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LSU closes regular season against Arkansas Friday

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Russell Hedges

rhedges@bossierpress.com

 

The LSU Tigers close the 2013 regular season against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday in Tiger Stadium.

Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. on CBS.

LSU (8-3, 4-3 SEC) will be looking for its ninth win of the season. The Tigers, 6-0 at home, are coming off perhaps their best performance of the season, a 34-10 victory over Texas A&M.

The victory pushed LSU up three spots to No. 15 in the AP Top 25.

Two of LSU’s losses were by three points. The Tigers lost to Georgia 44-41 on Sept. 28 and Ole Miss 27-24 on Oct. 19. The other loss was 38-17 to top-ranked Alabama on Nov. 9. That game was tied at 17 in the third quarter.

It’s been a tough season for Arkansas (3-8, 0-7), which is coming off a 24-17 overtime loss to Mississippi State. The Razorbacks have lost eight straight after winning their first three under new coach Bret Bielema.

LSU has had several outstanding individual performances on offense this season..

Senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger is closing in on the 3,000-yard passing mark. He has completed 178 of 274 passes (65 percent) for 2,926 yards and 22 touchdowns with seven interceptions.

The Tigers have two of the best receivers in the country in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.

Landry has caught 67 passes for 1,059 yards and 10 touchdowns. Beckham has 56 receptions for 1,101 yards and eight touchdowns.

Jeremy Hill has rushed for 1,040 yards on 155 carries, an average of 6.5 yards per carry, and scored 13 touchdowns. Terrance Magee is also having a solid season with 556 yards on 72 carries and six touchdowns. Magee had a career-best 149 yards against A&M.

“There are so many guys that can help us offensively,” Mettenberger said after the A&M game. “We are so deep in every position. Even when Odell and Jarvis aren’t having their best game, others guys step up and make big plays for us. All of our running backs are great. Honestly, all of our success comes from the offensive line and those five guys up front.”

The LSU defense has been up and down, but it’s coming off its most impressive performance of the season.

The Tigers held Texas A&M to about 30 points below the Aggies’ season average. Quarterback Johnny Manziel, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, completed just 16 of 41 passes for 224 yards with two interceptions.