Arkansas report card: Very high marks for a very big win
Arkansas played its most complete game of the season in a 31-14 win over LSU, a team that was ranked No. 2 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. The Razorbacks jumped out to a 21-0 lead and staved off a mini-comeback by the Tigers. Arkansas didn’t need any late-game miracles this week. Here are the Razorbacks grades:
Anytime a team can run for nearly 300 yards against a defensive unit like LSU’s, the offense deserves an A. Combine that with Brandon Allen’s 9-of-16 performance for 141 yards and a touchdown, and the Hogs had 440 yards of offense — in Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night. Alex Collins had 141 yards rushing and Kody Walker added 88 yards on the ground. Jared Cornelius also made noise on a jet sweep for a 69-yard touchdown.
The goal was to hold Leonard Fournette in check, make quarterback Brandon Harris rely on his arm and not get into a shootout. All three happened. Arkansas held Fournette to 91 rushing yards, Harris to just one passing touchdown and the Tigers to just 14 points. Harris got sacked five times for minus-37 yards. D.J. Dean made an interception in the end zone to seal the game. In all, LSU had just 330 yards of offense, but the Arkansas secondary still has plenty of holes.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
The Arkansas special teams didn’t do anything to shoot themselves in the foot. Cole Hedlund was perfect on four extra points and booted a 25-yard field goal. Toby Baker averaged 43.5 yards per punt, and Arkansas kept the ball out of the hands of the dangerous LSU kick returners.
Bret Bielema didn’t let a road trip to one of college football’s most intimidating environments get to his team’s head. The Razorbacks had a plan to control the ball offensively and make LSU’s quarterback beat them with his arm. Mission accomplished.
The Razorbacks retained the Golden Boot trophy, they became bowl eligible, they moved into second place in the SEC West standings, they knocked off a national power and they made it look rather easy. It was a complete performance by the Hogs, who now return home for their final two games against Mississippi State and Missouri.