No. 7 LSU ekes out 13-10 road win over Arkansas

LSU v Arkansas
Getty Images
0 Comments

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Josh Williams ran for 122 yards and a touchdown, Harold Perkins Jr. had four sacks and two forced fumbles and the defense for No. 7 LSU held Arkansas to 249 yards in its 13-10 win Saturday.

The Tigers (8-2, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) forced and recovered an Arkansas fumble on the Razorbacks’ final drive with 1:19 left to clinch the win.

Arkansas (5-5, 2-4) attempted to rally in the fourth quarter behind third-string quarterback Cade Fortin. He entered in the third quarter to replace an ineffective Malik Hornsby and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Matt Landers with 13:12 left to pull Arkansas within three.

Williams had scored LSU’s only touchdown, a 1-yarder, late in the third quarter to give the Tigers a 10-point lead. LSU’s offense otherwise struggled, with only one of its 13 series yielding more than 40 yards.

Perkins, a freshman linebacker, stripped Fortin late in the game. The defense had eight tackles for loss and held Arkansas to 3.7 yards per play.

Arkansas sacked LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels seven times, limiting the SEC’s top rusher at the position to 10 yards on 19 carries. Daniels completed 8 of 15 passes for 86 yards and an interception.

The Razorbacks were without their usual starting quarterback, KJ Jefferson, announcing minutes before kickoff that Jefferson would not play due to a shoulder injury. Fortin finished 8 of 13 for 92 yards with the score and the lost fumble.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

LSU isn’t likely to jump given the margin of victory, but the Tigers won a game they couldn’t afford to lose.

THE TAKEAWAY

LSU: Looked much different Saturday than in last week’s win over Alabama. LSU’s College Football Playoff hopes may hinge on which team shows up at each game.

Arkansas: Remained a game short of bowl eligibility, dropping to .500 in Sam Pittman‘s third season. Arkansas won nine games last year.

UP NEXT

LSU: Hosts UAB on Nov. 19.

Arkansas: Hosts Ole Miss on Nov. 19 in its final home game of the season.

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. returning for 2023 season

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SEATTLE – Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. said Sunday he will return to the school for his sixth and final season of eligibility in 2023.

Penix announced his decision on social media and it was a surprising one at that. Penix was the national leader in passing this season, throwing for 4,354 yards and led Washington’s turnaround. The No. 12-ranked Huskies went 10-2 in the regular season, finished tied for second in the Pac-12 and will face No. 21 Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

Penix will have a chance at setting Washington’s single-season record for yards passing in the bowl game. He also threw 29 touchdowns this season. Because of his performance this season, Penix saw his NFL draft stock rise to where he was being expected to be a second-day pick at the latest.

In his announcement, Penix wrote, “As I look back on this special season we had, I realized there were so many great moments and things to celebrate, but I KNOW there is so much for out there for this team and the job is still not finished. I can’t wait to be playing in Husky Stadium for the 2023 season!”

Penix started his career at Indiana and showed flashes of stardom while also battling injuries. He transferred to Washington after the 2021 season, a move that reunited him with new Huskies’ coach Kalen DeBoer, who was Penix’s offensive coordinator for one season at Indiana.

North Texas fires Littrell after .500 record over 7 years

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

DENTON, Texas – Bowl-bound North Texas has fired coach Seth Littrell, who went 44-44 over seven seasons.

University president Neal Smatresk said Sunday night that the decision to make the move came after a thorough assessment of the program.

The Mean Green are 7-6 this season after losing 48-27 to UTSA in the Conference USA championship game Friday night.

Phil Bennett, their defensive coordinator the past two seasons, was named interim head coach. North Texas plays Boise State in the Frisco Bowl on Dec. 17.

The 44-year-old Littrell had one year left on his contract in what was his first head coaching job. He was the youngest coach in Conference USA and one of the youngest at the FBS level when he arrived after two seasons as offensive coordinator at North Carolina with UNT coming off a 1-11 season at the time.

While the Mean Green are going to their sixth bowl since Littrell first got there, they haven’t won any of those yet. The bowl in his debut season came after only five wins since there weren’t enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all of the slots. Consecutive nine-win seasons followed in 2017 and 2018, but they then had three consecutive losing records before this year.

North Texas also has an interim athletic director after Wren Baker was named as West Virginia’s AD last week.

Smatresk said Jared Mosley, the chief operating officer of UNT athletics, will serve as interim AD. The university is working with a search firm to find Baker’s successor.