Arkansas lost to No. 1 LSU 56-20 on Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
The Hogs were playing their first game under Barry Lunney Jr. who is serving as interim coach since Chad Morris was fired on Nov. 10.
Here’s three thoughts from the game tonight.
Arkansas’ Defense Shredded Again — Arkansas’ defense surrendered 612 yards of offense to LSU including 352 through the air. LSU has a potent offense, but Arkansas’ defense simply hasn’t been able to stop teams this season. SEC teams have enjoyed success against John Chavis’ defense much of his two years at Arkansas. LSU rushed for 260 yards and five touchdowns on just 16 carries. That is unacceptable if a team is playing the New England Patriots, LSU or anyone else. The Hogs as noted are searching for a new head coach, but one requirement for the new hire will be to fix the defense. It simply didn’t work with Chavis. When Morris was hired he said he was gonna hire the best defensive coordinator in the country. Of course that started speculation he was talking about Clemson’s Brent Venables. Of course Venables never considered Arkansas and the Tigers are positioning themselves to play for another national championship after winning it last season. The hope here is the new coach is given enough money to hire a top staff. That has to happen for the Arkansas program to get back to respectability. But it’s not just throwing money guarantees success. Chavis is making $1.5 million per season.
Arkansas Didn’t Quit — The Razorbacks trailed 7-3 after the first quarter and actually cut it to one point before LSU scored 21 points in each of the second and third quarters. However, Arkansas won the fourth quarter 14-7 and it wasn’t because LSU had subbed out. When Jack Lindsey led them down the field LSU still had several starters in the game. Lindsey is the fifth quarterback to play this season. He finished 3 out of 4 for 51 yards and had a 24-yard touchdown pass to Mike Woods with 8:35 remaining in the game. Arkansas added a 2-yard run from senior running back Devwah Whaley one minute, 33 seconds later. In the past if Arkansas was down 56-6 they would have just rolled over. Lunney and the staff made sure that didn’t happen this week. Lindsey also rushed three times for 30 yards.
First SEC Win — Arkansas will try for its first SEC win since 2017 when it hosts Missouri on Friday afternoon in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium. Missouri’s 24-20 loss to Tennessee Saturday night means they will enter the game with a five-game losing streak. They were 5-1 before the bottom fell out. Arkansas was 2-1 and will enter 2-9. So one of the two teams will end a long losing streak in the game. The Tigers haven’t won away from Columbia all season.