Jarvis Landry helped LSU keep the Southeastern Conference championship in reach with a 20-13 win over Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday.
Now, the receiver and the rest of the No. 8 Tigers must sit back and wait while their next destination – perhaps next weekend’s SEC title game – is played out elsewhere.
Landry’s spectacular, reaching, one-handed touchdown catch late in the first half helped LSU (10-2 overall, 6-2 SEC) hold off the reeling Razorbacks. It marked the sixth time in eight seasons the Tigers have reached double-digit wins under coach Les Miles.
LSU must now hope for an Alabama loss to Auburn (not likely) and Texas A&M victory against Missouri (very possible) today in order to win the SEC West and earn a trip to Atlanta. Even without a division crown, the Tigers could still get an at-large bid to the BCS.
“We’ll take the next day and a half or so and watch TV tomorrow and be excited about it, and move forward and see how things go,” Miles said.
Zach Mettenberger passed for 217 yards and hooked up with Landry for the play of the day with 1:12 to play in the first half to put LSU up 10-0. The Tigers were outgained 462-306 in total yardage, but they were able to hold off record-setting performances by Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and receiver Cobi Hamilton.
Wilson was 31 of 52 passing for 359 yards for the Razorbacks (4-8, 2-6) whose fall from preseason top 10 is now complete. The senior set the school record for career passing yards (7,765) – eclipsing Ryan Mallet’s mark of 7,493 in the second quarter – while Hamilton set the school record for receptions in a career with 175.
The Tigers took at 17-3 lead early in the third quarter after a 1-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Hill, who finished with 77 yards rushing on 18 carries. The touchdown followed an 86-yard kickoff return by Michael Ford to the Arkansas 9.
It also appeared to be the clincher for LSU, though the Razorbacks rallied to make it close behind the combination of Wilson and Hamilton.
No. 17 Nebraska 13, at Iowa 7: Rex Burkhead scored the go-ahead touchdown in his return from a knee injury and the Cornhuskers (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) secured a spot in the conference title game against Wisconsin by beating the Hawkeyes (4-8, 2-6).
Burkhead, making his first appearance since aggravating a sprained left knee on Oct. 20 against Northwestern, broke through with a 3-yard TD run to make it 13-7 late in the third quarter.
Alonzo Whaley’s interception with 2:11 remaining sealed the victory for Nebraska.
At No. 23 Kent State 28, Ohio 6: C.J. Malauulu returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown – 12 seconds after another Kent State score – and the Golden Flashes (11-1, 8-0 Mid-American) completed a perfect conference season by beating the Bobcats (8-4, 4-4) for their 10th straight win.
No. 24 N. Illinois 49, at E. Michigan 7: Akeem Daniels had career-bests of 112 yards and four touchdowns and Jordan Lynch added 107 yards rushing as the Huskies (11-1, 8-0 MAC) won their 11th consecutive game with the victory over the Eagles (2-10, 1-7).