The Arkansas Razorbacks were a 26 point underdog on Saturday in Baton Rouge, but the Hogs gave the Tigers all that they could handle. However, the chance to win the final game of the season and break the school record eight game losing streak was ruined on a 99-yard drive by LSU’s true freshman quarterback, Anthony Jennings.
With three minutes left to play, Arkansas was leading 27-24 and had LSU pinned down on their own 1 by way of an outstanding punt by Sam Irwin-Hill.
Jennings, who came in for the injured Zach Mettenberger, then put together a couple of nice pass plays, along with a 21-yard scramble to get the Tiger offense in Arkansas territory.
With 1:15 left to play a breakdown in coverage in the Hog secondary allowed for Jennings to hit a wide open Travin Dural for the 49-yard go-ahead touchdown.
Allen was caught from behind and fumbled on Arkansas’ final possession to give LSU the win and Arkansas a winless conference record for Bret Beilema’s first year as the Arkansas football coach.
The Arkansas defense actually played decently well against the pass, but couldn’t stop the running attack of LSU.
Mettenberger was 14-of-22 for 156 yards and had an interception in his last outing at Tiger Stadium before he went down with a knee injury late in the fourth.
Senior fullback Kiero Small scored on a 3-yard touchdown run out of the wildcat formation and quarterback Brandon Allen hit freshman Hunter Henry for a 9-yard score to tie the game at 14.
The Tiger’s first two touchdowns came from 29 and 23-yard runs from Terrance Magee, but it was Arkansas who went into halftime leading 17-14 from a Zach Hocker 20-yard field goal.
Hocker would add another 28-yard field goal on Arkansas’ opening possession of the second half, but LSU would respond with a Jeremy Hill 52-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers back ahead by one.
Hill would finish the day with 145 yards on 20 carries and a score.
For the second time in the game Allen found a wide open Henry for a score and the Razorbacks were up 27-21 midway through the fourth.
Mettenberger would work some magic and find Jarvis Landry who made an incredible 32-yard catch over Razorback freshman cornerback D.J. Dean to set up a field goal for LSU. The catch would be costly however, as Mettenberger would be hit as he threw and didn’t return.
Landry was the top target for the LSU quarterbacks on the day in place of the injured Odell Beckham and he hauled in 8 receptions for 116 yards.
Arkansas was then forced to punt on their next possession and that lead the way for the game-wining drive to take place.
Allen undoubtedly had his best day against a good opponent going 19-of-29 for 178 yards and two scores, but was still late on many throws and made questionable decisions.
Freshman running back Alex Collins had only 28 yards on the day, but that was enough to put him over 1,000 yards rushing for the season. Collins joins Darren McFadden as the only two freshman in Arkansas history to reach the mark and only the tenth freshman in SEC history.
It is now finally time for the Razorbacks to take a break from this frustrating season and prepare for the future which seems bright as 28 underclassman played good minutes on Saturday.
Bielema is still searching for that elusive first SEC victory, and he gets his chance first game next season as Arkansas travels to take on the Auburn Tigers.
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