LSU Suffers Crushing Loss to Arkansas in OT... Poor Coaching, Sputtering Offense & Turnovers Cost Tigers
Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: The Tigers fall to 4-6 overall, 2-5 in SEC play after suffering a heart-wrenching 16-13 overtime defeat to the 25th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. The loss has assured that LSU will finish the season with a non-winning record for a second straight season.
It was the second week in a row that a strong performance by the LSU defense would go to waste, thanks to a lifeless offense that sputtered all night long, struggling to score while committing three turnovers deep in Arkansas territory.
These young men still have a lot of fight left in them, but they now find themselves needing to win their final two games for a chance at a Bowl game.
The Tigers received the opening kickoff but quickly went three and out. Nathan Parodi would field Avery Atkins punt at his own 21, and raced past several Tigers before being pulled down at the Arkansas 47 yard line, a 26 yard punt return. On first down K.J. Jefferson hit Blake Kern for a 18 yard gain down to the LSU 35. The Tigers defense would only allow two yards over the next three plays forcing the Razorbacks to a field goal attempt. Cam Little converted his kick to give Arkansas the early lead, 3-0 with 11:59 left in the first quarter.
After two drives with no results, Orgeron would decide to replace Max Johnson with Garrett Nussmeier with the Tigers starting from the Arkansas 43 yard line after a nice punt return by Trey Palmer. The Tigers drove 28 yards in 9 plays before having to settle for a Cade York 34 yard field goal to tie the score at 3-3 with 1:47 left in the quarter.
LSU would begin their next drive at the Arkansas 40 with 12 seconds left in the first quarter after an incomplete pass and an 11 yard run by Ty Davis-Price, the game would head to the 2nd quarter. Nussmeier wasted little time as he went deep on the first play of the 2nd quarter hitting Jack Bech in the back of the North end zone for a 29 yard touchdown. York's PAT put the Tigers up 10-3 with 14:52 left in the first half.
The rest of the second quarter turned into a defensive battle with neither offense being able to score. LSU headed into halftime with a 10-3 lead.
Both offenses would continue to sputter late into the 3rd quarter before Arkansas finally hit pay dirt thanks to a blown coverage by the LSU secondary. On a 1st and ten at the LSU 43 yard line, K.J. Jefferson scrambled to avoid a heavy Tiger pass rush and found a wide open Dominique Johnson down the far sidelines, hitting him for the touchdown to tie the game at 10-10 with 6:01 left in the 3rd.
On LSU's next possession, with the ball on their 41, Nussmeier would throw into heavy coverage and be intercepted by Myles Slusher at the Arkansas 37.
Arkansas quickly moved into LSU territory as Jefferson completed a 23 yard pass to Warren Thompson. The Tiger defense would stop the drive at the 36 yard line. The Hogs lined up for a field goal attempt on 4th and six, but ran a successful fake punt down to the LSU 13 yard line. LSU's defense again kept the Razorbacks out of the end zone, forcing Cam Little to kick a 27 yard field goal to give Arkansas their first lead of the contest, 13-10 as the 3rd quarter came to an end.
The Tigers would answer the Hogs score, driving 48 yards in 12 plays to tie the ball game at 13-13 on a 45 yard Cade York field goal with 10:53 left.
Neither team could score over the final 10:53, sending us to overtime. Arkansas won the toss and chose to go on defense, while LSU picked the north end zone. The Tigers would drive down to the ten yard line but ended up turning the ball over as Montaric Brown intercepted Garrett Nussmeier in the end zone.
Arkansas would then position the ball in the center of the field at the LSU 19 for Cam Little. Little's kick split the uprights giving the Razorbacks a 16-13 overtime win.
“I feel bad for these kids, man," Orgeron said. "I just feel bad. Really do. Two weeks in a row, could’ve put them in a better position to win. They played their hearts out.... We’ve got two games left, we’ve got to regroup, that’s a hurting group in there right now.”
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes