LSU is back in the win column and it's thanks to a multitude of players who made timely plays down the stretch of an ever important bounce back performance against Arkansas.
We've talked a little bit about TJ Finley's poise and confidence that showed once again down the stretch of a big game. But he wasn't the only LSU player to step up when the moments mattered most. Here were three players who had stand out performances and what it means for each moving forward.
Tyrion Davis-Price (RB)
After just accumulating 35 yards on the ground against Auburn, LSU desperately needed to get the run game going against Arkansas. The Tigers racked up 148 yards on the ground, including 104 from the sophomore Davis-Price, who was the consistent threat that the offense was looking for.
Through six games, Davis-Price and John Emery have traded hands at being the featured back. What Davis-Price did on Saturday was simply put LSU in winning situations.
His three and four-yard runs on first and second down set Finley and the pass offense up extremely well on third and short situations. Neither Emery or Davis-Price has been able to be the featured guy in back-to-back weeks which is why Orgeron will continue to heavily lean on both backs.
"He was the guy that provided the spark today, but guys are gonna have hands," Orgeron said. "One time it may be John, one time it may be Chris, but we felt Tyrion with the physicality that he was running the football, especially lowering his pads and going forward and making the tough yards. He had a tremendous game."
Jay Ward (CB)
When Jay Ward entered the game for Elias Ricks in the first half it was only a matter of time before Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks found and exploited the matchup. Ward was picked on consistently throughout the afternoon but made his presence felt when it mattered most.
In the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, with LSU up three points but Arkansas driving, Ward came away with a key third down pass deflection and on the very next play, partially blocked a 44-yard, game tying field goal attempt to essentially end the game.
"He hung in there, man. Jay's a tough young man. You know, play like you practice," Orgeron said. "On our field goal block, Jay Ward's always around the corner. He's always making plays. Just happy for that young man. Next man up and he did it."
Linebacker Jabril Cox knows how hard this secondary has taken this season as the DBU name has been brought into question throughout this season's struggles. But when the senior linebacker sees a young player like Cox go through some early struggles but come back and make those kind of plays, it shows that the talent is there.
"He made a big time play at the end. Big time players make big time plays in big time moments and you see that there,” Cox said. “Even though he had a couple of struggles, he came back and fought and that's a testament of us working hard.”
Zach Von Rosenberg (P)
In a game that was largely depicted by field position and clock management, Von Rosenberg's contributions cannot be overlooked. The 30-year-old senior punter continues to have a remarkably great 2020 season with his performance on Saturday.
For much of the game, LSU would put together some great starts to drives but wouldn't be able to capitalize. As a result, Von Rosenberg was forced to punt seven times but made every single one of them count.
He averaged 48.9 yards per punt, pinning Arkansas inside the 20-yard line five times and recording four punts of 50 or more yards with a long of 61 (a season high) on the afternoon.
"I thought Zach Von Rosenberg had a tremendous game of pinning them deep," Orgeron said.
Ironically despite showing the ability to pin the Razorbacks inside the 20-yard line, the Arkansas offense was able to score 17 points despite being pinned inside its own 20-yard line three separate occasions. Special teams has been a bright spot all season as Ward's blocked field goal was another example and Cade York was a perfect 2-for-2 as well.