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Arkansas-LSU

Baton Rouge, LA – As good as things looked for LSU six weeks ago, coach Les Miles goes into the regular-season finale unable to clean up the mess that has followed.

Bet College Football Week 13

In contention for the national title not too long ago, the 17th-ranked Tigers try to rebound from their third loss in six games - one that included a series of gaffes - when they host surging Arkansas on Saturday night.

Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made LSU -3.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 59% of bets for this game have been placed on LSU -3.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

The Tigers (8-3, 4-3 SEC) opened the season with five consecutive wins to climb as high as fourth in the AP poll before losing 13-3 to top-ranked Florida on Oct. 10. They recovered to rout Auburn and Tulane before falling 24-15 at then-No. 3 Alabama on Nov. 7, but struggled to beat woeful Louisiana Tech 24-16 and were dealt a big blow last Saturday.

A number of questionable play calls and suspect clock management led to a 25-23 defeat at unranked Mississippi.

Trailing the Rebels 25-17, LSU scored on Jordan Jefferson's 25-yard pass to Rueben Randle with 1:17 remaining, but the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt failed. The Tigers recovered an onside kick and advanced the ball to Mississippi's 32, but they lost 16 yards on two pass plays and wasted 17 seconds before calling timeout with nine seconds left.

A pass completed to the 5 left LSU with one second remaining, and the team scrambled to the line of scrimmage, where Jefferson spiked the ball and time expired.

"I have an opportunity to represent a great school and a great state," Miles said. "I understand the mistake the head coach made. That will not happen again. I have to get it right. It was my fault.

"I hold the players accountable and I'm accountable to the players. I spoke honestly to the players about my mistake. The strength of a team is a group of men committed to each other. We have a great group of men. This is a difficult time."

The Tigers have fallen out of contention for the SEC title and a BCS bid, so the best they can do is an at-large invite to a marquee bowl.

A win over the Razorbacks (7-4, 3-4) would certainly help, but LSU has dropped the last two meetings by a total of three points. The Tigers blew a 16-point lead in the second half at Arkansas last year, losing 31-30 on a 24-yard TD pass with 21 seconds to play.

This will be the Razorbacks' first trip to Baton Rouge since a triple-overtime thriller, winning 50-48 on Nov. 23, 2007. Still, LSU holds a 33-19-2 advantage in the all-time series.

Jefferson struggled in last year's loss to Arkansas, completing 9 of 21 passes for 143 yards while rushing 19 times for 50 yards. He wasn't overly effective last week, either, going 19 of 37 for 250 yards with nine rushes for minus-32 yards.

The sophomore did throw for two touchdowns but also had an interception after missing the previous game the Louisiana Tech game due to an ankle injury.

His counterpart Saturday is the SEC's highest-rated passer.

Ryan Mallett leads the conference with 3,195 passing yards and a team-record 28 touchdowns with six interceptions.

The sophomore threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Razorbacks to a 42-21 win over Mississippi State last Saturday. That performance came a week after he connected for five TD passes and 405 yards in a 56-20 win over Troy.

Mallett has been named SEC offensive player of the week after each game, and the Razorbacks have won four straight after opening the season by losing four of seven.

"We've won four in a row and we are going into a tough game," Mallett said. "This week we are going to have to play our best football. We are going to have to go in there and play physical and tough."

While Mallett has the offense averaging a conference-best 38.0 points, the defense is the worst in the league, surrendering 408.7 yards per game.

The Razorbacks, though, held the Tigers to 304 total yards last season.

"It gives you some confidence," coach Bobby Petrino said of Arkansas' last two wins over LSU. "When you watch the video you're watching the same guys you played against last year."

Bet College Football Week 13

Posted: 11/24/09 8:00PM ET

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