Rapid Reaction: LSU escapes with controversial win over Arkansas
A win is a win.
LSU isn’t going to complain about how it happened. Arkansas might.
Trailing late, the Tigers took advantage of a questionable targeting call to Hogs safety Jalen Catalon to pull out a 27-24 victory. The Tigers scored the game-winning touchdown 7 plays after Catalon was ejected for a hit on Kayshon Boutte when TJ Finley hit Jaray Jenkins.
Arkansas had one last chance but LSU blocked a tying field goal attempt in the final minutes.
Feleipe Franks ran for one touchdown and passed for another to keep Arkansas close.
Franks and the Razorbacks (3-5) made several big plays to overcome a lopsided advantage that the Tigers (3-3) had in time of possession before ultimately falling short.
The Arkansas defense, which gave up 63 points to Florida in a loss a week earlier, held LSU scoreless for much of the second half — until the final drive.
Finley made his 3rd start in place of injured Myles Brennan at quarterback for the Tigers. He finished with 271 passing yards and 2 TDs.
LSU was playing for the first time since a 48-11 loss at Auburn on Halloween. It had an open date the following week and the home game against Alabama was postponed last week because COVID issues left the Tigers below the SEC minimum of available scholarship players.
The Razorbacks welcomed back head coach Sam Pittman, who missed the loss at Florida last week because he tested positive for COVID, but they played this game without several players, including 6 contributors on the defensive line, because of COVID issues.
LSU took advantage of the absences by focusing on the running game and keeping the ball away from Franks and the Arkansas offense for much of the game.