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LSU-Arkansas: Stream of Consciousness

After much anticipation, the time is finally here for the biggest "Battle of the Boot" we've ever seen. I'm here with an ice cold adult beverage, Thanksgiving leftovers and lots of nervousness. Here we go with my thoughts of the game as it happens. Geaux Tigers!

Pregame
Ugh! War Memorial Stadium. That place is the biggest dump any SEC game has ever been played in. Well, Legion Field in Birmingham was pretty run down too ... The only thing more annoying than Arkansas fans calling the hogs is the FSU tomahawk chop. Both are among the stupidest cheers ever. Can you believe grown people do this? ... Gary Danielson, the best analyst in the biz, just said Russell is playing as well as anyone in the country at QB. He's going to have to be great today ... I'm not sure why Arkansas got a segment with the "We Are Marshall" clips, but with that and Tracy Wolfson's report, this is starting to turn into an Razorbacks home broadcast ... Thank God, football time.

First Quarter
Sweet, LSU won the toss, to the Tigers get the ball to start the second half ... This opening series will tell a lot about whether LSU's defense is ready to take on this Arkansas offensive line ... Wow, Felix Jones just used speed to run by LSU's defense ... Jessie Daniels has to tackle better ... How on earth can you let Darren McFadden complete a 20-yard pass to the fourth-string quarterback, who's lined up at receiver? ... Zenon was way out of position ... LSU really needs to hold for a field goal here ... Jessie Daniels got awaY with one ... If I'm Arkansas, I line McFadden up in the shotgun for every play when I'm inside the 10 ...LSU wasn't ready for the quick snap and of course was offside and allowed the touchdown ... Arkansas 6, LSU 0 ... This could be a long day ... I think it's safe to say LSU is going to be badly outcoached today ... Wow, got a break, Arkansas missed the extra point ... LSU needs to answer in a big way here ... Holliday was back to return, hopefully he'll get a chance ... Okay, please let Keiland Williams be starting at tailback, thank goodness ... The gap between the LSU and Arkansas running games makes the Pacific Ocean look like a creek ... LSU can't afford broken plays like Russell tripping on his lineman ... LSU couldn't have been worse on their opening series ... The Razorbacks brought the house and the O-Line couldn't stand up ... That might be the best punt of the year by Chris Jackson, don't expect it to last ... Arkansas uses a ton of formations and very good at confusing defenses ... That was a big stop for LSU ... Please go after the punt, just once! ... Nope, return set up and -- wow -- Buster didn't fair catch ... Actually a good return, set up the offense in good position, now Russell has to take advantage ... Dwayne Bowe's eye black says "God First" ... Interesting ... Gary Danielson clearly doesn't understand LSU fans thoughts about Les Miles ... Russell looking better this series ... He has to throw a lot on first down today ... Great play design faking to Hester and pitching wide to Williams ... He's going to be a good one! ... Bowe is a tremendous blocker, he'd be great for the Broncos ... Williams tried to get cute and cost himself five yards ... Olajabutu (spelling?) is single-handedly killing LSU right now ... At least Russell didn't have to burn a timeout because the team wasn't set up ... This is getting rediculous, Matt Jones got to give an Arkansas testimonial for Toyota's hereos of the game ... Did Arkansas buy the rights to this game? This is like watching the Harlem Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals ... LSU needs to keep Russell in the shotgun all day ... Great, flag No. 1 -- holding ... 2nd-and-26, draw to Hester, brilliant. We got a break with an offside call ... I love the slip screen to Bowe ... What a hit by Bowe carrying the ball, he just laid out a middle linebacker ... He's going to be great in the NFL ... If Keiland Williams started all season, we might be 11-0 ... LSU 7, Arkansas 6 ... T-I-G-E-R-S, Tigers! ... How big will that missed extra point turn out to be? ... The defense needs to keep this momentum going ... How about this? LSU's special teams are outplaying Arkansas right now ... McFadden slips, but its easy to notice how well Gus Mahlzahn designs plays ... It's 3rd-and-8, LSU should go after Dick big time, he's still a little inexperienced ... Great coverage! and Highsmith comes up with a huge sack ... I don't know where this team was last week, but I'm glad they seem to have shown up today ... LSU sets up the return for more fair catches than any other team in America, but I'll take it at the 50 ... Why would you bring in Justin Vincent right now? Oh, to run for no gain, my bad ... I like the play call, motioning Bowe to fullback and then throwing an underneath screen ... Great job by the O-Line to pick up the blitz, especially Vincent ... If LSU can pick up the blitz well today, it will win ... Its fourth-and-one at the 41, GO FOR IT! ... I can't believe he's punting, you know he can't drop it inside the 20 ... For once, he gave LSU a chance, but three players couldn't find the ball ... Has Les Miles not watched the same Chris Jackson try to pooch punt all year that I have? ... A net of 21 yards on a punt isn't good, you've got the No. 1 defense in the nation, you can risk giving Arkansas the ball on the 40 ... This is setting up to be a classic.

Second Quarter
More Arkansas love coming back from the break, seriously. Who do I have to call at CBS? ... Felix Jones is good ... Why can't LSU get Trindon Holliday the ball in the same type of situations? ... Why does Arkansas call the McFadden at quarterback the "Wildcat" formation? Shouldn't they call it the "Razorback" or "Hog" or something? ... I think LSU might be able to slow down McFadden, but Jones seems to be able to hurt them right now ... It looks like LSU might go for the block, nope ... I'm pretty sure CBS did one solo of JaMarcus early in the year and haven't bothered to do another one ... Russell finally throws an incompletion ... AFLAC Trivia, what did lasting legacy did Little Rock provide LSU? That's easy, the first Mike the Tiger came from the Little Rock Zoo ... There's no way the Arkansas corners can cover LSU's receivers man-to-man ... Okay, if Rusell can't even set his feet out of the shotgun, that's going to be a problem ... All four defensive lineman were in the backfield on that play ... 3rd-and-13, yet I'm confident ... Wow, Russell-Davis-Touchdown ... LSU 14, Arkansas 6 ... T-I-G-E-R-S! Tigers! ... Davis completely burned his man. THe ball was way underthrown, but Davis made up for it. Let it be known the line did a great job picking up the blitz ... Holy what? LSU almost recovered a pooch kick and then Felix Jones got absolutely leveled ... Finally Arkansas threw to Marcus Monk, but Casey Dick was way off ... McFadden is so dangerous out of the shotgun, he didn't even need a block ... That's just not fair, McFadden at quarterback and Jones on an endaround ... The read-option is virtually impossible to cover ... That penalty is HUGE! ... Houston Nutt is the biggest whiner in the SEC. It's not even close ... Chevis Jackson bailed out Arkansas by getting burned then interfering ... Arkansas offense is almost like a modern Wing T, you never know where the ball is going to end up going ... AFLAC answer, yep I was right ... Big third down here, 3rd-and-2, great run by McFadden ... LSU is doing well to stuff the middle of the field, but Arkansas is having great success getting outside ... That's my biggest fear, a jumpball to Monk ... Jonathan Zenon got away with interference, lucky ... Arkansas' fans take after their coach and have no problem whining and booing officials, for play after play after play ... Wow, LSU couldn't tackle Marcus Monk ... LSU 14, Arkansas 12 ... I wonder if they go for two here, I probably wait a while, but they're going ... I bet they throw a fade to Monk, nope ... Big stop there gives LSU a two-point lead ... There's a lot of momentum on Arkansas side right now, LSU needs to move the ball ... Gary Danielson just laughed at Ice Wars, I love it ... Dwayne Bowe might be the strongest receiver in football ... Great counter opened a huge hole for Williams ... LSU's offense is playing its best game of the year right now ... You just have to hope they don't turn it over ... JaMarcus Russell sneaking isn't fair ... Are you kidding? How do you fumble on that play? Can I be blamed for jinxing this? ... After watching the first replay, that seemed to be a late fumble ... Miles does something smart and challenges ... CBS apparently only has two angles of the play, how is this possible? ... It's amazing opponents can't throw long on LSU better as close to the line as LaRon Landry plays most of the time ... Felix Jones on end arounds is killing LSU ... It's almost like LSU needs to put a "spy" on Jones when he's lined up at receiver ... You're kidding, Danny McCray has to pick that off ... After watching Robert Johnson throw, no wonder they lost to USC. I don't think that happens today ... 1:24 in the half, LSU is on the 12. I bet they run it up the middle instead of giving their quarterback (who's 9-of-10) the ball ... If you're going to run out the clock, why snap it early ... Why not play action and throw deep once, then run out the clock. At least take a chance ... Even if they pick you, they're not in field goal range ... But I'll take the lead going into the half on the road ... I bet they don't talk to Les Miles on air ... Nope, Houston Nutt ... It's still the Razorback Broadcast Station.

Halftime
Tim Brando is so cocky ... More Arkansas love as they honor Paul Eells, the former Razorback play-by-play man ... To honor him, they show the psuedo Hail Mary that beat LSU in 2002 ... Will CBS have any feature today about LSU? ... I'm almost amazed they gave them the 30-second commercial spot.

Third Quarter
Wow, they're actually going to show Les Miles live ... Good for him for not attacking Tracy Wolfson ... This is a statement drive for LSU ... That play isn't going to get it done ... Gary Danielson is on the money, why LSU doesn't just sit back and air it out more is beyond me ... It's been proven Arkansas can't hang with the Tigers wideouts ... I have no idea how JaMarcus got rid of that ball, but there's not another quarterback in the nation that can make that play ... Great cut by Vincent ... LSU might be the best third down team in America ... 1st-and-5, can you say play action? ... Maybe you can, but LSU apparently can't ... Great, a John David Booty mention, I think I just threw up in my mouth ... If Russell gets time, you always feel like he's going to make a big play ... Are you kidding me? Three minutes in and we're wasting a timeout ... Why on earth are you going to run a slip screen to Hester at receiver, what a bad call out of the timeout ... Who cares? It's 3rd-and-10, you know Russell is going to make a play ... I thought there was offensive holding by the line, but it looks like Arkansas held the receiver too ... We may get a break ... We do ... Shocking, Arkansas fans boo. One more call they don't like and they may boo after every play the rest of the game ... When Broussard hits a hole, he really hits a hole ... Danielson is right, the offensive line is a lot better now than it was against Auburn and Florida ... Broussard looks great right now, he's just putting his head down and bulling through the holes for six yards a pop ... Danielson just rightfully accepted his crow, so should I ... LSU has run the ball well this drive when I called for the pass ... I still say the pass would work all day, but running the ball successfully has a certain effect on opponents ... Okay, Williams is stuffed and we're in the red zone ... I think now is time to give it to Russell and let him make a play ... I hate it when they role Russell out ... Yes, he's good on the run, LSU's line isn't very good at protecting on the roll, it gives Russell less time ... How does absolutely nobody touch a defensive end ... What's amazing is Russell still got a half-decent throw off while being leveled by an untouched end ... Special teams time ... LSU 17, Arkansas 12 ... How large is that missed extra point looming now. Arkansas shouldn't have gone for two so early. Now if they get in the endzone, they have to go for two again to make it a three-point lead ... How about at 15-play 7:36-minute drive to start the half. That will pay off later ... I don't understand why we're kicking short and giving Arkansas the ball on the 35. If you're scared, just kick it out of bounds ... What a great play by Charles Alexander ... Which reminds me, isn't there a guy on LSU named Glenn Dorsey? He's been a non-factor today ... When you get behind on the down and distance against LSU, you're in trouble ... That was another example, LSU's secondary has been excellent today ... Arkansas hasn't been able to pass at all when its needed to ... Another return set up, another fair catch. Why bother setting up a return ... We're backed up here, any kind of time-killing, point-producing drive here might put this game away ... Russell is only 1-for-6 this half, the big play to Vincent ... As soon as I say that, huge play to Hester ... Hester might be the most unsung player in the SEC ... Great touch on the throw by Russell, he's so good at knowing when to gun it and when to float it ... I've said this many times before, but I have to believe, Hester will be a tremendous NFL fullback. He can do so many things well ... Just as I'm about to praise Broussard for a gutty seven-yard run, then he coughs it up ... In his defense, there were about seven Hogs pulling at it ... They'll review, but he fumbled ... Son of a &!+(#!. That turnover could end up being huge. If LSU ever made it through a game without a turnover, they'd beat the Chicago Bears ... Wow, it was in the Red Zone too ... Why Felix Jones hasn't touched the ball more today, I don't know ... Apparently Arkansas is now realizing that ... Landry got held and it cost LSU 10 yards, not including the non-flag ... McFadden may have the best stiff-arm in college in a long, long time ... He's so strong and has such long arms ... It's close, would you have expected anything less?

Fourth Quarter
This possession is huge right now. Arkansas is driving and could take the lead. The LSU defense needs to make a stand. Easier said than done ... Anytime Dick drops back to pass, I feel good ... I have no idea why Arkansas would throw on first down. It's just Houston Nutt trying to overcoach ... What's amazing about Arkansas run game is that they gain four yards and you feel like its a win for your defense ... For once, it's not LSU shooting itself in the foot, that false start is huge ... 3rd-and-11 is nearly unconvertable for Arkansas ... That tells you how they feel about their passing game, they still ran it ... It's four-down territory and LSU has to burn a timeout. It seems like they're never prepared for anything out of the ordinary ... This is the first "Play of the Game" so hopefully the Tigers use the timeout well ... I have to say, I've been feeling pretty confident since LSU scored the first time until now. Now, I'm just nervous ... What a great job by Pelini to double cover Monk and the defensive line was all over Dick ... Not only does LSU get a huge stop, but the sack gives the offense the ball on the 45 ... I'd play-action downfield to Bowe right here, go for the jugular ... Of course, LSU doesn't, but I'll take a five-yard game ... The announcers are shocked, and deservedly so, that McFadden had no role in the Hogs fourth down try ... 3rd-and-4 and you can't throw it past the line. Arkansas had great coverage on Buster, Russell should have gone to his second receiver ... Good Lord, I hate LSU's punt formation ... Of course Jackson still can't down it inside the 20, 53-yard punt, 33 net. Unbelievable ... It would almost be better to line up Flynn at quarterback and let him quick kick and get the roll inside the 20. Hell, it may even accidently hit a Razorback on the way ... I love Casey Dick!!!!! ... Now its time to put the game away ... I hate fade routes, why not run a slip screen or quick slant with Bowe. They can't cover him ... Oh no, LSU just used its final timeout. That could be fatal later on. Let's hope not ... Quick stat check, Dick is 3-for-13 for 29 yards. Arkansas should either go to Mitch Mustain or just let McFadden play quarterback the rest of the way ... Russell hasn't been much better in the second half, only 3-for-10, but the defense has backed him up and two turnovers cost LSU ... I can't fathom why LSU ran a draw to Hester right there. Give Russell as many shots at the endzone as possible ... Usually I'm confident here, but Russell is under center ... What a catch by Doucet, still hate the fade ... LSU 24, Arkansas 12 ... T-I-G-E-R-S! Tigers! ... I'm feeling a lot better now that it's a two possession game, but another stop and score would make me feel a whole lot better. It might impress the folks from Pasadena a little also (not that I'm getting ahead of myself or anything) ... Good move, Jackson kicks off for a touchback ... It must be windy in Little Rock, because Jackson kicked off when going left and Gaudet did going right ... $#!+!!!!! Darren McFadden is good ... LSU 24, Arkansas 19 ... Those extra points are massive right now ... Not feeling very good at the moment, the clock can't move fast enough ... I could go for a long drive here. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling LSU will come out, run it twice, then throw either short or incomplete and a jacked up Arkansas team gets the ball back ... I've been saying it all year, let Trindon Holliday touch the ball!!! ... LSU 31, Arkansas 19 ... T-I-G-E-R-S! Tigers! ... Wow, LSU can't get 11 men on the field for the extra point ... Okay, McFadden outran Landry and Chevis Jackson, then Holliday ran about a 9.9 100-yard dash ... McFadden might deserve the Heisman, he has 163 yards on LSU's defense ... Uh oh, they kicked it to Jones and he ran over about eight Tigers on his way to the 37 ... This is turning into one hell of a game ... Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson are enjoying this game so much, and they should be ... Run clock run ... How crucial is it right now that LSU has dominated the time of possession and the defense is fresh (relatively) ... I feel better everytime I see Casey Dick in the game ... I'm pretty confident there aren't any better teams in the country south of Columbus, Ohio, better than the two playing right now ... Outside of the one pass, LSU has done very well this game when McFadden has lined up at quarterback ... McFadden is just a bull ... The best thing about Arkansas offense right now is that it eats clock ... There's no way Arkansas loses to Florida next week, they're too good ... Chevis Jackson just laid out Casey Dick, and I'm upset, cause now he may not be able to play anymore ... Felix Jones is very, very good ... That play needs to to be reviewed, Jones went feet first into the endzone ... I can't believe they didn't review that, it was 50/50 if he got in. That would have brought up fourth down ... Okay, now I have the same feeling I did 10 minutes ago. We'll run twice and then throw before punting ... Just keep playing the same way ... There's less than five minutes left, so LSU has the ability to run the clock out or put the game away with a score ... They don't kick to Holliday, good call ... Spadoni, you used to be a running back, you can't run? ... Piece of advice, play action here. Arkansas has to be aggressive ... Or let Hester run up the middle with nine in the box ... You have a stud quarterback, believe in him ... Flag, hoping, hoping ... Nope, on LSU ... Put Russell in the gun and win the freakin game ... Thank goodness ... Snap ... First down to Bowe ... Thank you! ... I'd love to see the slip screen here, it's like a toss sweep. Keeps the clock running and can gain a lot of yards ... Why is Vincent running? Where's Williams? Flag, it's offside. The right end jumped ... Yep, sweet ... LSU has gone uber-conservative ... At least Williams is in ... To no avail ... It's real easy to stop a team when they have one receiver and you know they won't throw ... There's so much time left right now, especially with Arkansas' time outs, LSU has to spread the field a little bit and give themselves a chance to make a play ... Of course not, run, one-yard gain, timeout. The Vegas line on that happening was 1-to-100 ... Even if you run here, Arkansas still has a time out and over two minutes to drive ... Run the slip screen here, you're going to complete it, even if you don't get the first down, Arkansas has to use its timeout ... Russell in the gun, good ... Quarterback draw, wow ... That was a great call! Unfortunately, Russell went a second too soon, if he waits a second and lets the linebackers drop, he may get it ... Vincent didn't block anybody, Hester should have been in ... Chris Jackson, for once in your life, drop one inside the 20 ... I'm scared to death of a block here, and I think the wind is at Jackson's back, which means it's going in the end zone ... Well, he didn't get it in the endzone. Amazingly, he did worse, a 21-yard punt and the Hogs get it on the 28. Les, sign a punter! ... The only thing I feel good about right now is Casey Dick ... I can't believe they aren't throwing to Marcus Monk ... There is so much time left, 1:52 ... How about Jonathan Zenon right now!!! ... If the defensive line could just get in one time ... The game is on the line here ... No flag, no flag, no flag ... YES!!! ... Horrible call. I can't believe Arkansas didn't go to McFadden or Monk somehow on that final play ... It's over, just don't fumble the snap ... I can't argue with McFadden getting the player of the game. Russell was good, McFadden was better ... Now, let's wait on the BCS. Keep your fingers crossed!