FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Fans stormed the field and the head coach was doused with Gatorade as the final seconds ticket away.
It’s normally not what you would expect from a .500 team.
Saturday night was far from the recent normal for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks let out two-plus years of Southeastern Conference frustration at LSU’s expense and set off a chaotic scene at Razorback Stadium after snapping a 17-game league losing streak with the 17-0 victory.
Arkansas (5-4, 1-5) hadn’t won an SEC game since beating Kentucky in 2012. It was Arkansas’ first shutout since blanking Utah State in 2006 and first in the SEC since 2002. It was also the Razorbacks’ first shutout over an Associated Press Top 25 team since joining the SEC in 1990.
Fans stormed the field and Arkansas players rushed to the visiting sideline to claim the “Golden Boot” trophy as the final horn sounded, giving Coach Bret Bielema his first SEC victory.
“This is so exciting,” said Bielema, who was doused with Gatorade as the final seconds of the game ticked away. “I can’t say, as a coach of a 5-5 team, that I enjoyed championship years somewhere else any more than this.
“I think I hugged everyone twice in that locker room.”
Junior quarterback Brandon Allen completed 16 of 27 passes for 126 yards, and the Razorbacks had 264 total yards and were 10-of-17 on third down.
LSU (7-4, 3-4), meanwhile, was held to 36 yards rushing.
“I’m just happy to get over the hump,” Arkansas senior free safety Alan Turner said. “There’s a lot of games in the SEC, we were just right there and just didn’t pull it off. Finally to get one, it is a confidence boost. It’s a good feeling right now.
“We knew it was a trophy game. We’d seen them be able to get the boot, and then keep it, and it was just a good feeling to go over to their side of the field and take something we felt was ours.”
A crowd of 70,165 began to feel the victory with 8:21 remaining when Martrell Spaight forced a fumble by LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings that was recovered by Darius Philon after the Tigers had driven to the Arkansas 27.
“Tonight teaches guys what we can find at the end of a rainbow,” Bielema said. “In the third and fourth quarters, we were in situations where the guys continued to have the right answer. When things started to work against us, we started to make plays when we needed to.
“We can play with anyone in the country, and that’s not silly to say.”
The victory was Arkansas’ first over a ranked opponent since beating No. 11 Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl in 2012, and the first win over a ranked SEC team since beating No. 10 South Carolina in 2011.
“This is awesome for our fans,” Bielema said. “It’s just fun to share win like this with them. It lets them know that good things are coming.
“Today didn’t just happen today. It’s been part of a process.”