LSU escapes Arkansas with 13-10 victory, secures SEC West title with Alabama win

It wasn’t pretty, but No. 7 LSU found a way to get out of Arkansas with a win.

On the heels of a monstrous overtime upset of Alabama last week, the LSU offense was sluggish on a cold day in Fayetteville. On the other hand, the LSU defense was ready to feast on an Arkansas offense playing without its starting quarterback — especially Harold Perkins.

The five-star freshman linebacker wreaked havoc off the edge for the Tigers, playing a massive part in LSU’s 13-10 victory. Perkins finished the day with eight tackles, four tackles for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles, making big play after big play in pivotal moments.

Included in that bunch was the game-sealing strip sack with just 1:19 remaining when Arkansas had a chance to tie the game or even go in front. Perkins was the best player on the field, and LSU needed every last one of those clutch plays as the Tigers inch even closer to an SEC West title.

And as good as the LSU defense played, the Arkansas defense was up to the task too. LSU either turned the ball over or punted on its first four possessions, and the Razorbacks took an early 3-0 lead.

But with K.J. Jefferson sidelined, Arkansas just could not build that lead. Thanks to a fumble in Arkansas territory by Jefferson's backup, Malik Hornsby, LSU tied the game up with a field goal, taking advantage of advantageous field position.

Before halftime, LSU would add another field goal to take a 6-3 lead into the break.

And after a botched Arkansas fourth-down play near midfield, LSU added to the lead with a Josh Williams touchdown run that made it 13-3 with 5:25 to play in the third quarter. At that point, Arkansas made a quarterback switch to Cade Fortin.

Early in the fourth, Fortin made his mark. He led a 10-play, 94-yard drive that culminated with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Matt Landers that cut the LSU lead to 13-10 with 13:17 to play.

All of a sudden, it felt like Arkansas’ upset hopes were revitalized. But the LSU defense wouldn’t let it happen. Arkansas’ final three drives resulted in just 29 yards with Perkins’ strip sack finishing things off.

With the win and Alabama's win over Ole Miss later in the day, the Tigers clinched the SEC West and a spot in the conference title game.

Arkansas wide receiver Jadon Haselwood (9) tries to shake LSU safety Greg Brooks Jr. (3) during the game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)