BATON ROUGE, La. -- Don't blame No. 9 LSU's 31-14 loss to Arkansas solely on an Alabama hangover following the Tigers' beatdown against the Crimson Tide a week ago. That would discount the quality of football that Arkansas has played in recent weeks.
The Razorbacks (6-4, 4-2) largely controlled both lines of scrimmage Saturday -- much like Alabama did against LSU (7-2, 4-2) in last week's 30-16 win -- and scored three touchdowns that covered 50-plus yards. In doing so, Arkansas smashed LSU's dwindling College Football Playoff hopes, might have sunk Leonard Fournette's (91 rushing yards, 36 receiving, one touchdown) Heisman Trophy campaign and maintained possession of the Golden Boot rivalry trophy that it claimed with a 17-0 win over the Tigers last season.
Let's recap the Razorbacks' big road victory:
What the win means for Arkansas: The Hogs' 16-12 loss to Toledo seems like forever ago. Even if Arkansas' streak of scoring 50-plus points in a game ended at three, Dan Enos' offense still had another outstanding evening. They complemented Alex Collins' impressive running (he ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns) with multiple big plays and won in Tiger Stadium after dropping nine of the previous 10 trips to Baton Rouge.
What the loss means for LSU: While Arkansas deserves full credit for its performance on Saturday, LSU probably did allow last week's Alabama loss to linger to some degree. The Tigers' offensive line and Brandon Harris (21-for-35, 271 yards, one TD, one INT) had another subpar outing after being dominated last week in Tuscaloosa. They had their moments after falling behind 21-0 late in the second quarter, but too many third-down sacks/pressures and misfired passes allowed the Hogs' lead to stand up. LSU might still be able to reach a top-tier bowl game, but it will need to close with wins over Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
Stat of the game: 52, 80 and 69. Those are the distances of three Arkansas touchdowns on Saturday. LSU came into the game having given up only 23 plays that covered 20 yards or more, which tied with Minnesota for the fewest in the nation. The big plays obviously made an enormous difference in the outcome.
Unsung hero: Give it up for Arkansas' defensive front. The Razorbacks sacked Harris five times -- Deatrich Wise had 2.5 -- and the Razorbacks posted eight tackles for loss, plus linebacker Dre Greenlaw sacked Harris and forced a fumble that Brooks Ellis recovered at the LSU 11, setting up a 5-yard Collins touchdown. Their performance at the line of scrimmage set the tone for the night.