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Sunday, 13 November 2011 11:48
LSU, AP Unanimous No.1, Struggled At First Before Beating Western Kentucky
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les-milesLSU is the unanimous No. 1 in the AP poll although they did not play like the top-ranked team in the country on Saturday.  However, they played well enough by scoring four touchdowns in the second half to put away six-touchdown underdog Western Kentucky 42-9 on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium

 The Tigers improved to 10-0 for the first time since 1958 and won their 11th straight game, tied with Oklahoma State for the nation's longest winning streak.

The game was the latest chapter in the Tigers' quarterback saga as Jordan Jefferson played most of the game with past starter Jarrett Lee relegated to mop-up duty.

'The decision to start Jefferson was made by the staff and myself was a one-game decision," explained Tigers coach Les Miles, who won his 100th career game. "We'll kind of go from there. I liked how both quarterbacks played.  Jarrett Jarrett Lee came in, took us down the field and did some of the things we asked him to do.

"I'm not certain that he may not start some other games. Right now, Jordan Jefferson started that one. We'll make those decisions as we move forward. Nothing is etched in stone in any way. With that being said, I like how we managed the game in the end. We controlled the game on the ground. Our team is pretty healthy and looking forward to our next opponent."

LSU (10-0, 6-0 SEC) next travels to Oxford to face SEC bottom-feeder Ole Miss on Saturday night. The Rebels, searching for a new coach and athletic director, lost to Louisiana Tech 27-7 on Saturday.

Western Kentucky (5-5, 5-1 Sun Belt) gained 140 yards in the first half to keep within a touchdown of the Tigers at halftime, but managed only 86 in the second half.

 Jefferson started for the first time this season and finished 8-of-14 passing and a touchdown, a 59-yard pass to wide receiver Rueben Randle for the Tigers' first score.  He added 20 net yards rushing and one of his two sacks resulted in a safety for intentional grounding in the end zone.

Jarrett Lee entered the game for the Tigers' final two drives in the game and finished 2-of-4 passing for 45 yards including a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kadron Boone.

"We kind of of liked how Jefferson played in the game against Alabama,"  Miles explained for  starting Jefferson. "He had a extra comfort. It was a game-time decision. We thought we may go with Lee a little earlier than that. Western Kentucky proved that they could throw some wrinkles at us that we did not anticipate. We described to Jarrett that he would play. Frankly, we would have considered him from the third series on."

Alfred Blue, the forgotten man in LSU's multi-pronged running back committee, led the Tigers' ground attack with 119 yards on nine carries, bursting through the Hilltoppers on touchdown runs of 45 and 4 yards. Michael Ford added 62 yards on 11 carries, while starter Spencer Ware had 39 yards on six attempts.

Freshman Kenny Hillard, 240-pound running back, scored on two 1-yard TD runs.

"Alfred Blue made some really nice runs in the game," said Miles. "He and Ford received some late wear down. They earned it."

Randle led LSU receivers with 76 on three catches and freshman Odell Beckham Jr. had two catches for 42 yards.

Tigers linebacker Kevin Minter had a game-high 11 tackles while Ryan Baker had 9.

Ed Staton and Bayoubuzz Staff

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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