Postgame thoughts: LSU 33, Arkansas 10

By: Matt Jones
Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017
LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark (7) pulls in a touchdown reception in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark (7) pulls in a touchdown reception in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Arkansas entered Saturday's game tied for last in the SEC for plays allowed of 40 yards or more.

But after a 33-10 loss at LSU, the Razorbacks have allowed more back-breaking plays from scrimmage than any other team in the league. Perhaps that explains why the Razorbacks have five losses of 20 points or more - also the most in the SEC.

LSU quarterback Danny Etling hit receiver DJ Chark for touchdown passes of 45 yards in the first quarter and 68 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter, totaling more than half of his 217 passing yards overall.

The long touchdown passes were the 16th and 17th this season of 40 yards or more against the Arkansas defense. The longest pass was the seventh of more than 60 yards against the Razorbacks, also the most in the SEC.

Derrius Guice added another long run of 33 yards to put the Tigers up 13-7 early in the third quarter. The Razorbacks responded with a field goal before LSU scored 20 unanswered points.

Guice carved up the Arkansas defense in the second half. He had nine carries for 48 yards in the first half, but finished with 21 carries for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Guice has rushed for 399 yards and five touchdowns in two career games against the Razorbacks, with a per-run average of 9.5 yards.

Speaking of long plays, where was T.J. Hammonds? That will be an answer Bret Bielema has to answer following the game.

Hammonds, the sophomore running back who was averaging nearly 14 yards per touch the past two weeks, albeit against worse defenses, had just three touches that totaled no rushing yards. Hammonds had a combined 19 touches the past two weeks.

The Razorbacks instead gave the touches to Devwah Whaley (12 runs, 55 yards) and David Williams (13 for 81). Whaley had a key 21-yard run during an 80-yard scoring drive that he capped with a 1-yard touchdown 16 seconds before halftime to tie the game 7-7.

Arkansas' run game was effective with a 4.2-yard per carry average, but the pass game was not good in Austin Allen's first game since Oct. 7. Allen completed 13 of 23 passes for 140 yards and under-threw receivers on multiple occasions.

Things weren't much better when Cole Kelley came in for mop-up duty. He completed 3 of 10 passes and was stopped on a fourth-and-1 sneak.

The trip to Baton Rouge very well could be the Razorbacks' last road trip this year. Arkansas closes the regular season with consecutive home games against Mississippi State and Missouri, and must win both to qualify for a bowl game.

A loss in either of those games would give Bielema a losing record for the second time his career. The loss to LSU is another dent in Bielema's much maligned SEC record, which now stands at 11-27 as fan unrest over his job performance continues to rise.

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