LSU entered the game with a 4-5 record, but it’s LSU. The Tigers are the second biggest team in the country, as far as non-SEC folks are concerned, in the conference, behind only Alabama. The college football world knows the difficulty of playing in Tiger Stadium. And at night? Get out of here. LSU rarely loses at home under the lights.
But Arkansas find a way, despite the grime and muck of the first two-and-a-half quarters (or, the entire game, if you wish), the Razorbacks didn’t buckle and didn’t quit. They left with the program’s fourth win in Baton Rouge since joining the SEC in 1992.
These three players are a major reason why.
Arkansas offense: KJ Jefferson (Oxford)
Nov 13, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) throws the ball against the LSU Tigers in the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Is there anyone who doesn’t think Jefferson is the third best quarterback in the SEC this season? Maybe his numbers don’t bear that fruit. He’s 10th in the SEC in yards passing and third in yards rushing for a quarterback. But, c’mon.
Jefferson willed Arkansas to victory. His spin away from a sack in the third quarter to find Dominque Johnson for the Hogs’ only touchdown is the sort of play that will go down in lore. For the game, he finished 18 of 25 for 142 yards with no interceptions and the score. Jefferson ran for another 41 yards on 15 carries. He is the lifeblood.
Arkansas offense: Cam Little (Wayne)
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 13: Cam Little #29 of the Arkansas Razorbacks kicks the game winning field goal during overtime against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Too many times in recent years has Arkansas been unable to rely on its kickers. Not since Zach Hocker left the program after the 2013 season have the Razorbacks had a threat in the kicking game. Apologies to Connor Limpert, who was a solid kicker in the late Bret Bielema days.
Little is something else. The freshman from Oklahoma is now 17 of 21 on field goal tries this season after going 3 for 3 against LSU, including the game-winner in overtime. A mere four more makes and he’ll tie Hocker’s 21 good kicks from that magical 2011 season.
Arkansas defense: Montaric Brown (Wayne, Oxford)
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 13: Montaric Brown #21 of the Arkansas Razorbacks celebrates an interception with Myles Slusher #2 during overtime against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Montaric Brown’s name isn’t at the top of any NFL Draft boards. He was an afterthought for preseason All-SEC honors. Now, with four interceptions, he is showing general managers and SEC die-hards he’s a force with which to be reckoned.
Brown’s interception of Garrett Nussmeier in the end zone on LSU’s overtime drive was the clincher, the play that allowed Arkansas an opportunity to win the game. On top of that came five tackles, giving him 44 for the season. Barring something strange in the final three games, he will have the most tackles by a pure cornerback since Henre’ Toliver’s 55 in 2015.