Tigers Stun No. 17 Razorbacks

Dr. Emily Senay and Hannah Storm
CBS/The Early Show

With a new coach and an old quarterback, LSU finally got a victory.

"This was fun," said Rohan Davey, who threw three touchdown passes in LSU's 35-17 victory over No. 17 Arkansas. "For a change, it was really fun to go out and play."

Davey, who was beaten out of his starting spot in the third game of the season, helped LSU break an eight-game losing streak.

It was the first victory since Sept. 11 for the Tigers (3-8, 1-7 Southeastern Conference), coming just over a week after coach Gerry DiNardo was fired.

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Game summary

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  • Assistant coach Hal Hunter led the team to the victory, but is not considered a candidate for the job next season.

    "Anybody that was fortunate enough to be in the locker room for the first five minutes after the game, it was incredible," Hunter said. "That was emotion in its truest form. It has been so long since we had emotion like that. The kids were just really excited. It was an incredible moment."

    In a year in which the coach was fired, players were suspended for everything from breaking team rules to purse snatching and improper conduct with an agent, LSU hit the field like a team with something to prove.

    Just one loss away from being shut out in conference play for just the second time in their 100-year football history, LSU got hot in the second quarter when Davey stepped in at quarterback in place of Josh Booty.

    Davey completed 10 of 12 for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Booty completed 4 of 6 for 43 yards.

    "I didn't know how much I would play," Davey said. "I have been waiting for my shot or a while and I knew if I played well I wouldn't come out."

    Domanick Davis ran 11 yards for a touchdown on a two-play drive for the Tigers' first touchdown.

    Davey hit Reggie Robinson with a 67-yard pass that made it 14-3 with 4:15 left in the second quarter. Then, with 26 seconds left in the half, Davey unloaded a 48-yarder to Rondell Mealey that made it 21-3.

    Mealey, who escaped the shadoof Kevin Faulk and Cecil Collins this year and hoped to establish himself as a top back, capped off a disappointing season with 82 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. His final game was good enough to put Mealey in sixth place in LSU rushing history with 2,218 career yards.

    Meanwhile, Arkansas, which was coming off victories over Mississippi State and Tennessee, stumbled through the first half, collecting six penalties, and fumbling to set up the Tigers final touchdown of the half.

    "We ran into a trap," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "That's one of the things I was concerned about during the week they let Gerry DiNardo go. I was concerned about a team that was 2-8. They were either going to lay it on the line, which they did, or they were going to cut it loose."

    The Razorbacks (7-4, 4-4) led the SEC in fewest sacks allowed with 12, and had not allowed Tennessee or Mississippi near Clint Stoerner. But LSU sacked him twice in the first half.

    After missing a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter, Tony Dodson hit a 26-yarder for Arkansas' only first half points.

    Stoerner completed 19 of 36 for 252 yards, including a touchdown and two interceptions. Robby Hampton came on to complete 5 of 8 and was intercepted twice.

    "We haven't played well on the road all year long." Stoerner said. "We didn't take them lightly. We knew what they were capable of. They showed it big time tonight."

    LSU scored on its first possession of the second half on a 20-yard run by Mealey to make it 28-3.

    Arkansas scored its only touchdown of the game on their first drive of the half as Stoerner hit Joe Dean Davenport with a 15-yard scoring pass to cut the Tigers lead to 28-10.

    The Tigers added a fourth-quarter touchdown on Robinson's 60-yard reception with 9:18 left that made it 35-10.

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