Run and Shoot: Tigers, Razorbacks square off in Baton Rouge

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Tigers, Razorbacks square off in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU's conference and national championship hopes have almost become somewhat of an afterthought here over the past week.

Dominating the headlines and fan conversation has been the possibility of LSU coach Les Miles leaving the Tigers after the season to replace the recently retired Lloyd Carr at his beloved alma mater, Michigan.

But it seems the distractions have not affected the Tigers' preparations this week, mainly because they know their home finale against Arkansas this afternoon could be one of the toughest contests of the season.

Although LSU's defense has been exposed to some extent in the past few games, it still ranks tops in the SEC in run defense, holding opponents to 78 yards per game.

Arkansas just so happens to have two 1,000-yard rushers on their roster, led by possibly the best player in college football, Darren McFadden.

McFadden and fellow Razorback Felix Jones have combined for 2,551 rushing yards and 23 rushing touchdowns this season.

"This Arkansas team has a great offense with two of the finest running backs in the country," Miles said earlier this week. "We understand when we kick off or we are on offense or defense that we have to be ready to play. This is not just about showing up. We have something very important to play for. We look forward to it.”

The Razorbacks' rushing attack is the best in the SEC, but the Tigers are not far behind.

LSU is No. 2 in the conference in rushing, averging 221 yards per game.

"At every position, you don't see averge," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "You see greatness. They're very, very good. It's easy to see why they're No. 1."

Fans can expect this game to be one on the line of scrimmage. Neither team is lights out through the air. LSU ranks No. 6 in the SEC in pass offense, while Arkansas ranks No. 11, just ahead of Vanderbilt.

NOTES: LSU and Arkansas have played on the Friday after Thanksgiving every year since 1996 ... The Tigers have won four straight against the Razorbacks ... The past two contests have been decided by a total of seven points.

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