LSU’s title hopes on the line Friday against Arkansas

LSU goes after the school’s first 12-0 start on Friday as the top-ranked Tigers host No. 3 Arkansas with a berth in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game on the line. The game will feature the highest-ranked teams in Tiger Stadium since 1959 when No. 1 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss, 7-3, on Halloween Night.

Kickoff between the Tigers and the Razorbacks is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in a sold out Tiger Stadium with CBS televising the contest to a national audience. The game also serves as the annual “Battle for the Boot” between the two teams as well as being “Senior Day” for the Tigers. LSU will honor its 25 seniors prior to kickoff on Friday.

LSU, which currently has the nation’s longest winning streak at 12 games, is 11-0 overall and 7-0 in conference play following its 52-3 win over Ole Miss last week. LSU is 7-0 in SEC play for the first time in school history. LSU remains a game ahead of both Arkansas and Alabama in the SEC Western Division standings going into the final weekend of play. Arkansas is 10-1 overall and 6-1 in league play after its 44-17 victory over Mississippi State last week. The Razorbacks have won seven straight since dropping a 38-14 decision to Alabama.

Arkansas represents the seventh Top 25 team, and the third ranked in the top three, that the Tigers have faced this year. LSU is one Top 25 win away from tying the school record for victories over a ranked opponent, which was set in 2007. LSU goes into the game ranked No. 1 in the nation in all of the major polls for the fifth consecutive week. LSU also has a perfect 1.000 rating in the BCS Standings, the first for any team in college football since 2006 when Ohio State did it during in the final standings. LSU is playing its eighth straight game as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team – the longest stretch since 1959. LSU is 21-3 all-time in games played as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, which includes a 9-2 mark under Les Miles.

LSU brings one of the top defenses in the nation into the Arkansas game as the Tigers are ranked in the top 5 nationally in five major categories – total defense (No. 2 at 247.91), scoring defense (No. 2 at 10.0), pass efficiency defense (No. 2 at 92.33 rating), rush defense (No. 3 at 89.64) and pass defense (No. 5 at 158.27). Offensively, LSU is second in the SEC in scoring with 37.9 points per game as the Tigers have tied the school record set in 2007 with seven 40-point games. LSU is averaging 377.1 total yards per game (209.5 rushing, 167.6 passing). QBs Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson have combined to complete 131-of-208 passes for 1,752 yards, 18 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions. A trio of sophomores lead the Tigers in rushing – Spencer Ware (6500 yards, 7 TDs), Michael Ford (625 yards, 7 TDs) and Alfred Blue (445 yards, 6 TDs). Rueben Randle (39 catches, 755 yards, 8 TDs) and true freshman WR Odell Beckham Jr. (33 catches, 410 yards, 2 TDs) lead the Tigers in receiving. Defensively, LSU has allowed just four TDs in its seven SEC games (1 each to Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Auburn) and the Tigers have held their first seven conference opponents to a combined 50 points.

S Brandon Taylor leads the Tigers with 61 tackles, while S Eric Reid and CB Tyrann Mathieu follow with 58 tackles. CB Morris Claiborne is tops on the team in interceptions with 4. Other defensive standouts include DE Sam Montgomery (37 tackles, 10.0 TFL, 7.0 sacks), DT Bennie Logan (41 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) and DE Barkevious Mingo (32 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 5.0 sacks).

Series Notes:

LSU and Arkansas meet for the 57th time with the Tigers holding a 34-20-2 advantage in the series ... A combined total of 21 points has been the difference in the last six games played between the teams … As a matter of fact, one point separates the point total for each team in the last six games combined – Arkansas has scored 185 points, LSU 184 in games dating back to 2005 … Two of last four games have gone to overtime and three points or less have determined the outcome of four of last six games … The largest point difference between teams came last year when Arkansas won 31-23 in Little Rock … The teams return to their accustomed Friday playing date this year after meeting on Saturday in both 2009 and 2010 … The teams will play again in 2012 on a Friday in Little Rock … Prior to 2009, the teams had played on the Friday after Thanksgiving from 1996-2008 … Since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992, LSU has an 11-8 mark against the Hogs ... The teams play annually for the Boot, which is a 24-karat trophy molded into the shape of Louisiana and Arkansas … LSU coach Les Miles is 3-3 vs. Arkansas.

Last Time Out: #1 LSU 52, Ole Miss 3

LSU scored two defensive touchdowns and five players rushed for 50 yards or more as the top-ranked Tigers demolished Ole Miss, 52-3, in Oxford for their 12th straight win dating back to 2010. The game was never in doubt as LSU’s Ron Brooks intercepted an Ole Miss pass on the third play of the game and returned it 46 yards for a TD and a 7-0 lead. LSU, which only punted one time, scored on its next two possessions, taking a 21-0 lead at the 5:11 mark in the first quarter on a 22-yard pass from Jordan Jefferson to Russell Shepard. Kevin Minter made it 28-0 early in the second quarter when he recovered an Ole Miss fumble in the endzone. Spencer Ware added a 35-yard TD run as the Tigers led 35-3 at halftime. Michael Ford raced 19 yards for a score and then James Stampley added his first career TD in the third quarter as LSU led 49-3 at the end of three quarters. LSU tacked on a 29-yard field goal by Drew Alleman to close out the scoring. For the game, LSU didn’t throw an incomplete pass, going 8-for-8 for 105 yards and one TD. The Tigers rushed for a season-high 353 yards with Alfred Blue leading the way with 74 yards on four carries. Ware added 70 yards and one TD as the Tigers racked up 458 total yards, while limiting the Rebels to just 195 total yards. Safety Derrick Bryant had his best game as a Tiger with eight tackles, while Brooks had four tackles, one sack for an 11-yard loss, a forced fumble and fumble recovery and the interception return for a touchdown.

Additional Storylines

• LSU has allowed just 4 first half TDs all year (1 each to Oregon, West Virginia, Tennessee and Western Kentucky).

• In 44 quarters, LSU has trailed at the conclusion of just 2 quarters (1st quarter vs. Oregon, 6-3; 3rd vs. Alabama, 6-3).

• LSU has scored first in 10 of its 11 games this year - Alabama scored first in week 9.

• In 44 quarters of action, LSU’s defense has held opponents without a TD in 35 quarters. LSU has scored at least 1 TD in 32 of 44 quarters.

• LSU goes after its school-record eighth SEC win against Arkansas. LSU has never gone 8-0 in SEC play.

• LSU has now gone 7 quarters without allowing a touchdown.

• In the first quarter this year, LSU has allowed just 4 FGs and 1 TD (Western Kentucky)

• LSU has won 18 straight games when winning the turnover battle. Under Les Miles, LSU is 34-4 when forcing more turnovers than they give up.

• LSU has forced 24 turnovers this year and the Tigers have scored points either on the turnover or on the ensuing drive 16 times (13 TDs, 3 FG).

• LSU QBs Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee are the only quarterbacks in the SEC who have each thrown for 30 TD passes in their career. Lee (32) and Jefferson (32) are both in the top 10 in school history in that category.

• Jefferson and Lee rank Nos. 1 and 3 in the SEC in terms of wins by an active QB. Jefferson has won 22 games, while Lee has 14 victories to his credit.

• LSU has tied the school-record for 40-point games in a season with 7. Dating back to last year, LSU has scored 40 or more points in 10 of its last 15 games.

• LSU is currently enjoying its best stretch of games in school history have won 22 of its last 24 games. Prior to this year, best stretch of games came from 1958 to first game of 1960 when the Tigers won 21 of 23 contests.

A Win Over Arkansas Would....

• Make LSU 12-0 for the first time in school history.

• Give LSU 12 wins during the regular season for the first time in school history.

• Give LSU its first undefeated record in the regular season since going 11-0 (10-0 during regular season) in 1958.

• Give LSU its first undefeated record in conference play since going 5-0 in 1970.

• Clinch a berth in the SEC title game for LSU for the fifth time in school history and third time under Les Miles.

LSU, Arkansas Meet In Highest-Ranked Matchup In Tiger Stadium Since Cannon’s Halloween Run In ‘59

When LSU and Arkansas meet on Friday in Tiger Stadium it will mark the highest-ranked matchup in Death Valley since 1959 when the top-ranked Tigers beat No. 3 Ole Miss, 7-3, on Halloween Night. That was the night Billy Cannon returned a punt 89-yards for a touchdown in what is considered the greatest single play in LSU football history. Since then there have been many top 10 matchups in Tiger Stadium but not one involving teams ranked as high as LSU and Arkansas until this week. The following is a look at the highest-ranked matchups in Tiger Stadium history:

Year Matchup (combined avg. rank) Results

1958 No. 1 LSU vs. No. 6 Ole Miss (3.5) LSU 14, Ole Miss 0

1959 No. 1 LSU vs. No. 9 TCU (5.0) LSU 10, TCU 0

1959 No.1 LSU vs. No. 3 Ole Miss (2.0) LSU 7, Ole Miss 3

1961 No.6 LSU vs. No. 2 Ole Miss (4.0) LSU 10, Ole Miss 7

1962 No.4 LSU vs. No. 6 Ole Miss (5.0) Ole Miss 15, LSU 7

1972 No.8 LSU vs. No. 9 Auburn (8.5) LSU 35, Auburn 7

1973 No.7 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama (4.5) Alabama 21, LSU 7

1987 No.4 LSU vs. No. 7 Ohio State (5.5) LSU 13, Ohio State 13 (tie)

2005 No.4 LSU vs. No. 10 Tennessee (7.0) Tennessee 30, LSU 27 (OT)

2007 No.2 LSU vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech (5.5) LSU 48, Virginia Tech 7

2007 No.1 LSU vs. No. 9 Florida (5.0) LSU 28, Florida 24

2009 No.4 LSU vs. No. 1 Florida (2.5) Florida 13, LSU 3

2011 No. 1 LSU vs. No. 3 Arkansas (2.0) Friday, Nov. 25 at 1:30 p.m. (CBS)

LSU and Arkansas Battle For “The Boot”

For the 16th 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 9 times - 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009 while Arkansas has claimed the trophy 6 times 1998, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008, and 2010. “The Boot” will sit on the Arkansas sidelines during game and will be given to the winning team following the contest.

LSU To Honor 25

Seniors On Friday

LSU will recognize its 25 seniors (19 scholarship, 6 walkons) prior to kickoff on Friday. This year’s group of seniors were all recruited by head coach Les Miles and have been part of a national title as well as three 11-plus win seasons. The following is a listing of LSU’s 2011 Senior Class: Kendrick Adams, Ryan Baker, Will Blackwell, Ron Brooks, Derrick Bryant, Joey Crappell, Taylor Debusk, David Detz, Josh Dworaczyk, Stefoin Francois, Karnell Hatcher, T-Bob Hebert, Trent Hebert, D.J. Howard, Jordan Jefferson, Dennis Johnson, Mitch Joseph, Austin Kinchen, Jarrett Lee, Deangelo Peterson, Alex Russian, Greg Shaw, James Stampley, Ryan St. Julien and Brandon Taylor.

With 11 Wins, LSU Joins Alabama Elite

SEC Company

By winning its 11th game of the season, LSU now joins Alabama as the only two teams in SEC history to win at least 11 games five times in a 7-year span. LSU has now won at least 11 games five times under Les Miles from 2005-11. Alabama won 11 games six times during a 7-year span twice – 1971-77 and 1973-79.

Tigers Hold Top Spot In BCS Standings For Sixth Straight Week With Perfect 1.000 Rating

Undefeated LSU held onto the top spot in the BCS Standings for the sixth straight week following the win over Ole Miss. The BCS formula is consisted of three parts – USA Today Coaches poll, Harris Interactive, and computer polls. LSU stands atop the BCS standings this week with a perfect 1.000 rating. The perfect 1.000 rating for LSU means that the Tiges are first in both human elements of the poll (USA Today Coaches Poll and Harris Interactive), while also being No. 1 in all seven computer formulas. Alabama is second with a .9491 rating, followed by Arkansas at .8985. It’s the first time in the history of the BCS that three teams from the same league, in this case same division of the SEC, are ranked Nos. 1-3. Oklahoma State (.8408) and Virginia Tech (.7842) round out the top five. Other SEC teams in the BCS standings include:

South Carolina at No. 12, Georgia at No. 13, and Auburn at No. 24.

LSU’s Brooks and Blackwell Named SEC Players

of the Week

LSU cornerback Ron Brooks and offensive guard Will Blackwell have been named SEC Players of the Week for their performance in the 52-3 win over Ole Miss. Brooks was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week, along with Danny Trevathan of Kentucky, while Blackwell earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors. Brooks, a senior from Irving, Texas, had perhaps his best all-around game as a Tiger with four tackles, one sack for an 11-yard loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception return for a TD. Brooks returned an interception 46 yards on the third play of the game to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead. On Ole Miss’ thid series of the game, Brooks sacked the quarterback, forcing and recovering a fumble. LSU scored two plays later for a 21-0 advantage. Blackwell, a senior from West Monroe, led LSU with nine blockdowns as the Tigers rolled up a season-best 353 rushing yards and four TDs. LSU didn’t allow a sack against Ole Miss as the Tigers racked up 458 total yards in scoring a season-high 52 points.

LSU’s No. 1 In AP Poll For Nine Straight Week; Longest Streak For Tigers Since 1959

LSU remained No. 1 in the nation for the ninth straight week on Sunday as the Tigers held onto the top spot in the Associated Press poll following their 52-3 win over Ole Miss. LSU has been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll since the day after beating West Virginia on Sept. 24. LSU is also ranked No. 1 in the Harris Interactive Poll for the seventh straight week and they are No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll for the fifth straight week. LSU will play its eighth straight game as the nation’s top-ranked team on Friday against Arkansas. LSU hasn’t played eight straight games as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team since 1959 when the Tigers played their first eight games of the year ranked No. 1. LSU is ranked No. 1 during the regular season for the first time since 2007. Les Miles has guided LSU to No. 1 rankings during the regular season on three different occasions (twice in 2007and now this year). Miles and Paul Dietzel in 1958 and 1959 are the only two coaches in school history to have teams ranked No. 1 in the nation in two different seasons. LSU first appeared at No. 1 in the AP Poll on Oct. 28, 1958 following a 10-7 win over Florida. LSU remained No. 1 in the AP Poll for the remainder of the year on its way to claiming the national title in 1958.

LSU Is 21-3 In Games Played As No. 1

Ranked Team

LSU goes into the Arkansas game with a 21-3 record in games played as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team. LSU was 5-0 as the No. 1-ranked team in 1958, followed by a 7-1 record at the top spot in 1959. LSU was 2-2 as the No. 1-ranked team in 2007 and they are 7-0 this year. LSU is 9-2 under Les Miles in games as the nation’s top-ranked team.

LSU’s 12-game Win Streak Leads Nation; Fourth-Longest Streak In

School History

LSU’s 12-game winning streak ranks as the nation’s longest current streak and it’s the fourth-longest in school history. LSU won a school-record 18 straight games over the 1958-59 seasons. The second-longest winning streak came from 1907-09 when the Tigers won 15 in a row. LSU also won 13 straight from 2006-07, which ranks third in school history.

LSU Also Has The Nation’s Longest Home Winning Streak At 16 Straight

In addition to its 12-game overall winning streak, LSU brings the nation’s longest home field winnings streak at 16 straight into the Arkansas game. Here’s a look at the various winning streaks that LSU is currently riding heading into the Arkansas game:

Type Streak National Rank Last Loss

Wins in reg. season non-conference games 37 1st Va. Tech (2002)

Wins in night games 19 — Florida (2009)

Wins in Tiger Stadium 16 1st Florida (2009)

Overall wins 12 1st Arkansas (2010)

Wins in road night games 8 — Florida (2008)

Wins against Top 25 teams 7 — Arkansas (2010)

Wins against SEC Eastern Division 6 — Florida (2009)

Claiborne 1 Of 5 Finalist For Nagurski Award As

Nation’s To Defender

LSU CB Morris Claiborne has been named as one of five finalist for the Nagurski Award, which goes to the top defender in college football. Joining Claiborne on the list of finalist include: Alabama DB Mark Barron, Boston College LB Luke Kuechly, Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus and Penn State DT Devon Still. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy will be awarded during the annual Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet presented by ACN scheduled for Monday, December 12th at The Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. In 11 games, Claiborne has been a key component for an LSU defense that ranks among the top 5 in the nation five categories. Claiborne has 40 tackles, 4 interceptions and 5 pass breakups for the top-ranked Tigers.

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