LSU football grades vs Arkansas: Harold Perkins earns A, but what about Brian Kelly?

Koki Riley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — No. 7 LSU football escaped Arkansas with a 13-10 win Saturday thanks to freshman Harold Perkins' strip-sack in the final minutes that clinched the victory.

Arkansas struggled to get anything going on offense until the fourth quarter, when backup quarterback Cade Fortin completed a 29-yard strike and a 40-yard pass to lead the Razorbacks (5-5, 2-4 SEC) to their first touchdown. Fortin replaced starter Malik Hornsby in the third quarter.

Quarterback Jayden Daniels struggled, but LSU's traditional run game was good enough to move the ball against Arkansas. The performance from the attack still wasn't pretty, though. LSU (8-2, 6-1) didn't score its first touchdown until the latter half of the third quarter.

Here is our report card from the LSU win.

Offense: D+

Daniels was sacked five times in the first half and turned over the ball twice. But LSU's traditional run game was just good enough to outgain Arkansas's struggling offense.

The Tigers didn't score their first touchdown until the 5:25 mark of the third quarter.

Defense: A

LSU's defense played as well as any Tigers fan could've asked for. The unit held Arkansas to 129 total yards through three quarters and bottled up the Razorbacks' run game.

Perkins sacked Hornsby three times and forcing a fumble.

Special teams: C

The performance wasn't crippling, but penalties and a kick out of bounds in the first half highlighted issues that still exist within special teams coordinator Brian Polian's unit.

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Coaching: B-

LSU's offense didn't look prepared for the weather or for what Arkansas' defense was doing up front. Special teams was an issue for the Tigers again as well.

LSU's defense, however, was excellent. Defensive coordinator Matt House did a good job of preparing the Tigers against Arkansas' downhill rushing attack and forced constant pressure on quarterbacks Malik Hornsby and Cade Fortin.

Overall: C

The offense was nowhere near good enough, but Perkins made sure that the Tigers were just good enough to squeak out the victory.

Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.