Finley, blocked field goal, fuel LSU past Arkansas

Freshman TJ Finley threw two touchdown passes as visiting LSU recorded a 27-24 win over Arkansas on Saturday in a Southeastern Conference game in Fayetteville.

Finley completed 27 of 42 for 271 yards for LSU (3-3, 3-3), including a 13-yard go-ahead touchdown to Jaray Jenkins with 3:59 remaining.

The Razorbacks (3-5, 3-5) drove into scoring range, but Jay Ward deflected A.J. Reed’s 44-yard field-goal attempt with 1:24 left.

Feleipe Franks completed 17 of 26 for 339 yards for Arkansas, which possessed the ball for just 18 minutes and 17 seconds.

Arkansas coach Sam Pittman was back on the sideline after a one-week absence because of a COVID-19 issue. The Razorbacks, however, played without several players — including six contributors on the defensive line — because of COVID-19 issues.

LSU’s 20-14 halftime lead held up for most of the third quarter, but Franks and Mike Woods connected on completions of 30 and 50 yards. That set up Trelon Smith’s 1-yard touchdown run that gave Arkansas a 21-20 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Reed kicked a 22-yard field goal to extend the lead to 24-20 early in the fourth quarter before Finley brought the Tigers back.

LSU scored first when Cade York kicked a 49-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Arkansas had just one first down on its first three possessions, then drove 92 yards as Franks threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Treylon Burks. That gave the Razorbacks a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Finley threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Racey McMath that gave the Tigers a 10-7 lead.

Jabril Cox intercepted Franks and returned to the ball to the Arkansas 1-yard line. It set up Tyrion Davis-Price’s touchdown run on the next play for a 17-7 lead.

Franks’ 50-yard completion to Woods led to the quarterback’s 10-yard touchdown run, pulling the Razorbacks within 17-14.

York kicked a 24-yard field goal as time expired to increase the LSU lead to 20-14 at halftime.

Arkansas didn’t have any first-half possessions that lasted more than four plays as it mostly alternated between three-and-outs and scoring drives that featured big plays.