Mallett throws 3 TDs to lead No. 12 Arkansas past No. 5 LSU

AP Sports Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Bobby Petrino saved his toughest call for Arkansas’ biggest game of the season.

Petrino went for it on fourth-and-3 in the fourth quarter on Saturday

and Ryan Mallett made the move pay off with a 39-yard touchdown pass to

Joe Adams. The play paved the way for the No. 12 Razorbacks’ 31-23 win

over No. 6 LSU, and it kept alive Arkansas’ chances for the school’s

first BCS bowl bid.

“We didn’t come to paint,” Petrino said. “We came to win the game.”

The Razorbacks (10-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) led 21-20 early in

the fourth quarter when their drive appeared to stall at the LSU 39.

After a timeout, Adams lined up in the left slot and used a stop-and-go

move to get behind Tigers’ defender Tyrann Mathieu.

Mallett, who threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns, lofted the ball

perfectly over Mathieu to Adams for the touchdown. The play gave the

Razorbacks a 28-20 lead, one they held onto thanks to a dominant

running game that featured 153 yards rushing by Knile Davis against the

SEC’s top defense.

“It’s a play we’ve been

working on since LSU last year,” Mallett said. “I could have checked

out of that play, but it was man coverage and Joe made a great play to

make his man miss.”

Arkansas finishes

second in the SEC West and could be on its way to the Sugar Bowl. The

Razorbacks likely still need Auburn to win the SEC championship next

week against South Carolina, but losses by Alabama and Boise State on

Friday helped its case.

Mallett finished 13

of 23 passing and had touchdown passes of 85 and 80 yards in the first

half. He broke the school record for career touchdown passes with an

85-yard bullet to Cobi Hamilton in the second quarter, topping Clint

Stoerner’s 57. Mallett now has 60 touchdown passes in two seasons at

Arkansas, which has won six straight after a loss at No. 2 Auburn on

Oct. 16.

The 80-yard touchdown pass was

also to Hamilton, and it came on the final play of the first half. It

was the first play of a drive that Arkansas started after an LSU punt

with 6 seconds remaining before halftime, and it gave the Razorbacks a

21-14 lead.

“I would have liked to have

had the (field goal) before the half, and who would have thought they

would hit the long ball like they did for the score,” LSU coach Les

Miles said. “Certainly not I.”

The Tigers

(10-2, 6-2) never led against the Razorbacks and were outgained

464-294. Jordan Jefferson passed for 184 yards and ran for 34 yards,

but LSU’s inconsistent season on offense continued.

Josh Jasper hit a pair of third-quarter field goals to cut Arkansas’

lead to 21-20 for LSU, which appears to have squandered its BCS chances

with the loss.

The second of the two field

goals came after the Tigers started a drive at the Arkansas 9 following

a fumble by Razorbacks punter Dylan Breeding.

After Adams’ touchdown, the Razorbacks added to their lead by

controlling the game on the ground. Zach Hocker’s 19-yard field goal

put Arkansas up 31-20 in the fourth quarter, and it capped a 13-play

drive that featured 10 runs for 74 yards.

LSU pulled within 31-23 on Jasper’s 36-yard field goal with 1 minute,

58 seconds remaining, and the Tigers got the ball back with less than a

minute remaining. However, Arkansas’ Andru Stewart sacked Jefferson on

second down at the LSU 1 and forced a fumble, which Jerry Franklin

recovered for the Razorbacks to secure the victory.

“I’m not happy,” Miles said. “It’s not how it was supposed to end for us.”

Updated November 27, 2010