College Football

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             === Kent State heads south to challenge No. 8 LSU ===
 Baton Rouge, LA (Sports Network) - The eighth-ranked LSU Tigers continue their
 three-game homestand on Saturday night, as they entertain the Kent State
 Golden Flashes.
 Although Kent State opened its season with a win over Liberty on Aug. 29, it
 was hardly an impressive affair, as it managed to defeat the FCS squad by just
 seven points (17-10). That disappointing effort carried over into the Golden
 Flashes' first Mid-American Conference bout with Bowling Green last weekend,
 as they dropped the contest on their home field, 41-22.
 "It didn't end the way we wanted it," Kent State head coach Paul Haynes said
 of the matchup with Bowling Green. "But there was a lot of good things on film
 that we can build upon. We've got a long season to go. We've licked our
 wounds, and now we'll move forward and get ready for LSU."
 LSU's season started off with a primetime showing against nationally-ranked
 TCU, and the Tigers came through with an outstanding 37-27 win to assert
 themselves as one of the top teams in the nation. They further solidified
 their elite status in their home opener last week by dismissing UAB, 56-17.
 "It's nice to have a game where you really distance yourself from your
 opponent and you play quality football for the most part for four quarters,"
 LSU head coach Les Miles said. "I think we can improve. We're 2-0, and I'm
 looking forward to the next contests."
 This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two football programs.
 Kent State had one of the MAC's top offenses a year ago, but so far in 2013
 the unit has been stuck in neutral, averaging fewer than 20 points per game
 behind a meager 331.5 ypg.
 The absence of its star player certainly hasn't help matters, as Dri Archer,
 one of the nation's most dynamic playmakers, injured his ankle in the opener
 and hasn't seen the field since. He is listed as questionable for this
 Archer rushed for 1,429 yards (9.0 ypc) with 16 touchdowns last year, and in
 his absence Trayion Durham (116 yards, TD) and Colin Reardon (96 yards) have
 performed adequately on 54 combined carries.
 Reardon's efficiency at quarterback has been strong despite the offense's slow
 start. He has completed more than 64 percent of his passes for 358 yards,
 tossing four touchdowns with no interceptions.
 Chris Humphrey (10 receptions, 172 yards, two TDs) and Tyshon Goode (12
 receptions, 99 yards) are Reardon's two most trusted receivers. Casey Pierce
 has just three catches but he emerges in the red zone with two touchdowns.
 The Kent State defense has done little to impress, yielding just under 400
 yards and 25.5 points per game. The unit has failed to record a turnover
 through the first two outings.
 Matt Dellinger, Luke Wollet, DeVante Strickland and Darius Polk all have
 double-digit tackles. Roosevelt Nix has 4.0 TFL and Zack Hitchens has logged a
 pair of sacks.
 LSU's offense has taken huge strides early on in the 2013 season (46.5 ppg,
 446.5 ypg), thanks largely to the improvement of its senior signal caller.
 Against UAB last week, Mettenberger became the first quarter in the program's
 illustrious 120-year history to throw five touchdowns passes in a game, giving
 him 533 yards (.627) on the year with six touchdowns and no interceptions.
 "It's all about executing," Mettenberger said. "Around this time last year we
 just weren't executing too well. There were some mistakes that we left out on
 the field, but all in all, we did a very good job tonight and we can only get
 better from here."
 Mettenberger's step up has directly benefited Jarvis Landry (13 rec., 180
 yards, three TDs) and Odell Beckham, Jr. (10 rec., 254 yards, three TDs), both
 of whom have made several spectacular plays. It's strictly a two-man show at
 receiver, however, as no other player has more than two catches.
 The Tigers have a stable of impressive rushers to turn to in the backfield.
 Terrence Magee leads the team with 102 yards and a pair of scores, while
 Alfred Blue (97 yards) and Kenny Hilliard (62 yards, TD) have also been
 effective. After serving a suspension in the opener, Jeremy Hill returned last
 week to rack up 50 yards and a score on just six carries.
 As far as the defense in concerned, the Tigers have given up a few more points
 than they are used to (22.0 ppg), but in terms of yardage allowed they have
 been outstanding (277.5 ypg).
 Jermauria Rasco leads the team in total tackles (11), tackles for loss (1.5)
 and sacks (1.5). Jalen Mills has two passes defended as well as the team's
 lone interception.
 09/11 10:52:05 ET

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