Fayetteville, AR – Zach Mettenberger was 16-of-29 passing for 217 yards and a touchdown to lead eighth-ranked LSU to a 20-13 win over Arkansas on Friday in the Battle for the Golden Boot.
Jeremy Hill carried the ball 18 times for 77 yards and a score and Odell Beckham had four catches for 112 yards for the Tigers (10-2, 6-2 SEC), who clinched their third consecutive 10-win season.
"Sometimes you play games like this and just have to do enough to win. We did enough tonight," Hill said.
LSU is still alive in the SEC West and can play for the conference title in Atlanta if Alabama loses to Auburn and Texas A&M defeats Missouri on Saturday.
Tyler Wilson completed 31-of-52 passes for 359 yards, one touchdown and one interception and Cobi Hamilton had 10 catches for 98 yards for the Razorbacks (4-8, 2-6), who finished the season with three straight losses.
Arkansas trailed 10-0 early in the third quarter, but John Henson's 25-yard field goal made it a seven point game. Earlier, Wilson's 24-yard pass put the Razorbacks on the LSU 13, but the Tigers' defense did not waver and forced the Henson field goal.
Michael Ford returned the ensuing kickoff down to the Arkansas 14. Three consecutive Hill rushes, capped with a 1-yard touchdown plunge, pushed the Tigers lead to 17-3.
The Razorbacks did not back down, however, piecing together a seven-play, 74 yard touchdown march to make it 17-10. Wilson's 18-yard completion to Hamilton got the ball into LSU territory and, following a Knile Davis 9-yard rush, Wilson connected with Mekale McKay for a 28-yard touchdown.
Henson's 17-yard field goal made it 17-13 early in the fourth, and Arkansas had several big stops on defense to stay alive, but couldn't convert offensively.
On the ensuing drive, Mettenberger found Spencer Ware on 3rd-and-16, but the running back was tackled short of the first down marker. Arkansas, though, wasn't able to get the offense moving, but did pin the Tigers at their own 20- yard line.
Metternberger was sacked on 3rd-and-10 and, following an LSU punt, Arkansas started at its own 38. But the theme remained the same, and the Razorbacks were forced to punt it back to LSU.
The Tigers, however, chewed up over four minutes of game time with an 11-play, 78-yard jaunt, capped with a 27-yard field goal, to go up 20-13.
The Razorbacks took over with 1:26 left and a chance to tie the game. A 12- yard completion to Brandon Mitchell on 4th-and-10 kept the drive alive and two plays later Wilson dialed up Julian Horton for a 28-yard completion to get down to the LSU 18 with just seven seconds left.
After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Wilson looked for McKay in the end zone, but the ball sailed out of reach and the Tigers held on for the win.
Drew Alleman nailed a season-long 49-yard field goal in the first quarter to give LSU an early 3-0 cushion.
The next score wouldn't come until late in the second quarter, but it was definitely a catch that will be remembered for years to come. On 3rd-and-8 from the Arkansas 22, Mettenberger delivered a strike to Jarvis Landry who made an acrobatic one-handed catch in the back of the end zone to go up 10-0.
The pass was thrown behind Landry, who twisted toward his right side then plucked the ball from the air before coming down just inside the back of the end zone.
"That was a great athlete making a great play," Arkansas head coach John L. Smith said. "We couldn't ask our guy to cover much better than that."
LSU owns the all-time series 36-20-2 ... The Tigers were outgained 462-306 by the Razorbacks ... LSU has won 10-or-more games in a season six times since 2005 ... This was the first series matchup in Fayetteville since 1992 ... Wilson broke the Arkansas career passing yards recordcareer passing yards record with a 9-yard completion to Javontee Herndon in the 2nd quarter. With 359 yards today, Wilson ends his career with 7,765, breaking the previous record held by Ryan Mallett (7,493, 2009-10) and also broke the school record for 350-yard passing games (seven) ... Hamilton broke the Razorback's record for career receptions with 175 (Wright 168, 2008-11).