So much for that post-Alabama hangover.
No. 24 LSU jumped on No. 25 Arkansas, building a 21-0 lead and coasting to a 38-10 win in Fayetteville on Saturday night.
The Tigers proved that last week’s 10-0 blanking by Alabama was more about the Tide than themselves, as this week’s result looked identical to the pre-Alabama results under Ed Orgeron: a dynamic passing attack and lots and lots of Leonard Fournette with some Derrius Guice mixed in.
Fournette opened the scoring with a pair of short touchdown runs, and Guice effectively put the game away before it could get started when he added a 3-yard score to stake the Bayou Bengals to a 21-0 lead at the 10:19 mark of the second quarter.
Austin Allen, who set up LSU’s second score with an interception in his own territory, put Arkansas on the board with a 44-yard strike to Dominique Reed and then pulled within 21-10 to open the second half scoring, but Fournette’s third scoring rush of the night, this one to cap an 81-yard drive at the 6:59 mark of the third quarter, pushed the lead back to a comfortable 28-10.
Guice pushed the game into blowout territory when he raced for a 96-yard touchdown with 6:04 remaining in the contest. He finished with 21 carries for 252 yards and two scores, while Fournette charged for 98 yards and three scores on 17 carries. Danny Etling mixed an a complimentary 10-of-16 passing for 157 yards.
In what was a fitting end to an awful night, Arkansas seemingly added a cosmetic score on a touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, but a review revealed him down at the 1-yard line. Freshman running back Devwah Whaley fumbled into the end zone on the next snap. Allen finished 15-of-31 passing for 210 yards with a score and two interceptions, while the Hogs were out-rushed as a team 385-81.
The win pushes LSU (6-3, 4-2 SEC) into a bowl game for the 17th straight season and, of more immediate importance, continues the argument for Orgeron to keep the job full-time ahead of a tough closing stretch at home versus Florida next week and at Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night.
Arkansas (6-4, 2-4 SEC) was exposed — again — as a step above the SEC’s lower class but three steps below the upper echelon of the conference. But with a closing stretch of Mississippi State and Missouri, an 8-4 regular season and top-25 finish still seems entirely likely.