BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After a scoreless first quarter, No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Arkansas both lit up the scoreboard big in the second quarter, with the Tigers pulling away in the final frame to win 41-17.
Arkansas was the first to score and it happened on the first play of the second quarter. Quarterback Tyler Wilson found wide receiver Jarius Wright for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Razorbacks up 7-0.
The Razorbacks scored again when LSU running back Michael Ford fumbled the ball and Arkansas ran it back for a 47-yard touchdown. The 14-point deficit was the biggest the Tigers faced this season.
LSU got on the board with 5:15 remaining in the second quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run by Kenny Hilliard. The freshman running back finished with a career-high 102 yards and LSU chewed up a total of 286 yards on the ground.
The Tigers then tied the game at 14 on a 92-yard punt return for a touchdown by Tyrann Mathieu. The Honey Badger struck again when he stripped the ball from an Arkansas player and LSU recovered.
The Tigers then marched down the field for a drive capped off with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Jefferson to Russell Shepard. The score gave LSU its first lead of the game.
LSU got the ball first in the second half and put together a good drive to get in the red zone until Jordan Jefferson was picked off by Tramain Thomas.
The Razorbacks drove down the field and they also made it to the red zone before the LSU defense tightened up and forced a field goal. The 29-yarder was good and Arkansas was back within four points.
On LSU's next possession, the Tigers once again drove down to the red zone. Arkansas' defense bowed up and LSU was forced to settle for its own 21-yard field goal.
The fourth quarter was all LSU. Spencer Ware ran in a touchdown from eight yards out to give the Tigers a two-score lead. Then, Jordan Jefferson torched Arkansas on a 48-yard touchdown run to extend lead. LSU's final score came on a 37-yard field goal.
Mathieu struck again late in the quarter as Arkansas tried to put more points on the board. The Honey Badger stripped an Arkansas wide receiver and then caught the ball in the air.
LSU won the "Golden Boot" and the SEC West. The Tigers will face No. 13 Georgia in the SEC championship game next Saturday in Atlanta. LSU is 12-0 for the first time in school history. A win next week will put the Tigers in the BCS title game. Some believe LSU will play for a national championship even with a loss to Georgia.
To the delight of many LSU supporters, assistant cheerleading coach Chico Garcia was wheeled onto the field before the game. Garcia was paralyzed from the neck down in a boating accident back in August. LSU students have very enthusiastically raised money for his treatment.