How They Match Up

How They Match Up

ON THE GROUND
ADVANTAGE: LSU

LSU tailback Alley Broussard set a school-record with 250 yards and 3 touchdowns against Ole Miss. The 6-foot, 233-pound bruiser has 414 yards and 5 touchdowns the past three games and leads the team in rushing (677 yards).

The Tigers are three-deep at tailback with junior Joseph Addai (84 carries, 614 yards, 3 TDs) and sophomore Justin Vincent (66-262-2). QB Marcus Randall is a threat with his feet and is fourth on the team with 181 yards. LSU ran for 360 yards against the Rebels and is averaging 275 in its last three games.

Arkansas RB De'Arrius Howard will be counted on to carry the rushing load with quarterback Matt Jones still battling a hamstring injury. Howard ran for a career-high 125 yards at Mississippi State and has 268 yards the past three games.

Senior DeCori Birmingham's role has diminished recently, but he is Arkansas' third-leading rusher (423 yards). He has three career touchdown catches against LSU. Freshman Peyton Hillis is fourth on the team in rushing (174 yards).

THROUGH THE AIR
ADVANTAGE: ARKANSAS

Jones was forced into an uncomfortable role as a pocket passer at Mississippi State, but completed 18 of 27 passes for 215 yards. He is fourth in SEC passing (192.1 yards per game) and because of the hamstring problems will again be forced to rely on his arm against the Tigers.

Cedric Washington caught a career-high 5 passes for 101 yards last week. Marcus Monk broke Richard Smith's UA freshman receiving record (34 catches). Steven Harris and Monk are seventh and ninth, respectively, in the SEC in receiving yards per game.

LSU's Randall and JaMarcus Russell split time under center in nine of LSU's 10 games. Russell, who started the past three, has thrown for 925 yards with 7 TDs and 4 INTs. Randall has 1,007 passing yards with 7 TDs and 5 INTs.

Skyler Green (18 catches, 160 yards, 1 TD) missed two of the Tigers' first four games with an ankle injury and has been disappointing. Sophomore Craig Davis leads LSU (36-577-1) in receiving. Sophomore Dwayne Bowe (29-435-5) turned in the only 100-yard outing for an LSU receiver in the opener.

IN THE TRENCHES
ADVANTAGE: LSU

LSU has started six different offensive line combinations in 10 games, but the unit has been productive. The Tigers lost center Ben Wilkerson to a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 30. Junior Rudy Niswanger has 10 starts at three different spots.

Defensive end Marcus Spears (13 tackles for losses, 7 sacks) is a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, given to the country's outstanding defensive player. LSU's defensive line, which includes Spears, Kyle Williams, Melvin Oliver and Claude Wroten, has 15 sacks and 25 tackles the past four games.

Arkansas center Kyle Roper led the Hogs with 9 knockdown blocks last week and has 20 in two games. Roper, left guard Stephen Parker and right guard Gene Perry have started every game this season. Right tackle Robert Felton will earn his fifth straight start.

Defensive end Jeb Huckeba leads Arkansas with 12 tackles for losses and 6 sacks, and is fourth on the team in tackles (51). Linebacker Pierre Brown, who is second on the team in tackles (55), recorded eight stops and three tackles for losses against the Bulldogs.

SPECIAL TEAMS
ADVANTAGE: EVEN

Arkansas finally got big plays from its special teams last week. Defensive end Elliott Harris blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt, which was returned 76 yards for a touchdown by Brown. Birmingham returned a punt 29 yards a few minutes later. Junior Chris Balseiro made a career-long 42-yard field goal in the first half.

Balseiro has made 4 of 7 field goals and 38 of 39 extra points. Freshman Jeremy Davis shanked a 34-yard punt, but booted a 49-yarder against the Bulldogs.

Green recorded his third career touchdown on a 65-yard return against Vanderbilt and is fourth in the SEC (9.9 yards a return). LSU's punt and kick coverage teams are tops in the conference, surrendering 1.6 and 16.1 yards, respectively.

Sophomore Chris Jackson has two duties, working as LSU's punter and long-range place-kicker. Jackson averages 39.5 yards a punt and is 6 of 12 on field goals, including a career-long 51-yarder against Ole Miss. Sophomore Ryan Gaudet handles extra points (14 of 16) and short-range field goals (6 of 8).

INTANGIBLES
ADVANTAGE: ARKANSAS

The Hogs have won two games with their backs against the wall and are rewarded with a season-finale in Little Rock, where Arkansas is 17-0 under coach Houston Nutt. That includes a 3-0 record against LSU. The Razorbacks gained bowl eligibility with a win against LSU in 2000 and the SEC Western Division championship in 2002.

The Tigers were the last team to beat Arkansas in Little Rock, knocking off the Danny Ford-led Hogs 31-21 in 1997. It also was the last time the road team has won in this series, a streak that has spanned seven seasons.

Arkansas is 14-3 under Nutt in the month of November since 2001, but two of those losses were against the Tigers (2001 and 2003). Saban and the Tigers are 13-3 in November, but two of those losses were to the Hogs (2000 and 2002).

Five turnovers killed the Razorbacks during their 55-24 loss at LSU last season and avoiding those be crucial today. The Tigers are last in the SEC in turnover margin (minus-5), but the Hogs aren't much better (minus-1).

OVERALL
LSU 21, ARKANSAS 20

Arkansas, behind a small senior class, is desperately fighting to qualify for its seventh consecutive bowl trip. There's no other place the Hogs want to play a do-or-die game than War Memorial Stadium.

The unranked Razorbacks have had plenty of success in this position, knocking off ranked LSU teams to clinch bowl eligibility (2000) and win the SEC Western Division championship (2002). Arkansas has come painstakingly close to beating top-10 teams Texas (22-20) and Georgia (20-14) in Fayetteville and hopes to earn its first win in five tries against a ranked opponent today.

LSU struggled in trying to defend its national championship and is disappointed Auburn will represent the Western Division in the SEC Championship Game. But the Tigers believe they have a chance to earn a trip to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., with a win. LSU's powerful run game and stout defense will prove too much for Arkansas, ending the Hogs' bowl hopes and 17-game win streak in Little Rock.

THE KEY MATCHUP
LB Pierre Brown (6-foot, 227 pounds • junior) vs. RB Alley Broussard (6-foot, 233 pounds • sophomore)

Brown scored a special teams touchdown, but also turned in his best defensive outing with eight tackles, including three for losses, at Mississippi State last week. The junior will have his hands full trying to corral the powerful Broussard.

Broussard set a school record with 250 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns in last week's win against Ole Miss win and leads LSU with 677 yards and 9 scores. The sophomore has rushed for 414 yards and 5 touchdowns in the Tigers' last three games.

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