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LSU stuns Arkansas on late TD

Razorbacks blow fourth quarter lead on the road

By Matt Jones

This article was originally published November 29, 2013 at 5:26 p.m. Updated November 29, 2013 at 6:46 p.m.

lsu-receiver-tarvin-dural-catches-the-go-ahead-49-yard-touchdown-pass-late-in-the-4th-quarter-against-arkansas-during-friday-afternoons-game-at-tiger-stadium-in-baton-rouge-la

LSU receiver Tarvin Dural catches the go-ahead 49-yard touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter against Arkansas during Friday afternoon's game at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Bret Bielema - LSU Postgame

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema recaps the Razorbacks' 31-27 loss to LSU. (By Matt Jones)
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Game Sketch

RECORDS: LSU 9-3, 5-3 SEC; Arkansas 3-9, 0-8

KEY PLAYERS: Arkansas TE Hunter Henry 5 rec., 41 yards, 2 TDs; LSU RB Jeremy Hill 20 rush, 145 yards, 1 TD

TURNING POINT: Anthony Jennings threw a 49-yard TD pass to Travin Dural with 1:15 remaining to give LSU a 31-27 lead

NOTABLE: Arkansas finished the season without a SEC win for the first time

— The unpredictable series between Arkansas and LSU nearly added another twist Friday.

Instead, the outcome was an all-too-familiar one for the Razorbacks, a 25-point underdog who lost their ninth straight game in heartbreaking fashion.

Anthony Jennings' 49-yard touchdown pass to Travin Dural on third down with 1:15 remaining gave No. 15 LSU a 31-27 comeback win over Arkansas at Tiger Stadium. The Razorbacks finished the season winless in Southeastern Conference play for the first time and extended their program-record losing streak into next season.

Jennings' pass capped a 99-yard drive in less than two minutes after Arkansas downed a punt at the LSU 1. Jennings, a freshman backup, had entered the game for senior starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger one possession earlier when Mettenberger was injured. Jennings found his freshman receiver well behind Arkansas' secondary for the score, which sent an announced crowd of 89,656 into a frenzy as night fell on Death Valley.

"Obviously a very difficult ending to a good football game," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said.

"We were in a deep-path coverage, had a deep-path player, but it obviously wasn't there. The only thing I asked them to do is take what you learned here and take it home with you. Don't leave in here in Baton Rouge or we'll never overcome where we are at right now."

Dwayne Thomas sacked Brandon Allen with 38 seconds remaining, causing a fumble recovered by LSU defensive lineman Jermauria Raso to seal the Tigers' win. LSU has won three straight games in the series.

LSU (9-3, 5-3 SEC) had pulled within 27-24 on a 38-yard field goal by Colby Delahoussaye with 4:56 remaining.

Allen's 2-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Henry with 50 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Razorbacks a 27-21. The pass capped a 15-play, 75-yard drive that was extended when punter Zach Hocker drew LSU offsides on a fourth-and-3.

Arkansas (3-9, 0-8) took a 17-14 halftime lead when Hocker made a 20-yard field goal on the last play of the first half. The score was set up when Razorbacks linebacker Braylon Mitchell sacked and forced a fumble by Mettenberger, recovered by Brandon Lewis at the Tigers 29.

"We go into every game thinking we are going to win," said Arkansas middle linebacker Brooks Ellis, who had 10 tackles. "We kept rolling on the momentum and getting turnovers, but we just couldn't come up with it (in the end)."

Hocker added a 29-yard field goal early in the third quarter to extend Arkansas' lead to 20-14. But LSU capitalized on the Razorbacks settling for field goals and regained the advantage on a 52-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Hill midway through the third quarter.

The Tigers reached the Arkansas 18 early in the fourth quarter, but a pass from Mettenberger to Hill on fourth-and-2 netted only 1 yard and the Razorbacks took over on downs with 9:20 remaining.

Arkansas didn't record a first down, however, in the fourth quarter, allowing the Tigers multiple chances to tie or take the lead. The Razorbacks, which finished the game with 360 yards of total offense, had only 24 yards on eight plays in the final quarter.

"I thought this whole game we had it going," Allen said. "We had it clicking on offense. The run game and pass game had certain things going for us. We were able to put up a few points and unfortunately we needed a few more.

"I think it we get (a first down) maybe there wouldn't have been enough time on the click left for them."

Terrence Magee had touchdown runs of 29 and 23 yards in the first quarter as LSU built a 14-7 lead. Arkansas nearly answered Magee's first touchdown in one play, but Korliss Marshall's 100-yard kickoff return touchdown was overturned because of a holding penalty.

The Razorbacks eventually tied the game 7-7 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Kiero Small before Magee regained the lead for LSU on his second scoring run.

Allen's first touchdown pass to Henry from 9 yards out tied the game 14-14 for Arkansas with 6:14 left in the second quarter. The score came one play following a 42-yard run by Javontee Herndon on a third-and-1.

A Marshall 32-yard run set up the Razorbacks inside LSU territory with less than 4 minutes left in the first half, but Allen was intercepted on the next play by Jalen Mills in the end zone. Allen finished the game completing 19 of 29 passes for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns, but also committed two turnovers.

Hill had 145 rushing yards for LSU. Jarvis Landry added 8 catches for 113 yards, including an acrobatic 32-yard reception to set up the Tigers' fourth quarter field goal. Mettenberger was injured on the play on a low hit by Byran Jones.

"A really nice throw and Jarvis Landry puts us in a position to score with a great catch," LSU coach Les Miles said. "This group, there is just something about them. They're competitive, they want to play, they make plays and no matter what the scenario, I would never count them out."

The loss was Arkansas' 12th straight in conference play. The nine losses are the most ever in a single season for the Razorbacks.

"I think our guys expected to win," Bielema said. "We didn't try to stay close. I think they prepared from last Sunday to today and they expected to win. They may have shocked everybody else but our guys...the reason they are gutted right now is obviously because they are hurt. They fully expected to win the game as well as I did, and that's the way we will train them going forward."

Comments on: LSU stuns Arkansas on late TD

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Quapaw says... November 29, 2013 at 5:45 p.m.

Brandon needs to be playing at UA Monticello or UA Pine Bluff....bless his heart he is just not a SEC quarterback. Good Kid.....but will be happy when he is the backup.

( | suggest removal )

trimkus says... November 29, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.

Build the stadium and they will comeā€¦unless, of course, you cannot win a game...

( | suggest removal )

Pacorabone says... November 29, 2013 at 6:09 p.m.

Wow!! Pretty good defense on that last LSU touchdown. The game close, in the lead with seconds left and we let a receiver get wide, and I mean wide open.. ? Just typical of our season.. Way to go Hunter Henry.. One of the few true bright spots this year.

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Goad says... November 29, 2013 at 6:10 p.m.

Need a big time quarterback. Brandon can't make the big play. Wish he could but just not athletic enough. His fumble certainly wasn't his fault, lack of blocking. Still to win the big ones it takes a big time QB. Still 2 to 3 years away to breaking 500 in SEC. IF WE WANT TO WIN NEED TO CHANGE CONFERENCES.

( | suggest removal )

headhogdaddy says... November 29, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.

What? The third, or fourth highest paid Coach in college football.

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RBBrittain says... November 29, 2013 at 6:24 p.m.

Folks, we ARE getting better -- both MSU & LSU had to come back to beat us. I don't know if we can do a "worst to first" next year (Auburn is a fluke -- their "new" coach, who I won't name to avoid fueling his "bus", was their OC two seasons ago), but it seems the kids are starting to learn Bielema's system; we'll certainly do better next year.

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ack2quoa says... November 29, 2013 at 7:08 p.m.

Arkansas needs more than a overpaid Head Coach and staff to be competitive SEC. If Brandon Allen is the best we have, then we are "Hurting" big time. We are very good at finding a way to lose. Let's find a way to "Win" for a change.

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HotSpringsLawyer says... November 29, 2013 at 7:14 p.m.

We have been looking much better. Another year of good recruits and beefing guys up will pay big dividends. Even now, a really good QB would probably have made a significant difference. But props to Allen for doing his best and improving a lot also.

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cwbird says... November 29, 2013 at 7:24 p.m.

I think it's fantastic that the Razorbacks came this close to beating LSU this year. LSU is at #15 and was a 25 point favorite. I think Bielema is a good coach, despite the record losses this year. Remember, he inherited a program that was pretty much devastated and weak. It can take years to rebuild and certainly takes longer than from this past January.

Arkansas fans, don't be fickle. Support the Razorbacks, no matter what the record is. It's our team. Remember that constructive criticism is an oxymoron (To construct means to build up and to criticize means to tear down.)

( | suggest removal )

Packman says... November 29, 2013 at 9:27 p.m.

Brandon Allen is a good kid; he's just not an SEC qb. Is it fair to second guess coach Bielema? Yep, it is. That comes with the territory when you are one of the highest paid employees in your chosen profession. Fourth and less than a yard in the fourth quarter twice, and you punt both times? Are you kidding me????? You have nothing else to lose coach, go for it.
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Bret Bielema will not be successful at Arkansas. He will never be able to recruit the quality of athlete to Arkansas needed to run his style offense in the SEC. To win 6 games each year and go to a bowl Arkansas needs a Gus Malzahan gimmick offense.
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Hats off to Hunter Henry, Alex Collins, Dam Skipper and Denver Kirkland. True freshmen who played their asses off. They deserve better than Bret Bielema.

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