Razorbacks rewind:

Hogs not collecting trophies

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Monday, November 13, 2017
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on the field before the LSU game Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on the field before the LSU game Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks have one more opportunity to reclaim one of their rivalry game trophies after going barren in that department in 2016.

"Our guys ... have great resiliency and in their preparation this week they were very spirited in practice," Coach Bret Bielema said. "We really played up the boot. Obviously you don't have to be from Arkansas or Louisiana to play for the boot. It's about the Razorbacks and Tigers."

LSU held on to the Golden Boot Trophy for a second consecutive year, improving to 14-8 since former Arkansas linebacker David Bazzel introduced the prize to the rivalry in 1996.

"Coach B[ielema] said to just keep our heads up, even though we wanted it bad," Arkansas linebacker De'Jon Harris said. "It was a trophy game. We've just got to learn how to finish games in the second half."

The Golden Boot Trophy was rolled onto the field late in the game beyond the west end zone near the LSU sideline. A handful of Tigers went over to claim the trophy, not the scores of players who raced across the field to retrieve it after Arkansas won the trophy back with a 17-0 victory in 2014.

"This is a rivalry game," LSU Coach Ed Orgeron said. "I think it's a little bit more of a rivalry game for them. They want to beat LSU. I think when they play LSU they play over their heads. ... They came to play, but I always felt like we were going to win the game."

The Razorbacks went 0-3 in trophy games last year. Texas A&M has held the Southwest Classic Trophy each of the last six years since joining the Hogs in the SEC.

Missouri is in possession of the Battle Line Trophy, won after its comeback from a 24-7 halftime deficit last season. The Tigers are 2-1 in the series since the teams were made permanent crossover opponents and their game moved to Thanksgiving weekend in 2014.

Tube talk

The Arkansas Razorbacks will play their fifth game with an 11 a.m. kickoff on CBS on Saturday against Mississippi State.

The Hogs' previous 11 a.m. kickoffs came against Texas A&M, New Mexico State, Ole Miss and LSU.

Arkansas leads the series against Mississippi State 16-10-1.

Hog heat

LSU Coach Ed Orgeron said the resolve and aggressiveness of the Arkansas defense in the first half was impressive. The Tigers had 135 total yards in the first half, 45 of them on a touchdown pass.

"Offensively, we were very sluggish," Orgeron said. "Seemed like their defense was penetrating a lot more than we thought, [with] the sacks and tackles for loss. Had a couple of balls we missed.

"We knew it was going to be a struggle. After the first quarter, I thought, 'These guys came to play.'"

0 for Hammonds

One week after tailback T.J. Hammonds racked up 179 yards from scrimmage on 8 touches, the sophomore was held to zero rushing yards on 3 carries at LSU.

Hammonds was targeted once on a quick swing pass, but he bobbled it a couple of times, nearly into the hands of a Tiger defender before it fell incomplete in the second quarter.

Poor punting

Arkansas' Blake Johnson had one of his weaker performances, averaging 34.9 yards on his seven punts, with one going inside the 20 and a long of 46 yards.

Johnson's best kick was his first, the 46-yard punt coming with Arkansas backed up at its own 3 at the end of the first possession of the game.

With Arkansas battling poor field position in the first half, Johnson had a chance to pin the Tigers deep with a punt from the Hogs' 40, but he managed only a 32-yard effort to the LSU 28.

In the second half, a pooch punt from the LSU 49 hit near the 20 and bounced backward before the Hogs could down it at the 31 for an 18-yard punt.

Arkansas fell to No. 96 in the FBS in net punting with an average of 36.7 yards.

Players of the week

Offense

RB David Williams and TE Jeremy Patton

Williams, a senior from Philadelphia, ran for 81 yards on 13 carries, averaging 6.2 yards per carry against LSU's tough run defense. Patton, a junior from Indianapolis, caught a season-high 4 passes for 44 yards, including a long reception of 27 yards.

Defense

LB De'Jon Harris

The sophomore from Harvey, La., made his first performance near home at Tiger Stadium a memorable one with 6 solo tackles and 6 unassisted tackles for a team-high 12 stops. Harris also contributed a half-tackle for a 2-yard loss.

Sports on 11/13/2017

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