BATON ROUGE -- Josh Jasper matched a single-game record with four field goals including a 36-yarder in overtime and Arkansas missed its 36-yard attempt in the extra period, as No. 17 LSU came away with a thrilling 33-30 victory on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
LSU improved to 9-3 overall and 5-3 in SEC play. The Tigers await a postseason bowl berth, most likely the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla., or the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2 in Dallas.
SEC bowl announcements will not be made until after the SEC Championship game and Bowl Championship Series selections on Sunday, Dec. 6.
On LSU's overtime possession, wide receiver Brandon LaFell missed a low throw by quarterback Jordan Jefferson on third-and-4 and the Tigers had to attempt a field goal. Jasper's kick was true and LSU led 33-30.
Arkansas (7-5, 3-5 SEC) was also forced to settle for a field goal attempt when wide receiver London Crawford was corralled four yards short of a first down by LSU cornerback Chris Hawkins who made a one-on-one tackle. Placekicker Alex Tejada's attempt went just outside of the right post, sending Tiger Stadium into a frenzy.
Jasper, who converted twice from 47 yards earlier in the game, forced the extra period with a 41-yard field goal with four seconds to play in regulation.
LSU looked to be in trouble late in the game when Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett guided his team to a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended on a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Joe Adams on fourth-and-9.
After Arkansas went ahead 30-27 with 1:18 to play, Jefferson led his team into field goal range with an eight-play, 41-yard drive that took the clock down to four seconds. Jasper kicked the tying field goal on second down from the Arkansas 23.
Jefferson finished 17-of-25 passing for 179 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. He added 11 runs for 33 yards including two sacks for minus-12 yards.
Jefferson tossed touchdown passes of 16 and 15 yards, the latter to tight end Deangelo Peterson that gave LSU an 11-point lead, 24-13, midway through the third quarter.
LSU's Trindon Holliday had a career-best 212 all-purpose yards including an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown that put the Tigers ahead 17-3 in the second quarter. Holliday also ran nine times for 57 yards, while Stevan Ridley rushed 14 times for 48 yards.
LaFell had a team-high 70 yards on four catches. He caught LSU's first touchdown pass in the first quarter. LSU tight end Richard Dickson had six catches for 40 yards, and Ridley added 30 yards on four grabs out of the backfield.
LSU was outgained 375-326. The Tigers committed nine penalties for 80 yards.
Mallett led Arkansas to a furious comeback, as the Hogs scored on five-straight drives in the second half. He finished 17-of-39 passing for 227 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked three times -- all in the first half -- for minus-24 yards. Wide receiver Greg Childs caught five passes for 124 yards before being injured late in regulation.
Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson rushed nine times for 78 yards, while Ronnie Wingo Jr. added 48 yards on nine carries. Wingo and running back Broderick Green each scored rushing touchdowns.
Arkansas won the opening coin toss and elected to receive.
After Jasper's touchback on the opening kickoff, the Hogs wasted no time getting to LSU's side of the field. A 27-yard pass to Childs went to the Arkansas 47, and a 23-yard run by Johnson to the LSU 28.
LSU earned its first break when Mallett overthrew Childs over the middle and safety Chad Jones intercepted the pass at the LSU 5. A 9-yard return gave LSU its first possession at the Arkansas 12.
After Ridley picked up a first down with a 12-yard run, a sack by Arkansas defensive end Adrian Davis stopped the Tigers in their tracks and Derek Helton punted for the first time.
Starting from his 39, Mallett completed another 27-yard pass to Childs to the LSU 34. Again, the Tigers defense put pressure on the 6-foot-7 quarterback and forced a long field-goal attempt. Tejada's career-best 47-yarder gave Arkansas a 3-0 lead with 8:17 to play in the first quarter.
Using the speed of Russell Shepard and Holliday, LSU had a quick answer for the Arkansas score. Holiday returned the short kickoff 24 yards to the LSU 40 before Shepard ran 10 yards into Arkansas territory.
Holliday took the next handoff from Jefferson and scampered 19 yards around the right end to the Arkansas 28. Then, the 5-foot-5 NCAA Track Champion took an option pitch to the opposite side for 12 yards.
With an unbalanced line to the right -- four linemen to the right of center and only Ciron Black to the left of T-Bob Hebert -- Jefferson dropped back to pass. Though he missed LaFell wide open on his initial route, he connected with the senior receiver for a 16-yard touchdown pass that may have been intended for Toliver in the right corner of the endzone.
Jasper's PAT gave LSU the lead, 7-3, with 5:21 left in the quarter.
After picking up a first down, Arkansas' drive was stalled on a holding penalty on second-and-2. On third-and-11, Mallett was sacked by LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis.
Holliday gave the Tigers positive field position once again with a 23-yard return to the Arkansas 36.
Shepard was stopped for a 2-yard loss on third-and-2, and LSU settled for a 47-yard field goal of their own by Jasper.
The LSU defense completed its eighth-straight first quarter without allowing a touchdown, as LSU led 10-3.
The LSU defense forced another punt after a sack by defensive ends Rahim Alem and Lavar Edwards on third-and 11. Arkansas punter Dylan Breeding hit a 47-yard kick to Holliday, who started up the middle and broke to the right. He beat a lone defender to the corner and jogged the final 20 yards for an 87-yard touchdown.
With 12:29 to play in the half, LSU led 17-3.
Another sack by linebacker Harry Coleman -- the Tigers' third of the game -- cost Arkansas 15 yards and led to the first of three-straight punts in the second quarter.
Late in the quarter, Breeding's high 48-yard punt from his endzone. While running forward, Holliday attempted the catch the punt, but the ball hit his fingertips and was recovered by Arkansas' Freddy Burton at the Arkansas 40.
At that point, the game began to shift in Arkansas’ favor.
Two more punts gave Arkansas possession with 1:51 left in the half, the Razorbacks used a face mask penalty on Perry Riley to advance to the LSU 18. LSU's defense against stiffened, as cornerback Chris Hawkins batted away a pass to Cobi Hamilton on third-and-10.
Tejada converted a 35-yard field goal to cut the Tigers advantage to 17-6 with 48 seconds left before halftime.
LSU started the second half with great field position when the Razorbacks popped up the kickoff short of Holliday. Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard returned the kick 15 yards to the LSU 46.
Two short runs led to a third-and-8 where Jefferson was intercepted by Jerry Franklin at the Arkansas 45. His pass intended for Toliver was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Arkansas lineman DeQuinta Jones before being picked off.
Franklin returned the interception 28 yards to the LSU 27. Three Wingo runs later, Arkansas scored its first touchdown of the game from 13 yards out to cut the LSU lead to 17-13 with 12:24 to play in the third quarter.
LSU quickly moved to Arkansas' side of the field with a 10-yard scramble by Jefferson and a 9-yard run by Holliday to the Hogs 47. Jefferson then connected with Dickson for gains of 7 and 10 yards to the Arkansas 30. Four penalties on the next five snaps gave the Tigers first-and-15 at the 17.
After a Shepard run for 2 yards, Jefferson had plenty of time in the pocket to find Peterson alone in the back of the endzone for a 15-yard touchdown.
With a nine-play, 67-yard drive, LSU led 24-13 with 7:15 left in the third quarter.
Arkansas completed its second-straight touchdown drive by advancing 73 yards on seven plays to cut the LSU lead to 24-20 with 4:15 left in the third quarter.
Mallett's 19-yard pass to Jarius Wright put the Hogs near midfield. An offside penalty moved the ball into Tigers territory where Childs picked up 29 yards on a leaping catch over Hawkins along the left sideline. Three plays later, Green scored from 8 yards out.
Penalties near midfield stalled LSU's ensuing drive, and Helton was called upon the punt for the fourth time. His 43-yard effort gave the Hogs possession at their 15.
Mallett's 9-yard pass to Ben Cleveland setup an easy first down run to the 26 as the third quarter ended. Then, Johnson took a draw 17 yards to the Arkansas 42 and Childs caught an 18-yard pass to the LSU 40.
Two 6-yard runs by Wingo gave the Hogs another first down to the LSU 28. However, a 1-yard run by Johnson and a loss of 1 yards on a screen to Johnson brought the crowd to its feet. Mallett was flushed from the pocket but picked up only five yards to the LSU 23. Tejada's 40 yard field goal carried over the right upright and was ruled good.
With 9:52 to play, LSU led 24-23.
LaFell opened LSU's next drive with a 24-yard catch and run to the LSU 40-yard line. Three plays later, Jefferson converted the Tigers first third down of the game with a 9-yard pass to Dickson on third-and-6. Jefferson again converted on third-and-6 with a 9-yard pitch to Ridley out of the backfield to the Arkansas 34.
LSU couldn't manage a third-straight third-down conversion, bringing Jasper in for a 47-yard field goal which split the posts.
LSU led 27-23 with 4:05 left to play.
Starting on its 25 with 3:56 left, Mallett threw 40 yards down the field and over the head of Wright who had gained ground on cornerback Jai Eugene but missed the diving catch. On second down, Mallett's pass to Childs was batted away by Hawkins.
On third-and-10, Johnson was stood up by Hawkins just short of the first down marker, but fought out of his grasp and moved the chains to the LSU 43.
A holding call on offensive lineman Wade Grayson and two incomplete passes gave Arkansas third-and-20 from their 47. Unable to get any pressure on Mallett, LSU gave up a 23-yard catch over the middle to Childs with 2:35 to play.
Mallett's first-down pass sailed out of the reach of Wright near the goal line. On second down, another pass to the goal line intended for London Crawford was jarred loose by Jones. Jones was called for a personal foul -- a helmet-to-helmet hit, to give Arkansas a first down at the LSU 15.
Johnson ran for 1 yard on first down before Mallett's pass in the endzone was nearly intercepted by Brandon Taylor. A third-down pass to Childs sailed over his head and sent him to the bench after being upended by Hawkins.
On fourth-and-9 from the 14, Mallett stepped up in the pocket and tossed a touchdown pass to Joe Adams that gave Arkansas a 30-27 lead with 1:18 to play.
Sheppard returned the short kickoff 14 yards to the LSU 36, where the Tigers took over with 1:12 to play.
Jefferson was sacked for a 5-yard loss on first down, and Les Miles used LSU's final timeout to stop the clock with 1:05 left.
Jefferson completed three-straight passes of 10, 11 and 8 yards to the Arkansas 40. A 9-yard run on third-and-2 from the 31 setup a 41-yard field goal by Jasper that sent the game to overtime.
Tonight's game was the last in Tiger Stadium for 24 LSU seniors, most of whom won a national championship in 2007.
For the first time, LSU wore Nike's new "Pro Combat" uniform technology, which the apparel company claims is 37 percent lighter than the previous uniform. The one-time uniform design featured an "old gold" helmet with the standard LSU helmet logo and a purple stripe from front to back along the top. The all-white uniform included purple and old gold striping on the sleeves. The while pants had two purple stripes along the legs, with the vintage "L" logo atop the right leg.
LSU was one of 10 schools to try out the new uniforms this season.
LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES
“I’m proud of this team. They fought like hell in an area where there is a swirling backdrop and agendas. It didn’t bother them. They got the distraction behind them and came out and played as a team. I’m very proud of them. I’m proud of this coaching staff. This coaching staff helped prepare a team and pointed them downhill at a game. We knew that this team was a very, very talented team. Arkansas has a great quarterback (Ryan Mallett) and the ability to throw and catch. We knew it was going to be a very competitive game. It was very fitting that we get into the back half of this game, and we have to play well in tight quarters, which is what this team does and how they operate. For us to come out with victory, I’m just happy for my team. I’m happy for my players and my staff.
“The way I looked at it is I thought that defense played so well in the first half and fought and hung in there in the second (half). If Trindon (Holliday) didn’t muff that punt, we might get away from them. He hit a home run and gave them the ball on a short field, but that happens. Offensively, I felt like we played well, but we still sputtered at times. But we’re talented. Stevan Ridley, a guy who was injured and standing on the sidelines really hoping to get some special teams reps, ends up being our starter and leading ball-carrier. He plays a tremendous game, again in tight quarters.
“You have to give it to Josh Jasper for a guy who comes onto the field and gets us into overtime and gets us the win in overtime. You count on a guy like that to play big at big times, and he does. We’re looking forward to the opportunity at the 10th victory and a bowl game of our team’s liking.”
On his bowl preference...
“Any opponent, any great warm environment, this football team will look forward to playing the best opponent that we can get.”
On if Ole Miss’ loss earlier in the day fired the team up...
“I don’t think so. I really think that the bowl picture was something that unfolded and was again something that we understood. The opportunity to play this one and win and send 24 seniors out with victory, to play well in Tiger Stadium in front of our fans and friends is more important and more important than any bowl destination. Our football team could well have had a 10th victory tonight, and the opportunity to be one of the elite teams in this conference is really what we want to be. You look back, and you say this injury, that injury and so forth and wonder how different this season could have been. I certainly like how we played today and look forward to bowl season.”
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
On his last game in Tiger Stadium ...
“Tonight was senior night, so I told myself I wanted to come out and do something to remember my last game in Tiger Stadium. That punt return is something I think I’ll definitely remember.”
On preparations at running back ...
“The coaches told us earlier in the week that the running backs were going to play a big part in this game. We prepared all week and we were able to come out and play well.”
On the final drive ...
“We were prepared. We practiced those plays in a situation like that. We had to get out there and execute and move the ball down the field. When you put in your mind that you’re going to come out and win, it usually turns out that way.”
LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
PK Josh Jasper
On the game-winning kick in overtime...
“I knew if I missed my kick in overtime we weren’t necessarily going to lose, but I had a feeling that it might come down to them kicking a field goal too. I knew it was pretty important to get at least three on the board.”
LB Perry Riley
On the defense’s performance...
“We came out in the first half fired up. We played a really good first half, but in the second half we kind of let it get away from us. We got it back when it counted and came out with a victory.”
ARKANSAS HEAD COACH BOBBY PETRINO QUOTES
Opening statement ...
“It was tough a loss for us. I’m certainly proud of our players, our assistant coaches, our preparation and how hard we competed. It was a very tough, physical football game. Unfortunately, we came up on the wrong end in overtime. We certainly did a nice job of making the adjustments at halftime, coming out and competing hard. We got in the position where we had the chance to win the game. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done.”
On the hit by Chad Jones on WR Joe Adams ...
“It was a pretty vicious hit. They hit him like that early in the game to, so that’s two on him. You hate to see that on anyone.”
On the quarterback’s decision in overtime ...
“We had a play called, and he checked out of the play. Basically, they just beat our center.”
On K Alex Tejada ...
“He had to go out there and kick the ball through the uprights. He did it all game long and made some nice kicks during the game. I have a lot of confidence in him. Unfortunately, he just missed.”
ARKANSAS OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
QB Ryan Mallett
On the drive that put them ahead late in the game...
“That just shows how much character our team has. We battled back; we played our butts off. Everybody on the team did, but we didn’t pull it off tonight.”
On the difference between the teams tonight...
“We started too slow on offense. I take full responsibility for that. We can’t start like that against a decent team. We have to start faster than that.”
RB Ronnie Wingo, Jr.
On the offense scoring only to have the defense give up the game-tying FG...
“It’s really frustrating, but we had our chances throughout the game to take the lead.”
ARKANSAS DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
DE Jake Bequette
On not getting a stop on LSU’s final drive in the fourth quarter ...
“There is no excuse. They had some time, but we have to stop them there. I thought we were getting a pretty good rush on them for three guys, but they kept completing those short little passes. They have an excellent field goal kicker, and they sent us into overtime. It was all on us to finish the game off there, and we couldn’t get it done. ”
DT Malcolm Sheppard
On the heartbreaking loss ...
“Every time you get a game that you should have won it cuts deep. Everybody gave their all and everyone competed. It just didn’t fall in our favor at the end of the game.”
On the attitude on the sideline after the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter ...
“The energy was there. We felt like we were going to win the game. There wasn’t a doubt in any of our minds. Everyone felt like we were going to win that game. At the end it just didn’t fall in our favor. The defense was ready to go back out there and keep playing, but we didn’t make the field goal and the game was over."