot-2, 205-pound back, and if McFadden wasn't human and didn't need to catch his breath on the sideline after long runs, he could have received five to seven more carries.
"This is a tremendous victory," LSU
head coach Les Miles said. "
For the LSU defense, controlling McFadden was a key to winning the game going into Friday. In the end, it was the most important piece of the game plan.
The LSU defense had not allowed a 100-yard rusher the entire season. But defensive coordinator Bo Pelini said he knew McFadden would get his yards, and his plan was to wrap up and tackle him when possible.
"McFadden is a great back," defensive back Chevis Jackson said. "Probably one of the two best backs in the nation. We just had to wrap him up and try to bring him down."
The Tiger defense did an excellent job of wrapping up backs, allowing McFadden and his sidekick Jones to break just a few tackles. Jones added 137 yards on 16 carries on the ground, and together they rushed for 298 yards of offense.
"They changed a lot coming into the game," Pelini said. "They gave us a lot of different formations, a lot of different looks. I thought we played well except for the first drive of the game. Other than that, they hit us on that long run. They gave us a lot more than they gave others."
The Tiger defense played well
throughout the day, bending but not breaking on many drives, but it was the two
After a 92-yard kickoff return by
Trindon Holliday for a touchdown,
The defense did bend and eventually
broke, but Pelini and his squad managed to slow down
After the LSU offense did just
enough to take 2:49 seconds off the clock and forced
For the next four plays, Nutt did
something that surprised everyone in the
"We stuck to our plan; we just outlasted them," Pelini said. "That's what it is all about. Our guys never gave up. We knew we had to do whatever it takes, and that is what we did today."
Dick looked for McFadden on one play and twice for Marcus Monk, the Razorbacks' most talented receiver who was shut down by the LSU defense, grabbing just one catch for 21 yards.
"Every time they dropped back to pass, we knew they were looking for [Monk]," Landry said.