I just have one catchy one-liner to begin this….
The Hogs became bowl eligible in the most defiant way possible; with a win over the 9th ranked LSU Tigers. Just as if it was a repeat of last season, the Hogs beat the Tigers by 17 points with a second half that was nothing but satisfying. After two conference games in a row that have ended in wild fashion, this win has calmed my soul and probably added on 10 years to my heart health.
For awhile there at the beginning of the second half, it seemed as if the Tigers were indeed going to come back and make a game for themselves. But here’s the thing…THEY DIDN’T. And do you know why, reader? Because the Arkansas Razorbacks have learned to finish their own games. They have learned to put the final dagger in the opponents that they have rightfully defeated. It makes all those moments of us losing the game in the final minutes so worth it now. Would I want to relive it? Absolutely not. But in a weird way I would never trade it for the world, because it makes wins like these special.
Now we can stray from my emotional standpoint of the game. Arkansas beat LSU by a score of 31-14, and they never let the Tigers get a piece of them. We came in wondering who was going to be the star of the Arkansas offense. Would it be the passing game leading us with explosive plays like against Auburn and Ole Miss? Or would it be the running game, controlling the clock and pummeling the defense like against Tennessee? In the end, it was our running game getting the job done. Alex Collins and company accumulated 299 total yards on the ground, including a 69 yard sweep play for Jared Cornelius for the game sealing touchdown.
But the real star of the matchup was Alex Collins. Collins carried the ball 16 times for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns, which included making the play of the night with an 80 yard race to the endzone (which he won). Collins was the leading rusher of the game, gaining more yards the Heisman favorite that I will get to in the next paragraph. Kody Walker also had a fantastic performance with 17 carries for 88 yards, the most yards he’s had in a single game as a Razorback.
Nov 14, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks tight end Anthony Antwine (19) and Arkansas Razorbacks defensive back Santos Ramirez (9) celebrate after defeating the LSU Tigers 31-14 at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s not stray away from our defense, as they were the real heroes. All week, the Hogs’ path to winning was not a secret. The only thing standing in the way of Arkansas and The Boot was one man. A man that, even though has a number as the first syllable of his last name, he has never worn that number in his entire football career, and that’s kind of annoying. That man is Leonard “Brace Face” Fournette. At the end of the day, we didn’t exactly stop Fournette. But the Hogs contained him, holding Fournette to 91 yards on the ground. That’s only the second time this season that Fournette has had less than 100 yards.
The Razorbacks offense just did so well at clock managing and putting points on the board that LSU didn’t really have any choice but to pass it. Having LSU try and pass the ball was the most joyful thing that could happen. We only intercepted one pass, but in reality we should have had about 5. This only confirms the fact that if you stop Fournette, and force the weaker rest of the LSU offense to do some work, you can win the game.
I’ve never felt so good to ruin a kid’s hopes at the Heisman trophy. I mean, he was probably going to win and give a fantastic and tear jerking speech about what he went through with Katrina and how he rose to success by his will and determination. But now he’s not and I’m okay with that. (Editors note: You’re mean.)
Another big key in the victory was taking the LSU crowd out of the game. We all know that Tiger stadium is the loudest in all of football, and teams have been known to go there to get pummeled to the underworld. This tendency to win brought the name “Death Valley” to the venue. Since the year 2000, the Hogs had only won 1 time inside Tiger Stadium before the win on Saturday. The LSU crowd is known nationwide for being loud and disruptive to offenses. Except when they aren’t.
This matchup was the first I have ever witnessed in Baton Rouge where you could audibly hear the Razorback fans at an away game calling the Hogs. Because the stadium was EMPTY. By the end of the first quarter, fans were filing out in droves! What the heck, Tigers? When have you ever seen that during an LSU game? It gave me quite the feels, as did many other moments in the Death of Death Valley.
The past two matchups against LSU have been more than gratifying. In fact, these past 4 games have been wonderful for Hog fans. Now we get to come home and finish our season with 2 games in Fayetteville. Would it be too cliche to say that everything is borderline erotic right now?