Arkansas’ Defensive Effort Hampered by Two Plays in First Half


By Otis Kirk

Arkansas’ defense held LSU to 24 points on Saturday night, but the effort was hampered by a couple of plays in the first half. 

LSU finished with 359 yards of total offense including 195 passing. But, on Monday, both John Chavis and Chad Morris talked about a disappointment from the defensive effort.

“We didn’t get done what we needed to get done,” Chavis said. “There’s a couple of things we can easily point to. In the first half I think we had two critical mistakes. One was we busted coverage. They are too good for us to give them anything. And they took advantage of it.

“Two, we had a 14-play drive, we had them in a second and 17, we’re gonna put them in a third and 15 and we get a penalty. We’ve been good about that in terms of costly penalties. That one cost us cause it kept the drive alive. They could have scored anyway, but I think if we get a chance to play third and 15 I like our odds a lot better than moving the chains and putting it at first down.”

Morris echoed that sentiment as well when he spoke to the media.

“We had two critical errors and a penalty,” Chavis said. “We had a busted coverage off of a short field in the early part of the first quarter. We couldn’t flip the field and some field position, which gave up a touchdown. We had a 14-play drive and we had them second and 17, got them stopped and its third and 15 and we get a critical targeting call that kept their drive alive and they went on down and scored. So 14 points.”

With 7:39 remaining in the first quarter, LSU took over at the Arkansas 40 following a 24-yard punt. On first down, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow passed 40 yards to Justin Jefferson who got behind the Arkansas secondary for a touchdown. That gave LSU a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, LSU started a drive at its own 23. On the 13th play of the drive, LSU faced a second-and-17 play at the Arkansas 30. Burrow ran for two yards which would have set up a third and 15. However, Michael Taylor was called for targeting thus giving the Tigers a first down at the Arkansas 14. Two plays later, running back Nick Brossette rushed for a 12-yard touchdown. 

Those two plays stood out to both coaches. Arkansas did get a 24-yard field goal from Connor Limpert on the last play of the first half to cut the LSU lead to 14-3. 

As far as injuries the Razorbacks could get some good news in that regard for the Mississippi State game. Morris provided an update on running backs Devwah Whaley and Rakeem Boyd and wide receiver-kick returner De’Vion Warren.

“Rakeem was out there yesterday in green, so we anticipate him being back,” Morris said. “Devwah was actually in green yesterday running around, going through the workout. We’re anticipating him being back as well. And De’Vion Warren, we expect him to be back.”

Linebacker Deon Edwards was also injured in the LSU game. Morris updated him as well.

“Deon was back out there yesterday in green,” Morris said. “It was an ankle, and so we anticipate him being alright.”

Arkansas and Mississippi State will kickoff at 11 a.m. on ESPN in Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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