FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Admittedly, Derrius Guice doesn't know all that much about the Golden Boot — since LSU hasn't held the trophy after losses to Arkansas in each of the last two seasons.
The Tigers sophomore did his part to make sure he'd have a chance to get acquainted with the 200-pound hardware on Saturday night, rushing for a career-high 252 yards in No. 19 LSU's 38-10 win over the Razorbacks.
A week after carrying the ball only two times for eight yards in a 10-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama, Guice overshadowed even star backfield teammate Leonard Fournette for the Tigers (6-3, 4-2 SEC, No. 24 CFP). The sophomore did so by finishing with 21 carries, including a game-sealing 96-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
It was the longest play from scrimmage in LSU history, one that helped the Tigers improve to 4-1 under interim coach Ed Orgeron — and return the Golden Boot to Baton Rouge.
"Arkansas sees us as an easy victory every time we lose to Alabama because we always play them right after," Guice said. "They felt like it was tradition to just beat us every time we play Alabama and lose, so I'm just happy we got to bring the Boot back home."
While Guice did much of the work in helping the Tigers outgain Arkansas (6-4, 2-4, No. 25 CFP) 547-291 in total yardage, he had plenty of help from Fournette — who rushed for three touchdowns and 98 yards on 17 carries.
For Arkansas, the loss marked a hard fall back to reality a week after a 31-10 win over Florida .
Rawleigh Williams accounted for 103 total yards to lead the Razorbacks, but quarterback Austin Allen struggled for the second straight game — finishing 15-of-31 passing for 210 yards and two interceptions.
"Offensively, it just seemed like whenever we did something good we shot ourselves in the foot or did something uncharacteristic," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. "That obviously set us back."
A week after allowing only 12 yards rushing to the Gators, Arkansas allowed LSU to rush for 390.
Most of those came from Guice, whose previous career high was a 163-yard performance against Missouri on Oct. 1. The sophomore has now topped the 100-yard rushing mark in four games this season, and his career night comes a week after the disappointing effort against Alabama.
"We felt that Derrius deserved more touches," Orgeron said. "Obviously, Derrius is a very good running back and we wanted to share the carries."
All in all, it was the perfect bounce-back game for an LSU team intent on winning for Orgeron, who took over for the fired Les Miles in September. Afterward, Guice said "all of it" was for Orgeron.
"I really feel he can win the job," Guice said.
So much for the Alabama hangover for LSU , which had lost in two straight years to Arkansas. Both of those games came after physical matchups with the top-ranked Crimson Tide, but the Tigers were clearly the dominant team from their first possession — when they went 75 yards on nine plays for an opening touchdown.
Despite last week's loss to Alabama, the Tigers remained in this week's rankings and they're likely to rise significantly after such a dominating win on Saturday. The Razorbacks, meanwhile, lost any good will they had with voters following last week's 31-10 win over Florida and likely have to win out to return to the rankings this season.
LSU returns home to host Florida in the makeup of the hurricane-postponed game from last month.
The Razorbacks are on the road for their final two regular-season games, starting next week at Mississippi State.
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Posted on Sun, November 13, 2016
by KURT VOIGT, AP Sports Writer