50 - 48 Final - 4OT
  for this game

McFadden, Arkansas shock No. 1 LSU in triple-OT

Nov 24, 2007 - 3:13 AM BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Darren McFadden bolstered his fading Heisman Trophy hopes while Arkansas became the latest school to throw a monkey wrench into the national championship picture.

McFadden rushed for three touchdowns and passed for another as unranked Arkansas shocked No. 1 Louisiana State in triple-overtime, 50-48, in the Southeastern Conference regular-season finale for both schools.

The wild victory somewhat salvaged what had been a lost season for the Razorbacks (8-4, 4-4 SEC West), who may have saved the job of embattled coach Houston Nutt.

Reports began circulating last weekend that Nutt would be fired regardless of the outcome of this contest. But Nutt was masterful in this contest, often using a McFadden-based shotgun offense which baffled LSU's vaunted defense.

Conversely, Tigers coach Les Miles could not have hoped to end his regular season on a worse note. A former player and graduate at Michigan, Miles has widely been linked to the job opening in Ann Arbor.

The loss will drop the Tigers (10-2, 6-2 West) from the top spot in the Bowl Championship Series and cost them a berth in the national title game. LSU still can clinch a BCS bowl bid with a win next weekend in the SEC championship game.

"This team is not happy," Miles said. "We understand what this cost us and what was at stake. We now have to look forward to playing another game, a very important game and one that is much bigger than the one we just played. That is what we have to focus on."

It was the Razorbacks' first win over the nation's top-ranked school since October 17, 1981, when they rolled to a 42-11 triumph over Texas.

"I am really proud of our team today. I thought they played with a lot of heart and character," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "I've never been so proud of a group that just competed so hard and played so well. For three or four hours - however long the game was all I know is we were the best in the country today."

This upset was not nearly as easy, as LSU rallied for a trio of second-half ties and took a seven-point lead in the first overtime.

But the Tigers ultimately had no answer for McFadden, who finished with 205 yards on 31 carries and also completed 3-of-5 passes for 34 yards.

"He's a Heisman Trophy guy. The guy deserves the trophy," Nutt said of McFadden. "It's not right for his name not to be mentioned as No. 1 right now. He blocks; he catches; he quarterbacks; he throws; he reads; he runs the football with passion and determination, and he really deserves a serious look."

"I knew how good he was I watched him a year ago. I was not surprised. I was surprised how successful he was against us, but not about the running back," Miles said. "He has a great combination of power and speed. If he is not the first player taken at his position I would be surprised. He certainly had a Heisman performance today."

After McFadden rumbled for a 10-yard run down to LSU's 3-yard line, fullback Peyton Hillis rumbled into the end zone to give Arkansas a 50-42 lead. It was the fourth score of the contest for Hillis, who had 151 yards of total offense.

The Tigers clawed within 50-48 on Matt Flynn's 13-yard TD to Early Doucet. But Flynn's pass on the ensuing two-point attempt was intercepted by cornerback Matterral Richardson in the back of the end zone, sending Arkansas into a wild celebration while ending LSU's national title hopes.

"Being a leader, that's something I always want to do carry my team on my back," McFadden said. "I feel like that's something I did tonight. It's a great feeling. We haven't beat LSU since I've been here."

Flynn scampered for a 12-yard score on the first possession of overtime to give LSU a 35-28 lead. But the Razorbacks answered when Casey Dick hooked up with Hillis for a 10-yard score.

After McFadden coasted for an easy nine-yard TD to give Arkansas the lead in the second overtime, LSU forged a 42-42 tie on Jacob Hester's two-yard plunge.

The Tigers forged a 28-28 deadlock with a minute remaining in regulation when Flynn found Demetrius Byrd for a two-yard score on fourth down.

The game-tying score came five minutes after Arkansas took a 28-21 lead on McFadden's 24-yard scoring strike to Hillis.

Arkansas stormed out of the gate in the second half, as McFadden raced down the left sideline for a 73-yard TD run just five minutes into the third quarter.

McFadden received a key late block from Dick, who took out LSU safety Chad Jones to help give the Razorbacks a 14-6 lead.

The Tigers forged a 14-14 tie two minutes later on Hester's 12-yard TD run and Flynn's diving two-point conversion, but the Razorbacks reclaimed the lead on the ensuing possession when Hillis burst up the middle for a 65-yard score.

Flynn capped off the wild third quarter with a seven-yard TD strike to Byrd, whose leaping grab in the end zone knotted the score at 21-21.

LSU took an apparent lead midway through the fourth quarter when Flynn found Hester for a 54-yard score. But the play was called back, as the Tigers were flagged for an illegal receiver downfield.