LITTLE ROCK, Ark. | Casey Dick threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to London Crawford on fourth-and-1 with 22 seconds remaining to give Arkansas a 31-30 victory over LSU on Friday night.
The Razorbacks trailed 30-14 early in the third quarter when Dick replaced his younger brother Nathan at quarterback. With the help of several LSU penalties, Arkansas slowly chipped away before converting twice on fourth down on the winning drive.
On fourth down from the LSU 24 with the clock running, the Razorbacks hastily lined up to run a play. Dick found Crawford single covered in the end zone, and the junior held on for a touchdown. His catch was in the same part of the end zone where DeCori Birmingham came down with the ball in 2002 to give Arkansas a one-point win over LSU.
That victory sent the Razorbacks to the Southeastern Conference championship game. They won't go to a bowl this season, but this victory will be remembered for a while.
The Tigers (7-5, 3-5) are all but assured of a trip to a minor bowl, not what the defending national champions had in mind when they started the season ranked in the top 10. LSU, beaten by Mississippi last week, lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2002 and finished with three losses in last four game.
After Alex Tejada's extra point put Arkansas ahead by one, LSU had one more chance, but Colt David was short on a 63-yard field goal attempt.
When it was over, the Razorbacks spilled onto the field and raced over to lift the Golden Boot, which Arkansas took home last year with a 50-48, triple-overtime win at LSU.
With Nathan Dick starting at quarterback, Arkansas led 14-3 after the first quarter before being outscored 20-0 in the second. Freshman Jordan Jefferson, making his first start, threw for two touchdowns for the Tigers.
The turning point in the game might have come with Arkansas down 30-21 in the third quarter. LSU's Tremaine Johnson was called for unnecessary roughness with Arkansas about to face fourth down and about 30 from deep in its own territory. Instead the Razorbacks drove for a field goal.
Arkansas (5-7, 2-6) and LSU met as unranked teams for the first time since 1994, and the Razorbacks appeared more energized early. Dennis Johnson ran for nearly 100 yards in the first quarter alone and finished with 127.
LSU managed only a field goal in that opening period. The Tigers had a touchdown called back after a review showed Jefferson's knee was on the ground before he pitched the ball to a teammate on an option. LSU had been all set to kick the extra point when Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino came racing out on the field to catch an official's attention.
The Tigers turned the game around in the second quarter, holding the Razorbacks to 3 yards of offense. Charles Scott scored on a 5-yard run, and Jefferson put LSU ahead with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Richard Dickson.
Nathan Dick threw an interception near the end of the half, allowing David to kick his third field goal of the game for a 23-14 lead.
Jefferson, the first freshman to start at quarterback for the Tigers since the 1995 season, went 9-of-21 for 143 yards. He also led the team with 50 yards rushing.
Jefferson threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell early in the third quarter to make it 30-14, but Casey Dick answered with a 46-yard scoring pass to Jarius Wright to start the Arkansas comeback.
Johnson's penalty came during a 17-play, 90-yard drive by Arkansas that took 8:33 on the game clock and a lot longer than that in real time. LSU's Rahim Alem received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on that same drive for kicking the ball after an incomplete pass.
The Tigers were penalized seven times for 72 yards in the second half.
Down 30-24, Arkansas took over at its own 31 with 2:14 remaining. The first big hurdle was a fourth-and-6, which Casey Dick converted with a 21-yard pass to Carlton Salters to the LSU 33.
After Arkansas went ahead, Chad Jones returned a squib kick to the Arkansas 46. Jefferson threw toward Terrance Toliver, who came across the middle right to where one of the officials was. The ball fell incomplete, and the Tigers couldn't get any closer.