BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Matt Mauck and Louisiana State prevented any chance of some late-game heroics by Arkansas.
Mauck threw four touchdown passes as the third-ranked Tigers clinched the Southeastern Conference West Division title and stayed in the national championship picture with a 55-24 rout of Arkansas.
LSU (11-1, 7-1) reached its second SEC championship game appearance in three years and would be going for the third straight time if not for a 21-20 loss to Arkansas last season in which Matt Jones threw the game-winning touchdown in the final minute. This year, the Tigers ended things early by scoring 38 straight points spanning the second and third quarters.
LSU scored 21 points off three Arkansas turnovers to build a 34-17 halftime lead. Coach Nick Saban then showed no mercy in the third quarter, even running for a first down out of field goal formation on fourth down. The scramble by Blain Bach led to a 23-yard TD run by Justin Vincent that made it 48-17. Vincent carried 18 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
"It was a great win for us to dominate the way we did," Saban said. "It was a great win for our program."
LSU is third in the latest BCS standings and needs to finish in the top two in the final standings on December 7 in order to advance to the Sugar Bowl. Oklahoma and Southern California are 1-2 in the current standings.
The Tigers, who will play the East Division winner in the SEC championship on December 6 in Atlanta, tied a school record for wins set in 1958 and passed 400 points in a season for the first time since 1908.
"I think offensively we just wanted to come out and play better," said Mauck, referring to a sluggish effort in a 17-14 win over Mississippi. "I think it's just execution. We've got the talent. We've got the guys who can do it."
Arkansas (8-4, 4-4) turned the ball over five times and allowed more than 50 points for the second time this season. The Razorbacks outlasted Kentucky, 71-63, in seven overtimes on November 1.
"We were a gift giver today," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "A gift giver in a big way, you give up 21 points or spot them that many, boy that hurts. You have got to be real, real stingy with the football, take care of it."
Cedric Cobbs of Arkansas carried 21 times for 169 yards and scored on a 20-yard run in the second quarter to tie the game at 17-17, but the Tigers then took over.
Jacob Skinner of Arkansas fumbled while trying to punt, and Mauck capitalized on a two-yard touchdown pass to Skyler Green that put the Tigers ahead, 24-17. After a 47-yard field goal by Chris Jackson, Corey Webster intercepted Jones and Mauck threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Devery Henderson that made it 34-17 at halftime.
Mauck threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to David Jones 2:04 into the second quarter and Vincent had TD runs of 23 and two yards to increased the lead to 55-17 after three quarters.