FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Jarvis Landry helped Louisiana State University keep an SEC championship within reach.
Landry made a spectacular, reaching, one-handed touchdown catch and the eighth-ranked Tigers held on for a 20-13 win over Arkansas on Friday.
Zach Mettenberger passed for 217 yards and hooked up with Landry for the play of the day with 1:12 left in the first half to put LSU up 10-0. The Tigers (10-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) reached double-digit wins for the sixth time in eight seasons under coach Les Miles.
LSU must now hope for an Alabama loss to Auburn and Texas A&M victory today in order to reach next weekend’s SEC Championship Game. Even without a division crown, the Tigers could still get an at-large bid to the BCS.
Tyler Wilson was 31 of 52 passing for the Razorbacks (4-8, 2-6), whose fall from preseason top 10 is now complete. The senior set the school record for career passing yards in the loss.
Arkansas’ Cobi Hamilton set the school record for receptions in a career with 175.
The Tigers took at 17-3 lead early in the second quarter after a 1-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Hill, who finished with 77 yards on 18 carries. The touchdown followed an 86-yard kickoff return by Michael Ford to the Arkansas 9.
It also appeared to be the clincher for LSU against an Arkansas team that struggled mightily in its first season following the April firing of former coach Bobby Petrino.
The Razorbacks, however, rallied behind the record-setting combination of Wilson and Hamilton.
Wilson passed former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallet’s mark of 7,493 yards passing in the second quarter, finishing with 359 yards in the game and 7,765 yards for his career, and his 28-yard touchdown pass to freshman Mekale McKay in the third quarter closed the LSU lead to 17-10.
NO. 17 NEBRASKA 13, IOWA 7
In Iowa City, Iowa, Rex Burkhead scored the go-ahead touchdown in his return from a knee injury and Nebraska (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) beat Iowa (4-8, 2-6) to secure a spot in the Big Ten title game.
The Huskers will play Wisconsin next Saturday in Indianapolis. It’ll be a rematch of Nebraska’s thrilling 30-27 home win over the Badgers in late September.
Burkhead, making his first appearance since aggravating a sprained left knee on Oct. 20 against Northwestern, broke through with a 3-yard TD run to make it 13-7 late in the third quarter.
Alonzo Whaley’s interception with 2:11 left sealed the victory.
The Huskers defense held the Hawkeyes scoreless over the final three quarters.
Mark Weisman had 91 yards rushing for Iowa, which finished the season on a six-game losing streak. The Hawkeyes will miss out on a bowl game for just the second time since 2000.
NO. 23 KENT STATE 28, OHIO 6
In Kent, Ohio, C.J. Malauulu returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown – 12 seconds after another Kent State TD – and the Golden Flashes completed a perfect season in the Mid-American Conference with their 10th consecutive win, over Ohio.
The regular-season finale was a tuneup for Kent State (11-1, 8-0 MAC), which will meet No. 24 Northern Illinois in next week’s MAC Championship.
The Bobcats (8-4, 4-4) lost four of five after cracking the Top 25.
NO. 24 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 49, EASTERN MICHIGAN 7
In Ypsilanti, Mich., Jordan Lynch ran for 107 yards and Akeem Daniels scored a career-best four touchdowns as Northern Illinois won its 11th consecutive game, against Eastern Michigan.
Daniels scored on runs of 25 and 20 yards in the first half and finished with a career-high 112 yards on 12 carries to help the Huskies (11-1, 8-0) cap a perfect run through the Mid-American Conference.