LSU faces short week meeting Arkansas

LSU will go after a berth in the SEC Championship game for the second time in three years on Friday as the third-ranked Tigers host Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. <br><br> The game will be televised to a national audience by CBS. LSU (10-1 overall, 6-1 SEC) enters the contest coming off a 17-14 win over 15th-ranked Ole Miss last week, while Arkansas (8-3, 4-3) won its fourth consecutive game with a 52-6 victory over Mississippi State.

Also at stake on Friday will be "The Boot", a 24-karat gold trophy in the shape of the states of Louisiana and Arkansas. The Razorbacks currently have ownership of "The Boot" after last year's 21-20 win over LSU. This will be the eighth year in which LSU and Arkansas have battled for "The Boot".

 

Friday's game will match the nation's best team against the run in LSU against the Razorbacks, who rank fifth in the country in rushing offense. LSU enters the game allowing only 57.7 yards rushing per game, while Arkansas is averaging 240.4 yards rushing a contest. Overall, LSU ranks first in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 9.4 points per game. Arkansas leads the SEC in scoring with 35.0 points per game, while the Tigers are third in the conference with 33.2 points a contest.

 

LSU QB Matt Mauck ranks second in the SEC in pass efficiency with a 150.0 rating, while WR Michael Clayton leads the SEC in both receptions (66) and yards (918), while WR Devery Henderson ranks first in the conference in TD receptions (10). Friday's game will also serve as "Senior Day" for the Tigers as LSU will honor its 21 seniors in a pre-game ceremony.

 

LSU vs. Arkansas: Pre-Game Notebook

 

The Series

LSU and Arkansas meet for the 49th time with the Tigers holding a 29-17-2 lead in the series that dates back to a 15-0 LSU win in Baton Rouge in 1905 … The teams have played every year since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992 … Prior to that the teams went from 1967 to 1991 without playing a game … Since joining the SEC in 1992, LSU has a 6-5 mark vs. the Razorbacks … The teams will also be playing on the Friday after Thanksgiving for the eighth straight year … LSU is 6-1-1 all-time vs. Arkansas in Baton Rouge, which includes a current 4-game winning streak … Last year, Arkansas rallied for a last-second 21-20 win over the Tigers in Little Rock … LSU coach Nick Saban is 1-2 vs. Arkansas with the lone win coming in 2001 by a 41-38 count in Baton Rouge.

 

This Week

LSU returns to action on Friday at 1:30 p.m. against Arkansas in Tiger Stadium in the regular-season finale for both teams. The game will be televised to a national audience by CBS. LSU at 10-1 overall has a shot to become just the second team in school history to win 11 games in a single-season (the 1958 team posted an 11-0 mark en route to the national title). In addition, a win over Arkansas will put the Tigers in the SEC Championship game for the second time in three years. LSU's 10-1 mark is the best for the Tigers through 11 games since the 1961 squad posted a 10-1 mark. LSU's 6-1 SEC record is the best for the Tigers since the 1988 team recorded a 6-1 league record. LSU has never won seven conference games in a single-season. Arkansas, winners of four straight, brings an 8-3 overall mark and a 4-3 league record into Friday's contest.

 

In The Polls

The Tigers remained No. 3 in the nation in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll on Sunday. The Tigers have been ranked No. 3 in the nation for three straight weeks, the highest LSU has been ranked for three consecutive weeks since 1959 when the Tigers held down the No. 3 spot in the AP poll for the final three ranking periods. LSU is currently ranked among the top 10 in the AP poll for the 10th straight week, while they are in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll top 10 for the 11th straight week. The BCS standings are due out on Monday night and the Tigers are expected to inch up a spot to No. 3 after spending the last two weeks at No. 4 in poll. The Tigers were ranked No. 12 in the first BCS standings, followed by two weeks at No. 7.

 

LSU and Arkansas Battle For "The Boot"

For the eighth consecutive year, LSU and Arkansas will battle for "The Boot", a 24-karat gold trophy in the shape of the states of Arkansas and Louisiana that resembles a boot. LSU has won the trophy four times - 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2001 - while Arkansas has claimed the trophy three times 1998, 2000 and 2002. "The Boot" will sit on the Arkansas sidelines during Friday's game and will be presented to the winning team following the contest. 

 

Tigers Look For Berth in SEC Title Game For Second Time In Three Years

For the third time in four years under Nick Saban, LSU heads into the final regular season game of the year with a chance to advance to the SEC championship game. A win over Arkansas on Friday puts the Tigers in the league's title game for the second time in three years. LSU beat Auburn, 27-14, in 2001 to advance to the league title game, where the Tigers upset second-ranked Tennessee, 31-20. Last year, LSU appeared to be headed for the championship game before a last-minute Arkansas rally put the Hogs in Atlanta for the title game with their 21-20 victory over the Tigers.

 

LSU To Honor 21 Seniors Prior To Arkansas Game

LSU will honor 21 seniors on Friday afternoon prior to the Arkansas game. This year's senior class has combined to post a four-year mark of 36-13, which includes a 21-10 record in SEC games. The following is a list of LSU's senior class of 2003: LB Eric Alexander, WR Ty Barrett, WR/H Blain Bech, P Ross Cockrell, C Jimmy Courtenay, LB Barrett Dupuy, TE Eric Edwards, DB Randall Gay, WR Devery Henderson, SS Jack Hunt, P Donnie Jones, DT Chad Lavalais, LB Jason LeDoux, LB Adrian Mayes, FB Brandon Nowlin, OG Stephen Peterman, LB Dave Peterson, OT Rodney Reed, DB Chad White, DT Torran Williams, DT Bryce Wyatt.


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