Nov 12, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; LSU Tigers running back Noah Cain (21) is tackled by Arkansas Razorbacks defensive back Hudson Clark (17) and linebacker Bumper Poole (10) during the second quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Williams, strong defense lift No. 7 LSU past Arkansas

Josh Williams rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown to help No. 7 LSU record a 13-10 win over Arkansas 13-10 on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.

The Tigers (8-2, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) won their fourth consecutive game to move to the brink of the SEC West title. They can clinch by winning at Texas A&M in two weeks.

Arkansas (5-5, 2-4) played without starting quarterback KJ Jefferson, who has been hampered by a shoulder injury. Malik passed for 24 yards and ran for 37 before being replaced by Cade Fortin, who completed 8 of 13 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Hornsby slipped and fell for a 12-yard loss while trying to avoid three LSU defenders on a 4th-and-2 play, giving the Tigers a first down at the Razorbacks’ 40.

Jayden Daniels’ 26-yard completion to Kayshon Boutte set up Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run that gave LSU a 13-3 lead with 5:25 left in the quarter.

Fortin drove the Razorbacks 94 yards, the last 40 of which came on a touchdown pass to Matt Landers that cut the lead to 13-10 with 13:17 left in the game.

Freshman linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. ended Arkansas’ final chance when he recorded his fourth sack of the game, forcing Fortin to fumble the ball that the Tigers recovered at the Arkansas 44.

The Razorbacks took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter when they drove 46 yards to set up Cam Little’s 28-yard field goal.

On the second play of the ensuing possession, Latavious Brini recovered Daniels’ fumble, setting up Arkansas at the Tigers’ 10.

On a 4th-and-goal from the 3, Hornsby was stopped for no gain, leaving the Razorbacks with a 3-0 lead at the end of the quarter.

Hornsby fumbled and BJ Ojulari recovered for LSU at the Arkansas 37. The Tigers gained one first down before Damian Ramos kicked a 38-yard field goal to tie the score early in the second quarter.

John Emery Jr.’s 32-yard run and Williams’ 9-yard run on 4th-and-1 led to Ramos’ 29-yard field goal that gave LSU a 6-3 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Brian Branch (14) tackles LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 LSU stuns No. 6 Alabama with 2-pt conversion in OT

Jayden Daniels threw two touchdown passes, ran for a touchdown and passed for a winning two-point conversion as No. 10 LSU beat No. 6 Alabama 32-31 in overtime in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

Daniels passed for 182 yards, rushed for 95 and connected with Mason Taylor for the winning conversion as the Tigers (7-2, 5-1 SEC) took the lead in the SEC West.

Bryce Young passed for 328 yards and a touchdown to lead the Tide (7-2, 4-2), who lost for the second time in three games.

Alabama got the ball first in overtime and Roydell Williams ran 1 yard for a touchdown and a 31-24 lead.

But on the Tigers’ first play, Daniels ran 25 yards for a touchdown and coach Brian Kelly decided to go for the win and Taylor barely crossed the goal line after catching Daniels’ pass.

Alabama’s Will Reichard kicked a 46-yard field goal with 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime after the lead changed hands six times in the second half.

Daniels had thrown a 7-yard touchdown pass to Taylor to give LSU a 24-21 lead with 1:47 left.

On the first possession of the third quarter, Alabama converted two fourth-and-1s on its way to Reichard’s 38-yard field goal that gave it the lead for the first time, 9-7.

LSU responded on the ensuing possession with a 75-yard drive that ended with Josh Williams’ 2-yard run for a 14-9 lead with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

The Tide drove 76 yards and Roydell Williams’ 2-yard touchdown run gave them a 15-14 lead with 12:37 remaining.

The Tigers drove to Damian Ramos’ 32-yard field goal that gave them a 17-15 lead with 6:52 remaining.

Young’s 41-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Corey Brooks on third-and-10 put Alabama back on top, 21-17 with 4:44 left.

LSU took a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter when Daniels threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to John Emery Jr.

Reichard kicked a 29-yard field goal and added a 36-yard field goal as time expired in the first to pull Alabama within 7-6 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban talks to quarterback Bryce Young (9) during the second half against the UL Monroe Warhawks at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 LSU eyes rise in West, upset of No. 6 Alabama

First place in the SEC West will be at stake when No. 6 Alabama visits No. 10 LSU on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, La.

The Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-1) can seize control of the West by beating the Tigers (6-2, 4-1), then winning next week at No. 11 Ole Miss, the only other team in the division with just one loss. That defeat came against LSU two weeks ago.

Alabama and LSU were off last week and landed in the top 10 of the initial College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday. A rise in the West standings and the rankings is part of what is at stake Saturday.

“This game has always got significant implications,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “They’re always ranked, we’re always ranked. It’s kind of a rivalry game that’s always a really important match-up.”

Alabama lost to then-No. 6 Tennessee 52-49 three weeks ago before bouncing back with a 30-6 home victory against Mississippi State a week later.

“You never know how a bye week’s going to affect a team,” Saban said. “Hopefully, it gave us a chance to get some guys healthy. I think psychologically, it gives you a chance to sort of recalibrate a little bit, get a little break.

“The focus is so important, I think, regardless of whether you’re coming off a bye week or you’re playing week in and week out, to be able to sustain that, recapture it, regain it, momentum, whatever you want to call it.”

After giving up 567 total yards and five touchdown passes against Tennessee, the Alabama defense was much improved against Mississippi State, but the offense managed just two field goals in the second half and finished with 29 rushing yards on 27 carries.

“Obviously it wasn’t very good in the last game,” Saban said of the running game. “We’ve got to have a little more diversity in what we’re doing as well as being able to execute it a little better on a more consistent basis.”

The Tigers have been playing better of late in their first season under former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.

They won at Florida 45-35 before beating previously undefeated Ole Miss 45-20 in their last two games before the break.

“You have to take this game and think about how you got here,” Kelly said. “We’ve done it by our preparation. We have focused on playing our best when our best is needed.

“Our best players are going to have to play well, we’re going to have to play consistently for four quarters. We must get off to a good start because we’ve shown we’re going to play well in the second half.”

The Tigers have yet to score first in an SEC game, but they have bounced back to win each game except a 40-13 loss to Tennessee.

They weren’t expected to be contending for the division title this late in the season, coming off a 6-7 record last season and a 5-5 record in 2020.

Those seasons in the wake of the 2019 national championship season led to the firing of Ed Orgeron and the hiring of Kelly. LSU beat the Tide 46-41 on its way to that title, but that’s the Tigers’ only victory over Alabama in the last 11 meetings.

“This is why you come to LSU,” Kelly said. “This is why I came to LSU. It’s not pressure, it’s a privilege to play in games like this.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers fans storm the field after LSU defeated the Mississippi Rebels at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU fined $250K for fans storming field

The Southeastern Conference fined LSU $250,000 on Sunday because the school’s fans stormed the field after Saturday’s 45-20 victory over then-No. 7 Ole Miss.

The violation was LSU’s third of the policy. The school’s most recent violation had been after a win over then-No. 2 Georgia in 2018.

In a news release, the SEC said that the policy stated that “access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times. For the safety of participants and spectators alike, at no time before, during or after a contest shall spectators be permitted to enter the competition area. It is the responsibility of each member institution to implement procedures to ensure compliance with this policy.”

Fines start at $50,000 for a first offense, up to $100,000 for a second offense and up to $250,000 for a third and any subsequent violations.

The fine comes one week after the SEC fined Tennessee $100,000 for its fans rushing of the field after an upset win over then-No. 3 Alabama. Tennessee fans took the goalposts and deposited them into the nearby Tennessee River.

LSU (6-2, 4-1 SEC) was unranked prior to the win over Ole Miss. It is now ranked 18th.

–Field Level Media

LSU Tigers running back Josh Williams (27) throws a stiff arm to Florida Gators cornerback Jaydon Hill (23) in the second half at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, October 15, 2022. LSU defeated the Gators 45-35. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Ncaa Football Florida Gators Vs Lsu Tigers

LSU looks to hand No. 7 Ole Miss first loss

It was just two weeks ago that LSU hosted a top-10 team in a Southeastern Conference game.

Things didn’t go well for the Tigers, as then-No. 8 Tennessee rolled to a 40-13 victory.

But LSU (5-2, 3-1 SEC) has a chance to redeem itself on Saturday when No. 7 Ole Miss (7-0, 3-0) makes the trip to Baton Rouge, La.

“Nobody really wants to be learning lessons after a loss,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said. “But they learned a lot about intentionality and purpose in terms of their preparation.

“I think two weeks later, it’s — I don’t want to say a different team, but it’s a team that has confidence. It’s a team that knows that if they don’t play clean, if they don’t have an attention to detail, they’ll have similar results that they did against Tennessee.”

The Tigers bounced back from the loss to the Volunteers to win on the road against Florida last week, 45-35, in what Kelly called the team’s “best performance offensively.”

Jayden Daniels threw for three touchdowns and ran for three more.

“Now we got to be consistent,” Kelly said. “Can’t do it one week and then turn it off the next week and expect to win.”

The Tigers had a 528-395 advantage in yards but allowed enough explosive plays to keep the Gators in the game.

LSU gave up a 51-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the contest and a 39-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter. An 81-yard TD scramble by Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson on the first play of the fourth quarter helped cut a 42-21 deficit to 14 points, and the Gators brought it to within seven before the Tigers kicked a late field goal.

“We just have to be better at tackling,” Kelly said.

If LSU doesn’t tackle better, it’s going to have a difficult time slowing down Ole Miss’ high-powered offense. The Rebels lead the SEC in rushing offense (271.4 yards per game) and are fourth in total offense (502.9).

Ole Miss had 448 rushing yards and three scores on the ground in a 48-34 victory against visiting Auburn last Saturday.

“Obviously, you’ve got to be realistic at any level, but especially the SEC,” Rebels coach Lane Kiffin said. “That’s not going to happen (every week).

“We’ve got to be consistent and run the ball really well. The numbers aren’t going to be like that every week. People coach. They gear up to stop certain plays once you run them. It’s not like we were just running normal inside zone and making all those yards.”

Ole Miss, like LSU, allowed a series of big plays that kept its opponent in the game. The Rebels saw a 21-0 lead shrink to four points before they regained control.

Auburn’s Tank Bigsby ran 50 yards for a touchdown and had another 50-yard run that led to a field goal.

Additionally, Auburn had pass completions of 32, 46 and 28 yards that led to touchdowns.

“We jumped out of some gaps and missed some tackles,” Kiffin said. “That’s usually what goes on in the run game for explosive runs.”

The Rebels are the only team in the SEC West that hasn’t lost a conference game, but LSU (tied with Alabama at 3-1) can match their record with a victory Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;  LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) stiff arms Tennessee Volunteers linebacker Aaron Beasley (24) as he tries to tackle him during the second half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Seeking faster start, LSU takes on Florida

LSU and Florida typically are ranked when they renew their annual rivalry.

This time around, though, both the Gators and Tigers will be sitting outside the Top 25 when they square off in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday in a battle of two teams still trying to find their footing under new head coaches.

LSU (4-2, 2-1 SEC) is in its first season under former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, while Florida (4-2, 1-2) is now under the direction of former Louisiana head coach Billy Napier.

The Tigers had won four in a row and were ranked No. 25 before losing in a 40-13 rout at home to then-No. 8 Tennessee last Saturday.

“We’re right in the middle of the process,” Kelly said. “We’re working at it every single day, and it’s a journey. I’m excited to be on it.”

LSU has dug itself an early hole in all three SEC games. Against Tennessee, the Tigers lost a fumble on the opening kickoff, which led to a touchdown, and they trailed 20-0 in the second quarter. Jayden Daniels’ 300 passing yards weren’t never enough for LSU.

“We certainly can’t start the way we did,” Kelly said. “The great part about it is you get to flip the script and get back to work, which we do that (Monday) and get ready for a trip to Gainesville and a very difficult place to play on the road.”

The Gators gave Napier his first SEC win when they held off visiting Missouri 24-17 last Saturday. Montrell Johnson Jr. ran for 86 yards and a touchdown on eight carries to pace Florida.

Like Kelly, Napier stressed that the Gators are in the early stages of establishing a new version of the program.

“You probably would have taken 4-2 at this point in the season,” he said. “How we got to this point is the problem. We have not executed our formula to win games at the rate at which we desire at any point. I think we are very much a work in progress.

“(Still) I’m proud of the intangibles that we’ve developed with this group of players. Every day I’m here, the more I’m confident about what we can accomplish.”

The Gators possess a 33-32-3 edge in the all-time series with the Tigers, but LSU has won the past three matchups.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;  Tennessee Volunteers running back Jabari Small (2) is tackled by LSU Tigers cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse (24) during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Tennessee pummels No. 25 LSU on road

Hendon Hooker threw two touchdown passes to Jalin Hyatt, and Jabari Small ran for two touchdowns as No. 8 and visiting Tennessee routed No. 25 LSU 40-13 in an SEC game Saturday afternoon.

Hooker completed 17 of 27 for 239 yards, connected with Hyatt for scores of 45 and 14 yards and threw seven completions to Bru McCoy for 140 yards as the Volunteers (5-0, 2-0) took the lead for good less than two minutes into the game. Small rushed 22 times for 127 yards.

Jayden Daniels passed for 300 yards with a touchdown and his first interception as the Tigers (4-2, 2-1) saw their four-game winning streak end in their first game as a ranked team this season.

Tennessee drove 76 yards on the first possession of the third quarter and Hooker’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Hyatt increased the lead to 30-7.

Small added a 5-yard touchdown run that increased the lead to 37-7 at the end of the third quarter.

Daniels threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kayshon Boutte early in the fourth quarter, and Chase McGrath kicked his fourth field goal, from 32 yards, to complete the scoring.

Tennessee used big plays from its special teams to dominate the first quarter.

LSU’s Jack Bech fumbled the opening kickoff and the Vols recovered at the Tigers 27. Five plays later, Small ran 1 yard for a touchdown.

On the ensuing possession, LSU went three-and-out and Dee Williams returned the punt 58 yards to the Tigers’ 26, leading to McGrath’s 35-yard field goal. McGrath added a 38-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers went for fourth-and-1 at their 46 and Josh Williams was stopped for a 1-yard loss. On the next play, Hooker threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Hyatt for a 20-0 lead.

LSU finally put together a scoring drive late in the second quarter, marching 96 yards to Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run that trimmed the lead to 20-7.

McGrath’s 32-yard field goal increased the lead to 23-7 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cedric Tillman (4) reacts after scoring the game winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers in overtime at Acrisure Stadium.  Tennessee won 34-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman (ankle) out vs. LSU

Tennessee star wide receiver Cedric Tillman won’t play Saturday against LSU in a key Southeastern Conference matchup because he is still recovering from a high ankle sprain, according to ESPN.

The outlet said Tillman did not make the trip to Baton Rouge, La., for the afternoon showdown between the eighth-ranked Volunteers (4-0, 1-0) and the No. 25 Tigers (4-1, 2-0).

Tillman underwent ankle surgery on Sept. 20 and has had limited physical activity with the team since then, ESPN reported, adding that the Vols are increasing his activity with the hope of him playing next Saturday against top-ranked Alabama.

Tillman missed Tennessee’s 38-33 win over then-No. 20 Florida on Sept. 24 because of his injury.

A preseason All-SEC receiver, Tillman has caught 17 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown in three appearances this season. He posted 64 receptions for 1,081 yards and 12 TDs a year ago and earned All-SEC second-team honors.

ESPN also reported Saturday that LSU offensive tackle Will Campbell will miss Saturday’s game after being hospitalized for dehydration on Friday evening.

Campbell, a true freshman, has started all five games for the Tigers this season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA;  LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) hands off to running back Noah Cain (21) during the third quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

No. 25 LSU brings 4-game win streak into clash with No. 8 Tennessee

Two teams with very different roads to the AP Top 25 square off on Saturday when No. 25 LSU faces No. 8 Tennessee in Baton Rouge, La.

Tennessee was deemed a Top 25 team after rolling in its season opener against Ball State, and the Volunteers (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) have continued to win to propel their way up the rankings.

Meanwhile, LSU began the season unranked and lost its season opener to Florida State, but the Tigers (4-1, 2-0) have won four games in a row and finally cracked the rankings this week.

The Volunteers are coming off an open date after defeating then-No. 20 Florida 38-33 two weeks ago.

“You’re only as good as your next one in this game,” Volunteers coach Josh Heupel said. “Your preparation, your competitive spirit all week (have to be consistent). There’s no way in this game you can just flip a switch on Saturday, show up and play the way that you want to.

“Preparation is everything. Our players have gotten so much better in that, and I expect them to handle the week the right way.”

The victory against the Gators was just Tennessee’s second in its past 18 meetings with Florida.

“Huge win for our fan base,” Heupel said. “I think our players reset last week and pushed forward in the things that we were asking them to do. … Bye week gives you a chance to physically reset and mentally reset a little bit.”

Heupel said star wide receiver Cedric Tillman, who missed the game against the Gators, underwent surgery to expedite the healing of his injured ankle.

“We’ll continue to see how it unfolds this week,” Heupel said.

As for LSU, coach Brian Kelly is gauging his team by its weekly progress regardless of the rankings.

“There’s probably 35 teams that could be in the Top 25, right?” he said. “It’s a judgment call.”

The four-game winning streak demonstrates progress, but the Tigers have had to overcome a 13-0 deficit against Mississippi State and a 17-0 deficit at Auburn last Saturday to win their SEC games.

LSU scored the final 21 points to beat Auburn and survived despite passing for just 85 yards.

Quarterback Jayden Daniels has left the last two games because of ailments. He sustained a lower back strain against New Mexico, and Kelly removed him last week because of knee soreness. Kelly said Daniels is fine this week.

The coach added that the ability to come back has been one of the team’s best traits, but it can’t afford to keep falling behind by double digits.

“We’re establishing character within the ranks,” Kelly said. “It’s pretty clear this team plays with great heart and they’ll fight, but we’re going to have to have better execution. We’re going to have to coach better and those things are going to have to be on display starting this weekend.

“Hopefully we’ve learned that our preparation is going to have to be so much better and then bring the heart, then bring that fight because you’re going to need that, too, but you can’t just rely on that and play sloppy football and expect to win these games.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA;  Auburn Tigers cornerback Keionte Scott (6) is tackled by LSU Tigers cornerback Sevyn Banks (1) during the first quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

LSU DB Sevyn Banks (spinal cord bruise) to miss 5-6 weeks

LSU defensive back Sevyn Banks has been diagnosed with a spinal cord bruise and will miss five to six weeks, coach Brian Kelly said Monday.

Kelly said Banks did not sustain any structural damage in the game Saturday vs. Auburn.

The injury occurred on the opening kickoff as Banks made a tackle. Despite the “scary situation,” as Kelly called it, Banks was assessed a 15-yard targeting penalty and ejected.

He was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital, evaluated and released in the care of team doctors. He accompanied the Tigers back to Baton Rouge.

A graduate transfer from Ohio State, Banks had played in just one game prior to Saturday for No. 25 LSU.

Kelly said Banks would take part in non-contact drills next week.

Kelly also said quarterback Jayden Daniels, a transfer from Arizona State was in good shape after getting banged up in the 21-17 win at Auburn. He was just 8-for-20 passing for 80 yards before being replaced by Garrett Nussmeier.

No. 25 LSU (4-1) is scheduled to host No. 8 Tennessee (4-0) on Saturday.

–Field Level Media