Spaight, Razorbacks hold LSU to 123 yards, end 17-game SEC skid w/dominating 17-0 triumph
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas' 17-game losing streak in the Southeastern Conference ended Saturday night with a resounding 17-0 defeat of No. 20 LSU at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Razorbacks outgained the Tigers on total offensive yards (264-123), passing yards (169-87) and rushing yards (95-36).
The last time Arkansas defeated a ranked opponent was in 2012 when the Razorbacks knocked off Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl. The 17-0 win marked the first time the Razorbacks shut out a Southeastern Conference opponent since blanking South Carolina 23-0 in 2002.
"I can't say as a 5-5 coach that I enjoyed the championship years somewhere else any more than to see the growth out of some of these guys," Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said, "and to see the genuine expression at the end of the game there and to see these guys grab me. I think I hugged everybody twice. Robb (Smith, Arkansas' defensive coordinator) had a great game plan and we played four quarters."
Junior quarterback Brandon Allen completed 16-of-27 passes for 169 yards on the day and found sophomore tight end Hunter Henry four times for 54 yards, including game-long 29-yard reception. Junior running back Jonathan Williams tallied 54 rushing yards, pushing his career total to 2,063 which ranks 13th all time in school history.
Senior linebacker Martrell Spaight led the Razorbacks defense with a sack, 10 total tackles and one for a loss. Senior defensive end Trey Flowers recorded one sack, giving him 15.0 for his career, which ranks tied for 10th all-time in school history. Flowers notched 1.5 tackles for loss, giving him 43.0 for his career, which ranks third all-time in school history. Sophomore defensive tackle Darius Philon recovered an LSU fumble on Arkansas' 19-yard line, his second of the season.
The Tigers came into the cold knowing the Hogs would be hot.
"We knew they wanted this one really bad." LSU defensive tackle Christian LaCouture said. "You could tell right from the beginning the fans were into it. They were really pumped up trying to get this ‘W.’ We tried to match that intensity, and I felt like we did, but at the same time we lost 17-0. At the end of the day, we finished second and that’s not where we wanted to be."
LSU coach Les Miles was gracious in defeat.
"I want to congratulate Bret on preparing his team so well," Miles said. "They’ve come close so many times and I knew they were eventually going to break through, unfortunately it came it against us."
To open the contest, sophomore kicker Adam McFain knocked through a 32-yard field goal after the Razorbacks marched 60 yards on 11 plays, giving Arkansas the early lead over the Tigers. The score marked the sixth time this season the Razorbacks have scored on their opening possession.
On the ensuing drive, the Tigers took over possession on their own 30 before the Arkansas defense stalled them at their own eight. LSU completed its first drive with negative 22 yards. Through the first quarter, LSU was held to negative total offensive yards by the Razorback defense, the first time the Tigers have produced a negative output in the first frame all season.
Williams punched in Arkansas' first score of the game from one yard out, capping a drive that lasted 15 plays and spanned 59 yards. The touchdown marked Williams' 11th rushing touchdown of the season and put the Razorbacks ahead, 10-0, heading into the locker room at halftime.
LSU's scoreless first half marked the first time the Razorback defense has shut out an SEC opponent in the first two frames since Oct. 13, 2012 when Arkansas held off Kentucky.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Razorbacks made their second trip to the end zone in the fourth quarter. Sophomore running back Alex Collins tallied his 11th rushing touchdown of the season off a five yard rush into the end zone. The scoring drive lasted 12 plays and 55 yards.
The Razorbacks held off the Tigers for the remainder of the fourth quarter to close out the win. Following the victory, Arkansas reclaimed ‘The Boot' from LSU and notched its first shutout of a Southeastern Conference opponent since blanking South Carolina 23-0 in 2002.
Arkansas returns to Razorback Stadium at 2:30 Saturday, vs. Ole Miss Rebels on CBS.