Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA - It was another close and crazy contest with the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday night in Death Valley that the Tigers found a way to win, 34-31 in front of 99, 648 LSU fans.
On a night when the defense struggled the LSU offense made the plays and won the ball game.
Jayden Daniels had another great game after a slow start going, 20-29 for 320 yards and four touchdown passes while adding 36 yards on the ground.
Logan Diggs lead the team in rushing with 97 yards on 14 carries, running hard all night long.
Brian Thomas and Malik Nabers both had a huge night. Thomas finished with 133 yards on five catches with two touchdowns, while Nabers finished with 130 yards on eight grabs with two touchdowns.
The Tigers finished the game with 509 yards of total offense.
Arkansas got on the board first, driving 51 yards in 12 plays, finishing the drive with a 23 yard Cam Little field goal giving the Razorbacks a 3-0 lead with 5:56 left in the opening period.
The Tigers looked to answer the Arkansas score, but after driving into Razorback territory, Jayden Daniels threw an interception to former Tiger Dwight McGlothern at the Hogs 30 who returned the ball to the Arkansas 45.
LSU took the ball right back on the very next play as Andre Sam intercepted a KJ Jefferson pass at the LSU 31 yard line.
The Tigers were unable to move the ball after the back-to-back turnovers, punting it back to the Hogs.
Arkansas then drove 75 yards in 13 plays culminating in a 23 yard field goal, giving the Hogs a 6-0 lead with 6:33 left in the second quarter.
The Tigers finally responded going 68 yards in eight plays, highlighted by Josh Williams' 41 yard run down to the Arkansas 19.
LSU had to settle for a 24 yard field goal by Damian Ramos to cut the Razorback's lead in half, 6-3 with 4:02 left in the first half.
Arkansas quickly answered LSU's score, going 75 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 19 yard touchdown pass from KJ Jefferson to Tyron Broden, increasing the Razorbacks advantage to 13-3.
With only :48 seconds left in the first half, the LSU offense finally gave Death Valley a reason to roar as Jayden Daniels hit Brian Thomas Jr. in stride for a 49 yard touchdown to put the score at 13-10 as we would head into the half.
LSU received the second half kickoff and wasted little time taking their first lead of the contest, marching 75 yards in only three plays as Jayden Daniels connected with Brian Thomas Jr. on a 49 yard touchdown. Thomas made an incredible catch of an under-thrown pass and then out raced the Arkansas secondary into the end zone. 17-13 Tigers with 14:00 left in the quarter.
Just like in the second quarter, both teams continued to answer each other's scores as Arkansas responded to LSU's touchdown with a 53 yard drive that ended with a 40 yard field goal to pull the Hogs within a point, 17-16 with 5:44 left in the third.
LSU would then drive 75 yards in nine plays, scoring on an eight yard touchdown pass from Daniels to Malik Nabers to increase the lead to 24-16 with only 1:40 left in the third period.
Arkansas took their next possession into the final quarter and took full advantage of a break down in the LSU secondary. On 3rd and six from their own 41 yard line, KJ Jefferson escaped the pocket and spotted a wide open receiver running up the sidelines. Jefferson hit him in stride for 59 yard touchdown. The Hogs went for two and were successful to tie the game at 24-24 with 14:11 left in the contest.
The Tigers once again came right back at the Razorbacks, driving 75 yards in nine plays to regain the lead on a beautiful 20 yard touchdown pass from Jayden Daniels to Malik Nabers. 31-24 LSU with 9:43 left in the game.
The back and forth shoot out continued as Arkansas answered the Tigers by driving 75 yards in ten plays to once again tie the game. KJ Jefferson connected with Luke Hasz for an 11 yard touchdown. Before the Arkansas score it appeared that LSU had Arkansas stopped, forcing an incomplete pass on 3rd and 18, but Harold Perkins Jr. was called for roughing the passer giving the Hogs new life at the 11.
LSU took the ball on their next possession and turned out the lights, as they methodically drove 72 yards in nine plays, eating 5:02 off the game clock to set up a Damian Ramos 20 yard field goal attempt with 11 seconds left. Ramos nailed the kick giving LSU a 34-31 lead with only 5 seconds remaining.
Arkansas attempted a Hail Mary pass, but it was intercepted by Zy Alexander to clinch the victory.
With the exciting win LSU is now 3-1 overall and 2-0 in SEC play.
Next up, LSU will travel to Oxford to take on the (3-1/0-1) Ole Miss Rebels/Black Bears/LandSharks, whatever the heck they call themselves on Saturday, Sept. 30. Kickoff is set for 5:00pm CST and will be carried on ESPN.
Make sure you join Talking Tigers with Da Boot Sports Live Podcast on our YouTube Channel on Tuesday, September 26 at 7:30pm CST as our host David Penn, co-host Ron Sancho and special guest Kevin Faulk discuss LSU's huge SEC win over Arkansas and preview next week's contest against Ole Miss. It's gunna be a great show. Tell your friends and family about it and everyone tune in.. GEAUX TIGERS!!
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Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
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