After being off for three weeks, LSU takes the trip to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas, in the annual battle for “The Boot” and a must win game for the Tigers. LSU has won the last four meetings with the Razorbacks, and “The Boot” trophy, a massive four foot tall 175lb behemoth, molded in the shape of Louisiana and Arkansas, will reside on the Tigers sideline.
Heading into the game LSU is 41-22-2 all-time against Arkansas, and 12-0 under Head Coach Ed Orgeron following a loss. The Tigers have not lost back-to-back games since the 2015 season when they lost three straight in the month of November to Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss.
After not playing in nearly a month, the Tigers got off to a fast start. Holding the Razorbacks to three and out on their first possession. LSU would open up the scoring with their second possession, a 49 yard field goal by Cade York. Arkansas would follow up this drive by going three and out again.
Arkansas would get on the board next, running a pick route against Cordale Flott and Derek Stingley with Mike Woods and Treylon Burks for a 65 yard touchdown.
The Tigers would get the ball and hold onto it into the second quarter. Moving the chains on 4th and 3, freshman quarterback TJ Finley moved off his spot and was flushed to his right. Looking for a receiver the young gun slinger came back left, throwing across his body effortlessly to find freshman tight end Arik Gilbert for a gain of five and to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Finley hit Racey McMath for a 30 yard touchdown grab. Cade York would supply the PAT and put the Tigers back on top. The Tigers again would hold Arkansas to another three and out on offense.
With the Tigers driving Finley completed a 20 yard pass to receiver Terrace Marshall, Arkansas DB Montaric Brown forced the fumble and Myles Slusher recovered at the Arkansas 29 yard line. The Razorbacks took over at their own 29. Quarterback Feleipe Franks would throw to Mike Woods and LSU DB Eli Ricks would brutalize the receiver with a big hit in the open field. Ricks then hit a shoulder pose while standing over Woods. Immediately it looked like a taunting penalty would be called, but instead Ricks was called for “targeting.” After the review the targeting call was confirmed.
Arkansas seemed to have life in them. The Razorbacks forced the Tigers to a three and out, and started a drive of their own. Quarterback Franks was moving in the pocket and picking up extra yardage with his feet. Then linebacker Jabril Cox came up huge for the Tigers forcing an interception and returning it to the one yard line. Ty Davis-Price would find the end zone on the next play. Tigers would take a two score lead 17-7.
Arkansas not going away, hit Mike Woods on a 50 yard completion down to the LSU 25, and a pass interference penalty would bring the Razorbacks to the LSU 10. After throwing an incomplete pass on first down, Franks called his own number and scampered in for the touchdown. Cutting the lead 17-14.
The Tigers would battle back and get a field goal right as the half came to a close. 20-14
After the half the Tigers came out looking to establish the running game. Davis-Price looked like the back with the hot hand, so he was getting most of the carries.
Davies-Price would finish the night with 24 carries and 104 yards and one touchdown.
Arkansas would get the ball back right before the end of the third quarter at their own five. Defensively great field position for LSU, but on first down, the Razorbacks came out throwing. Franks connected with Woods for 29 yards. Then again three plays later Franks hit Woods for a 50 yard bomb down to the LSU two yard line. Trelon Smith would score after a one yard rush by Franks. Arkansas was ahead now 21-20.
After a three and out by LSU, Arkansas again hit a big play of 51 yards going into the 4th quarter, and a 29 yard rush by TJ Hammonds looked like the Razorbacks were sure to seal the victory for Arkansas. However, an incomplete pass, a short pass, and bad footing for Franks lead to only three points for the Razorbacks. LSU was still in the game. 24-20
LSU would get the ball back with about seven and a half minutes left to play. Finley completed to Marshall, who got absolutely destroyed on the catch and still managed to hold onto the ball, for 15 yards. Arkansas DB Jalen Catalon was flagged for targeting and confirmed after review. 15 more yards were tacked at the end of the catch.
Ty Davis-Price looked to secure the win with a touchdown catch on the right side of the end zone. But that was ruled an incomplete pass after further review. Five plays later Finley would find Jaray Jenkins for a 13 yard touchdown. Cade York would add the point after. LSU would be back on top. 27-24
Arkansas would get the ball back with just under four minutes to play. The Razorbacks were driving, when a sack on 2nd down by Andre Anthony caused the Arkansas momentum to grind to a halt. Arkansas would try a 44 yard field goal attempt, LSU defensive back Jay Ward would come off the edge and get his hand on the ball just enough to deflect it to cause the ball to land short. LSU would take over at their own 27 and come out in victory formation.
Final score: LSU 27 – Arkansas 24