No. 7 LSU holds on to beat Arkansas, remains in first place in the SEC West

 

The seventh-ranked LSU Tigers looked like a different team this week against the unranked Arkansas Razorbacks. LSU was coming off an overtime upset win over Alabama and was looking to avoid a letdown in Fayetteville.

The Tigers’ defense forced a turnover late in the fourth quarter to seal a 13-10 victory Saturday.

The two-loss Tigers could not afford to lose the game if they wanted to keep any hope of making it to the SEC Championship game or the College Football Playoff alive.

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Jayden Daniels (5) of the LSU Tigers runs the ball in the second half during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium Nov. 12, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 13-10.
(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Freshman linebacker Harold Perkins Jr., who had the flu prior to the game, had a game to remember. He finished the night with two forced fumbles and four sacks.

Arkansas entered the game without starting quarterback KJ Jefferson, who sat out as he continues to deal with a shoulder and clavicle injury. He was limited in practice during the week leading up to the game.

By game’s end, the Razorbacks were down to their third-string quarterback when Malik Hornsby was benched in favor of Cade Fortin in the third quarter.

Fortin threw a 40-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to cut Arkansas’ deficit to three points.

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LSU’s offense did just enough by gaining 284 yards on the day, although that is well below the team’s season average. Running back Josh Williams rushed for 122 yards and scored the Tigers’ sole touchdown on the day.

“We are far from a finished product,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said. “I don’t think anybody in that locker room thinks we have arrived.”

LSU running back Josh Williams (27) is tackled by Arkansas linebacker Bumper Pool (10) during the first half of a game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark.
(AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Arkansas sacked LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels seven times, limiting the SEC’s top rusher at the position to 10 yards on 19 carries. Daniels completed 8 of 15 passes for 86 yards and an interception.

“I think the defense played so well that that gave us a chance. They kept us in it,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. “I thought when Landers got the long one that we were going to rally around that, and it seemed like it was the same story. Just didn’t seem to find a way to be consistent.”

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Arkansas’ Hornsby completed 3 of 9 passing attempts for 24 yards. Fortin finished 8 of 13 for 92 yards and a lost a fumble.

Jayden Daniels (5) of the LSU Tigers runs the ball in the first half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium Nov. 12, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark.
(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

If LSU wins against Texas A&M Nov. 26, the Tigers will advance to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do this journey, but we’re still finding ways to win football games,” Kelly said.

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Next Saturday, LSU returns home to play UAB, and Arkansas plays its final home game of the year against No. 11 Ole Miss.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.