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Bill’s Blog: LSU

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Bill’s Blog: LSU

9:48 p.m. — Good night from Tiger Stadium.

9:47 p.m. — Razorbacks battle but come up just short in the overtime. The Boot will move back to LSU, and the Razorbacks close at 7-5, waiting on bowl selection Sunday after the SEC Championship game.

9:46 p.m. — Mallet to Crawford, and Hogs get to the same point as LSU; Tejada to kick, it’s no good.

9:45 p.m. — Mallett from the gun on 2nd down, LSU brings house, Edwards tips it and almost picks it off; 3rd down and 12.

9:44 p.m. — Field goal attempt for the Tigers; Jasper for 36 yards, right hash, it’s good; LSU 33, Arkansas 30; Razorbacks to take field next.

9:42 p.m. — Pass is bounced to LaFell, he’s shaken up; now its fourth down and ball game for LSU at the 19 yd line in 1st OT — field goal or go for it?

9:40 p.m. — Ridley up the middle on first down for five yards. Ridley to the right side one yard; 3rd and four at the 19.

9:38 p.m. — Arkansas wins the toss, and elects to play defense.

9:35 p.m. — And we go to overtime. Last time this happened, was, well, last time these two teams met in Baton Rouge. That ended up in a 50-48 win for Arkansas back in 2007.

9:35 p.m. — With four seconds left, looking for the squib to kill the clock and send it to OT; it is, taken by Cleveland and that runs out the clock.

9:34 p.m. — Jasper back on for the 41 yard attempt, 9 seconds left, it is good; and with 4 seconds left, we are looking like overtime, 30-30.

9:32 p.m. — Ridley catches on sideline, run out at the 23; 9 seconds left; LSU going for field goal. 41 yard attempt, time out Arkansas.

9:30 p.m. — Jefferson almost picked on second down, handoff up the middle to Ridley. Clock rolls to 18.

9:29 p.m. — Jefferson finds Ridley on the near side, struggles for the sideline and gets there, 26 seconds to play.

9:29 p.m. — Three down linemen, mass over the middle to Randal. 3rd down and five, first down over the middle, time winding out, clock stops for sticks.

9:28 p.m. — Jefferson GETS SACKED. And a very quick time out by LSU, their final time out. With 1:05 left in the game?

9:26 p.m. — LSU starts from their own 35. Here we go.

9:25 p.m. — TOUCHDOWN ARKANSAS TOUCHDOWN ARKANSAS TOUCHDOWN ARKANSAS — JOE ADAMS PULLS IT IN FOR THE 14 YARD TOUCHDOWN, the PAT is good and the Hogs lead, 30-27, with 1:18 left to play.

9:23 p.m. — Time out Arkansas, 2nd time out of the game. Les Miles calling his whole team onto the field to huddle with the defense; L-S-U, L-S-U

9:22 p.m. — One play; it is destiny time for Mallett and the 2009 Razorbacks.

9:21 p.m. — Greg Childs upended at the five, lands hard on the back of his head; now fourth down at the 14 with 1:25 in the game.

9:19 p.m. — One yard for Johnson after the penalty, 2nd and 9 at 14; Mallet pleading vorciforously for a pass interference.

9:18 p.m. — Joe Adams viciously separated from his head gear at the goal line; late flag, suspect that’s a helmet to helmet blow call. It is.

9:17 p.m. — Mallett looks for Wright, little bit of bumping and all goes quiet — no flag.

9:14 p.m. — One of the media people from LSU saying that 20-yard pass is the longest completed by Arkansas in Tiger Stadium since the OT game two years ago. Not sure if that’s accurate, but it sounds cool.

9:13 p.m. — Mallett finds Childs for right at 20 yards — FIRST DOWN — Arkansas. Tiger down on the play.

9:12 p.m. — Mallett has almost 10 seconds to find a target, incomplete unfortunately. 3rd and 20.

9:12 p.m. — Another almost touchdown, this time to Wright. Makes the crowd go quiet and mumble. They know Mallett could win this on asingle pass at any moment.

9:11 p.m. — Mallett has a lot of time, ricochets pass off Child’s chest; too much time as there was holding, now 1st and 20 at the 47.

9:10 p.m. — Johnson near the visitor sideline, turns and goes for 18 and the Razorbacks are at the 43. Johnson up the middle across the 50 to the 42.

9:09 p.m. — Mallett lays it in for Childs, but broken up by the Tigers, good defense.

9:06 p.m. — The kickoff caroms off Johnson, picked up for a 10 yard return to the 25. Now the crowd comes to life. Mallett comes within about a hand’s length of a 75-yard TD pass to Wright.

9:03 p.m. — Handoff to RIdley to center the ball for potential field goal attempt? Yes, and his 47-yard field goal is huge for LSU as the Razorbacks will need a touchdown to take the lead.

9:01 p.m. — Jefferson evades pressure again, makes something of nothing for four yards to the 29. Jefferson throw incomplete, setting up a big 3rd down and 6.

8:58 p.m. — LSU now calls time out, their second; crowd grumbles.

8:57 p.m. — Razorbacks bring the pressure, clutch play by Jefferson and Ridley just evades the first tackler to get the first down to the 34.

8:57 p.m. — Ridley caught in the backfield by Winston, now 3rd and five at the 45.

8:56 p.m. — Jefferson finds Dickson just past the first down marker; into right flat to Ridley for five to the UA 42.

8:53 p.m. — Jefferson gets 24 yard completion to LaFell and LSU 40 yard line. Holliday on the misdirection that fools no one; only a four yard gain. Ridley dropped for no gain. 3rd and 6 at 44.

8:53 p.m. — Brooks returns the kickoff from the endzone, Broadway gets the tackle at the LSU 16 yard line.

8:49 p.m. — Mallett keeps down to the 23 yard line, Tejada on for the 40 yard attempt, its good and now LSU’s lead is just one, 24-23, with 9:52 left.

8:47 p.m. — Johnson bulls forward for a little more than a yard, 2nd down at the 27. Mallett screens to Johnson, but he’s caught for a loss to the 29; 3rd down.

8:46 p.m. — Give to Wingo up the middle for five to the 35. He’s back after that third quarter injury. WIngo again, gets six and the first down.

8:44 p.m. — Mallett quick step and release to Childs on the crossing post pattern, 18 yards on the catch to the LSU 40.

8:44 p.m. — Dennis Johnson hits overdrive around the right corner for 17 yards and the first down at the UA 42 yard line.

8:43 p.m. — Into the flat for Wright but he’s swamped by Tigers, loss of a yard to the 25.

8:42 p.m. — Interesting fourth quarter rally for final quarter for seniors on scoreboard. Well done.

8:39 p.m. — Johnson weaves two yards for the first down and that will end the third quarter. LSU 24, Arkansas 20

8:39 p.m. — Mallett motions only back away, steps quick and finds Ben Cleveland for eight. 2nd and 2 at 23.

8:36 p.m. — More flags, more whistles; Razorbacks bring pressure; false start on offense; now 3rd down and 11 at 42. That’s the 8th LSU penalty. Jefferson goes long on the pass and Tigers forced to punt.

8:36 p.m. — Just as the ball snaps, Razorbacks call time out; 1st time out of half for Arkansas.

8:34 p.m. — Jefferson complete but Razorbacks pounce on the receiver to prevent any YAC, another flag; no flag cause LSU had only 10 players on fhe field, thus no illegal formation. Draws an uneasy groan from the Tiger Stadium crowd. Jefferson goes for it all on 2nd down; now 3rd and six at 47.

8:32 p.m. — Jefferson’s pass complete to Tolliver, but flags on the play. Illegal motion on LSU, backs up five and repeat 1st.

8:31 p.m. — Holliday runs 25 to gain five, 2nd and 5 at the 35. Finds a gap on second down for eight and the 1st at the 43.

8:29 p.m. — No gain for Tigers at own 20 to start drive. Jefferson goes spread and gun, pressured, lets his receivers create the hole and breaks for 11 yard gain.

8:25 p.m. — Knile Davis takes it for the first down. Green for the untouched touchdown of nine yards. Tejada’s PAT is good. 73 yards, 7 plays, 2:50 on the drive.

8:24 p.m. — Guess who — Wingo for nine yards, but he’s shaken up on the play.

8:24 p.m. — Off sides, sets 1st and 5, Mallett lobs it up for Childs, he goes up and brings it down on the LSU 19 yard line; the crowd falls silent.

8:21 p.m. — Wingo picks up one, sets a 3rd and 9; shotgun spread for Mallett, he checks, gets Wright on the underneath crossing pattern, masterfully called and laid in for the 19-yard gain.

8:20 p.m. — Mallett finds Childs wide open but overthrows him at the LSU 45; a completion and Childs may still be running.

8:18 p.m. — Johnson takes the kickoff out to the 26 yard line, LSU player down on the play.

8:15 p.m. — Sheppard gets back most of the motion penalty for LSU, 2nd and 12; DeAngelo Peterson takes the crossing pass for six; PAT good; LSU 24-13.

8:11 p.m. — Time out LSU, and that brings out a smattering of boos from the home crowd.

8:10 p.m. — More flags. False start on LSU, backs it up to the 18 yard line.

8:10 p.m. — Jefferson faces pressure, slips the rush, flag, gets the pass away to LeFell; off-sides on UA, declined and 1st down at the UA 12.

8:08 p.m. — Jefferson goes deep into the end zone, more flags on the field; things getting a little chippy; holding on LSU.

8:06 p.m. — Jefferson completes a pair of short patterns to move the TIgers to a first down at the UA 30 yard line. Flags fly, off-sides on Arkansas.

8:05 p.m. — Holliday finds a gap slashing across the left side, just shy of the first down at the Razorback 47 yard line. Jefferson finds Dixon for the short catch and the first down.

8:04 p.m. — Ridley get stuffed after a one-yard gain. No backs for Jefferson on 2nd down, pressure, turns it into a 9-yard keeper for the first down.

8:01 p.m. — LSU to try to receive again. Not a lot of return, Tigers to start at their own 33.

8:00 p.m. — Petrino’s adjustment at halftime to go on the ground pays big dividends as the Hog line blows open nice holes and Paul Petrino moves the play call around to put Wingo at advantages.

7:59 p.m. — And before we could type they, gee, you reckon they’ll go up the middle, Ronnie Wingo, Jr., does go up the middle, breaking off tacklers to his right for the 13 yard touchdown; PAT is good and LSU’s lead cut 17-13

7:58 p.m. — Ronnie Wingo, Jr., to the right side; inside the 15 yard line to the the 13 — five yard gain.

7:58 p.m. — Ronnie Wingo, Jr., finds the left corner for the first down to the 17 of LSU.

7:57 p.m. — Franklin spies out Jefferson for the interception, picked off at the 45 yard line and returned to the LSU 26 — first big break for Arkansas.

7:56 p.m. — Hey, I’ve seen that formation before. Jefferson sets in the "mini" wishbone, counters to the right, keeps and gets stuffed for a one-yard gain. Worked much better for Miss State last week.

7:55 p.m. — Play resumes with the kickoff return to the 45 yard line for LSU. Jeferson works under center, tosses wide to Holliday, fakes past one before run out of bounds by Crim.

7:37 p.m. — At halftime, the real difference is the 87-yard punt return for LSU; otherwise we’ve got a 10-6 game LSU

7:34 p.m. — Individuals: UA Johnson 4 carries for 43 yards, Green 7 carries 12 yards; for LSU Ridley 6 carries 33 yds, Jefferson 6 for 11; Indv receiving UA Childs 2-54 yds, Wright 2-21; LSU Dickson 2-7, LaFell 1-16 yds.

7:33 p.m. — Halftime quick stats: LSU 6 FD, 18-80 yds, 4-6-0 1 TD 33 yds passing; 24 plays for 113 yards; Arkansas 10 FD, 19 rushes 51 yds, 7-20-1 0 TD 91 yds passing; 39 plays, 142 yds

7:32 p.m. — Nothing on first down, Jefferson carries on final play of half for five yards. Looks like he may have fumbled, but knee must have been down as the two teams walk off the field for halftime. LSU leads 17-6.

7:31 p.m. — Holliday covers a lot of ground, but not a lot of yardage on the return.

7:30 p.m. — "Grudge match Saturday" scores announced by the PA in the stadium, usual reactions until he holds the Miss State game for the last, before he can get it all out the crowd is already roaring in approval of Ole Miss’ loss — no love lost here for Rebels.

7:29 p.m. — Batted away from Cobi Hamilton at the five yard line; Hawkins with the pass break up for LSU. Tejada for the field goal.

7:28 p.m. — Mallett whips one high over Childs’ head at the 10 yard line. 3rd and 10.

7:26 p.m. — Time out Arkansas; Hogs have two left and 61 seconds to try and get the touchdown from the Tiger 18.

7:25 p.m. — Mallett sees something, checks into draw for Johnson who gets first down and then some; face mask adds another 15 to the Tiger 18

7:24 p.m. — Mallett flushed, escapes one sack, then another; sidearms a throwaway toward Adams, Adams comes back and scoops it from the air and runs away for the first down.

7:23 p.m. — Hamilton can’t hang on to the pass, incomplete and 3rd down.

7:22 p.m. — Kick is out of bounds at the Arkansas 44; 1:51 left on the clock. Mallett finds Wright, but too much lead on the pass.

7:21 p.m. — Not much for Ridley on first down at the LSU 20; and really nothing for Holliday out of a wing-t like formation; 3rd and 10. Jeferson drops, coverage great by Arkansas, he runs away, Franklin runs him out of bounds; 3 and out for Tigers.

7:18 p.m. — Mallett incomplete on two passes sandwiched around a short gain. Razorbacks forced to punt again, unlucky on the bounce into the end zone for a touch back.

7:17 p.m. — Adams carries on the end around, caught, then fumbles to Johnson who breaks away for the first down.

7:14 p.m. — Does somebody at LSU have a sense of humor? U2 blaring over the PA during the review " . . . but I still haven’t found, what I’m looking for." Play stands as called on the field.

7:11 p.m. — Green loses one, Mallett almost takes ref’s head off with pass over the middle; incomplete. Shank punt, fumbled by Holliday and covered by Freddie Burton. Now under review.

7:10 p.m. — Green gets two yards of breathing room, 2nd and 8 at five; stadium now getting serious loud for first time tonight.

7:10 p.m. — Beat It on the PA. Really?

7:06 p.m. — Jefferson misfires to LaFell, LSU to punt at own 47. Fair catch signaled, but the punt proves a short shank and Hogs let it hit, fortunate bounce and the ball rolls dead at the UA 4.

7:05 p.m. — Coverage "sack" as Jefferson forced to run with solid Razorback coverage. Jones gets the tackle, now 3rd and 10.

7:05 p.m. — Substitution penalty on LSU; now 2nd and 16.

7:04 p.m. — Ridley finds a gap for 18 yards to put the Tigers at the 46 yard line. Jefferson stuffed for loss on the keeper on 1st down.

7:03 p.m. — LSU starts at own 22, I-formation, Jefferson five setp drop; great Razorback coverage. QB finally breaks for a seven yard rush.

7:01 p.m. — TV timeout. Interesting that LSU big screen holds blank most of the timeouts, band plays; no replays or packages. Now we get some random crowd shots, but then back to the TigerView logo.

7:00 p.m. — Mallett gets about half of the loss back on his own rush, can’t make the deep connection on third down; Hogs punt, no return this time.

6:59 p.m. — Mallett has pocket collapse around him, and he breaks up field to regain a little more than half of his loss.

6:58 p.m. — Mallett pressured, evades Coleman, almost, trips after escaping for a 15-yard loss to the 27

6:57 p.m. — Mallett fires one out to Jarius Wright for the first down at the UA 41 yard line, 8 yard gain.

6:57 p.m. — Mallett under center, give to Green from tailback slot; two yards to UA 32; same I-like formation, give again to Green, two more to 34.

6:52 p.m. — 47 yard punt returned 87 yards for TD for LSU, PAT is good; LSU 17-3, irony, this is 50th anniversary year of Billy Cannon’s big punt runback for Tigers against Ole Miss. If this continues, Holliday might be key to putting Tigers into Capital One Bowl over Ole Miss, since the Rebels lost today.

6:49 p.m. — Knile Davis on carry for four yards to the 47 yard line; flags as Arkansas’ line moves. Now 2nd and 11; pressure, Mallett goes high for Jarius Wright, broken up.

6:47 p.m. — We start the second quarter, Mallett checks in gun, handoff to Johnson, runs width of the field to gain one yard, flag midway through the play. Personal foul face mask on LSU.

6:46 p.m. — Holliday, 2 carries for 31 yards leads all on ground; Childs two catches 54 yards leads

6:45 p.m. — Sheppard lines up as the QB, takes the direct snap and loses two yards, field goal attempt by Jasper, 47 yards, good, LSU 10, UA 3.

6:42 p.m. — LSU is eight seconds from getting its eighth straight game without allowing at first quarter TD.

6:41 p.m. — Sheppard lines up as the QB, takes the direct snap and loses two yards, field goal attempt by Jasper, 47 yards, good, LSU 10, UA 3.

6:40 p.m. — Not a lot for Ridley on second down; Nelson and Sheppard for the tackle. LSU benefiting from short field on last two drives.

6:40 p.m. — Can’t escape on third down as the sack puts UA back to the 27; Tigers showing rush; hold back for the return and pays off, Holiday to UA 36.

6:38 p.m. — Tigers bring the rush again, Mallett maneuvers away then rifles a worm-killer to safely end the play. Can’t escape on third down as the sack puts Arkansas back to the 27.

6:37 p.m. — Green ridden out of bounds as flags fly, holding against Arkansas. Sets up 2nd and 12.

6:36 p.m. — Mallet out of the gun, finds Crawford near the first down marker; goes for a long eight yards; a short two on second down.

6:36 p.m. — Green slashes off the right guard hole for four yards and the first down at the Razorback 31.

6:34 p.m. — LSU holding back four man rush gives Mallett time to check down to Green; 8 yard gain to the 27.

6:33 p.m. — LSU now up, 7-3, Johnson fields it at the six and gets hit hard at the 18.

6:32 p.m. — Jefferson drops, then rolls. Has pressure, and a wide open LaFell. Doesn’t see him initially, the entire stadium begins to yell for Jefferson to find his man. Almost waits until Arkansas’ secondary recovers. Still, gets the TD and the PAT is good.

6:31 p.m. — Jefferson and Holiday take it old school option to the left side for 16 yards down to the Arkansas 16

6:30 p.m. — Jefferson finds Sheppard on a tunnel screen for the first down to the midfield stripe; Jefferson to Dixon for two. Quick handoff to Holiday for the first big run of the day for LSU, 19 yards; Harris on the tackle.

6:28 p.m. — Spectacular kickoff return to the LSU 40 yard line; Jefferson from the gun, checks, hands to Sheppard, no gain.

6:26 p.m. — Another TV timeout. Quick stats so far, 8 plays for UA and 83 yards; for LSU only five plays for 12.

6:25 p.m. — Third and six at the 30 yard line, LSU brings it again, Mallett escapes but can’t find the target; Tejada for 46 yard attempt, it’s GOOD. Arkansas 3, LSU 0.

6:19 p.m. — Mallett from the gun, drops, finds Childs ad he’s goooooone. Tigers keep bringing the heat and Mallett continues to burn, 1st and 10 LSU 34. Ronnie Wingo, Jr., no gain on first down to speak of. LSU crowds the line again, Mallett breaks left for four yards.

6:18 p.m. — Jefferson drops deep again, Jake Bequette crushes the LSU QB as he releases, a throw away that leads to a Tiger punt, fair catch at Ark 40. And . . . . TV timeout.

6:17 p.m. — Back to the shotgun, Ridley single back follows an overloaded line to the wide side, nothing there; now 3rd and 15 at 26

6:16 p.m. — Jefferson to the tight end for five; Ridley finds space on second down out to the 30 yard line. Tigers go I formation for first time, deep seven step drop for Jefferson; pressure from Arkansas and sacked for seven yard loss by Ambrose.

6:13 p.m. — Hard to say what happened on the play. Arkansas went heavy to the short side of the field, then flooded receivers to the right as Mallett rolled. There was a "hurry" of sorts, but for all appearances it looked like Mallett read the coverage and was trying to throw it away. Unfortunately, LSU’s deep safety comes up with the pick.

6:12 p.m. — Mallett rolls away from pressure, throws interception to the LSU 5 yard line; returned out to 14. Meanwhile, Mallett gets hit on the release, then literally sat upon by LSU lineman. They tussle until Mallett can get free. TV timeout.

6:11 p.m. — Huge hole for Johnson over the left side, breaks away to the LSU 28 yard line; 23 yards on carry and 1st and 10.

6:10 p.m. — LSU selling out huge pressure, Mallett goes no back, easy over the middle to Childs for 27 yards.

6:08 p.m. — Mallett no backs, checks, roar comes up pressure, gets away, flags down; looks like LSU off sides. Now LSU players happy; encroachment on LSU and intentional grounding.

6:05 p.m. — Johnson deep for the Razorbacks, touchback for the kickoff and we are underway in Baton Rouge

6:05 p.m. — AC/DC Thundershock for the pregame video; clock reset to 15, Johnson deep for Razorbacks.

6:01 p.m. — Cue the fireworks. Razorbacks win toss and will receive; defend north endzone.

6:00 p.m. — Senior day introductions are still going on. Right on five minutes to kickoff; Arkansas captains now coming out of the tunnel; usual four A. Davis, Mallett, Sheppard and D.Love in uniform with Michael Smith in street clothes. Razorback team comes out to a mild boo.

5:54 p.m. — It’s senior night at LSU, and senior honors being handled here close to kickoff; the pyrotechnics team is out on the field setting huge sparkler fountains at the south 20 yard line hashmarks.

5:51 p.m. — National anthem is complete; Razorback bench set on the east side of the stadium.

5:46 p.m. — You know, at the end of they day, there really isn’t anything like SEC football — we are 20 minutes to kickoff in Baton Rouge.

5:40 p.m. — Razorbacks heading off the field; LSU band ready to take field; we’re just over 24:00 to kickoff.

5:34 p.m. — That would be a double mix on Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting on the video board.

5:31 p.m. — Flip starters LSU off: Black, Barksdale, T; Dworaczyk, Hitt, G; Hebert, C; Toliver, LaFell, Randele, WR; Dickson, TE; Ridley, RB; Parsons, FB; Jefferson, QB

5:31 p.m. — Flip starters UA def: Bequette, Davis, DE; Stadther, Sheppard, DT; Franklin, Davis, Burton, LB; Broadway, Crim, CB; Ford, Harris, SS

5:30 p.m.– Flip starters LSU def: Levingston, Alem, DE; Woods, Alexander, DT; Coleman, Sheppard, Riley, LB; Hawkins, Peterson, CB; Taylor, Jones, SS

5:30 p.m. — Flip starters UA off: Dominguez, Love, T; Grayson, Petrus, G; Oxner, C; Adams, Childs, Wright, WR; Williams, TE; Green, RB; Stumon, FB; Mallett, QB

5:29 p.m. — Yeah, they’re playing Survivor. Really loud.

5:24 p.m. — Balance of the Razorbacks head out onto the field just as the TigerView scoreboard does the starters for Arkansas.

5:21 p.m. — Local tragedy today here on I-10 about the time people started heading toward the stadium; two car accident that killed five and injured another eight. Mini van flipped and threw passengers from the vehicle. Twitter followers will recognize as it made BNO’s news feed today.

5:15 p.m. — Tiger band playing, but I can hear the Razorback players ringing their bell. Razorbacks emerge to a semi-loud boo (good natured) from the home crowd.

5:14 p.m. — LSU student crowd starting to fill in and getting louder as the balance of the Tigers emerge from their tunnel, now run out onto the field for group warm-ups.

5:13 p.m. — It’s good to be bowl eligible — head count of all the reps here tonight: Cotton, Liberty, Independence and Capital One.

5:10 p.m. — Razorback quarterbacks, receivers and kickers out on the field now; yes, it’s the all-Cardinal uniforms going for five straight.

5:04 p.m. — Just over 60 minutes to kickoff, the sun is setting and it’s becoming a little chilly.

4:59 p.m. — Mike VI’s traveling cage right by the Razorbacks’ team tunnel. Coincidence? Obviously not.

4:58 p.m. — Razorback Band strikes up Arkansas Fight.

4:55 p.m. — LSU band marching into position behind the north goal. The game clock is on and we’re 70 minutes to kick.

4:54 p.m. — So LSU is in all-white tonight, their new Nike uniforms are an eggshell white with a purple stripe, the jerseys have a very minimal sleeve stripe with just a little gold. No trim on the numbers, straight purple on the white jersey.

4:52 p.m. — Who was the last team to change helmets against Arkansas? That would be Texas A&M who went with white helmets in the Southwest Classic.

4:51 p.m. — Handful of Tiger players on the field in their new uniforms. The gold helmets look a lot like Notre Dame.

4:30 p.m. — Forecast for tonight is clear with a high in the upper 40s.

4:24 p.m. — Specialists for both teams doing walkthru warm-up work; Razorbacks have headed back in for the most part with more LSU players on the field now.

4:15 p.m. — Mike the Tiger has arrived in the stadium in his "rolling cage." While he’s a pretty good sized young Tiger (about 500 pounds and still growing) his trailer is much smaller, perhaps a third of the space, of Tusk II.

4:03 p.m. — Spotted in the press area — Cotton Bowl reps.

4:02 p.m. — The media meal? Yeah, that’s pork tenderloin.

3:57 p.m. — LSU coach Les Miles and other staff types walking through stadium; at the opposite corner we see Razorback players and Coach Bobby Petrino heading onto the field for their informal walk-around. Miles and Petrino shake hands and chat near the 40 before going their separate ways.

3:54 p.m. — A distinctly different vibe as very few LSU students in their section, but then again as far as the eye can see out the back of the stadium it is a sea of tailgating. The epitome of late arriving crowd?

3:32 p.m. — Razorback traveling band and the spirit squads have set up shop in their corner of the stadium.

3:17 p.m. — U2 on the stadium PA. I see LSU students startin to make their way in. They don’t run for that front row like they do in Fayetteville.

3:12 p.m. — Tiger Stadium starting to show some signs of life, public address system tests, etc. We are about 17 minutes from students and main gates; Arkansas media is arriving and setting up.

2:59 p.m. — Also heard this AM before making the last drive to Baton Rouge, Corso picking LSU.

2:58 p.m. — Today’s fun fact gleened from ESPN — LSU has not given up a touchdown in the first quarter in seven straight games. We’ll see.

2:53 p.m. — Keeping with the trend of special photos of running backs, Arkansas’ team photographer grabbed this one for us on Thanksgiving day:

Based on the Egg Bowl results, who knows. This game may have solidly just become the winner-take-Cotton game, with the victor headed to where D-Mac and Felix just faced off.

2:50 p.m. — Continuing the earlier pregame story, my dad was close with this notable LSU name you might have heard of:

As a child, I remember one of the fixture’s in his office was one of those press handout posed photos of Cannon. My mother, the Razorback half of the family, reminded me that at one time the photo was also accompanied for about a year by the Heisman Trophy. I’ve always wondered about that little family legend.

2:48 p.m. — Bowl life just got interesting — see this photo of Tiger Stadium’s scoreboard flashed for the workers inside (we’re still 12 minutes from doors for suites and another 42 for the general students, etc.)

2:45 p.m. — Greetings from the Tiger Stadium press box. A chilly wind for Baton Rouge is blowing into the stadium this afternoon. A sunny day outside in the massive tailgating areas, but you can tell it will get clammy Louisiana winter cold quickly once the sun goes down.

ON THE ROAD TO BATON ROUGE: Laying up tonight in Natchez on the way to LSU, the drive is a little surreal through the flat delta land of southeast Arkansas and northeast Louisiana. Only because it’s my homeland. Yes, I grew up in the proverbial house divided. Materal grandmother an Arkansas City school teacher who taught a youngster to call the Hogs, the aunt who handed out a childhood nickname that stuck of Tiger, the old beat up football we played street ball with in the neighborhood that had this funny "LSU" branded near the inflation spot.

Then there’s the "old age" angle of driving 30 years to the fall past the various towns where as captain of the No. 1 undefeated team in our division we took first a surprising loss near Lake Providence, then a season that ended one week two early about 50 minutes away from Tiger Stadium.

Finally, the unusual personal angle that I’ve worked every stadium (even one that doesn’t exist anymore) in Louisiana except one; the one that is infamous for a fan base that can cause a seismograph to move.

So as we continue the drive this morning, the blog arrives at Tiger Stadium to work through the traffic early, and we hope to be on-line from the site with you by 4 p.m.

PREGAME NOTES: Tonight’s game is on ESPN, which means for the distant fan base you’ll have ESPN360 to receive the stream.



Sports Category : Football