Short-handed LSU ready for Alabama
Posted: Monday, October 24, 2011 7:01 pm
By The Associated Press
LSU’s last statement before its biggest game of the season was a doozy.
The top-ranked Tigers, playing without three key suspended players, pummeled Auburn 45-10 and now can start looking toward their matchup with No. 2 Alabama on Nov. 5.
The Tide beat Tennessee 37-6 later Saturday to set up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
No. 19 Auburn stayed close for about a quarter and a half. LSU led 7-3 before Reuben Randle caught two long touchdown passes in the final five minutes of the first half.
The Tigers scored three touchdowns in about 2 1-2 minutes in the third and the game was a rout.
LSU was without star cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, leading rusher Spencer Ware and defensive back Tharold Simon — all suspended one game for violating the team’s drug policy. Still, the Tigers rolled to their eighth double-digit win of the season.
Randle caught a 42-yard scoring pass from Jordan Jefferson and a 46-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Lee.
Freshman Kenny Hilliard scored the first two touchdowns of his career while rushing for 65 yards on only 10 carries for LSU (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference). Randle finished with five receptions for 106 yards. Lee was 14-of-20 for 165 yards and two touchdowns, while Jefferson completed two of three passes for 54 yards.
With Michael Ford leading the way (12 rushes, 82 yards), LSU gained 174 yards on the ground.
Even without two key defensive backs, LSU held first-time starter Clint Moseley to 145 yards passing, sacked him six times and intercepted him once.
If anyone questioned how deep LSU could really be at defensive back, it was none other than Mathieu’s replacement, Ron Brooks, who made the interception and returned it 28 yards to make it 42-3 halfway through the third quarter.
Auburn (5-3, 3-2) was held to 87 yards rushing, led by Michael Dyer’s 60 yards.
While LSU and Alabama marched toward an unbeaten matchup, two other top four teams took their first loss.
No. 4 Wisconsin lost on the last play of the game at No. 15 Michigan State and No. 3 Oklahoma was upset by Texas Tech.
Arkansas 29, Ole Miss 24
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Tyler Wilson threw for 232 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, and Arkansas rallied from an early 17-point deficit.
Arkansas (6-1, 2-1 SEC) continues its best start under fourth-year coach Bobby Petrino, staying in the mix in the loaded Western Division that includes LSU and Alabama. Dennis Johnson rushed for 160 yards on 15 carries, including a 52-yard touchdown. Joe Adams caught four passes for 124 yards.
Published in The Messenger 10.24.11