College football top 25 roundup: No. 8 LSU keeps SEC title hopes alive
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Jarvis Landry helped LSU 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 SEC) reached double-digit wins for the sixth time in eight seasons under coach Les Miles.
LSU now must hope for an Alabama loss to Auburn and Texas A&M victory on Saturday 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 a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter after a 1-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Hill, who finished with 77 yards rushing on 18 carries. The touchdown followed an 86-yard kickoff return by Michael Ford to the Arkansas 9.
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.
No. 23 Kent State 28, Ohio 6 — In Kent, Ohio, senior linebacker 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 straight win over Ohio.
The regular-season finale was a tuneup for Kent State (11-1, 8-0), which will meet No. 24 Northern Illinois in next week's MAC championship. The win allowed the Golden Flashes to continue the best season in the program's 90-year history. They are ranked for the first time since 1972, the last time they appeared in a bowl game.
“It's happening,” Malauulu said. “This is what we dreamed about.”
The Bobcats (8-4, 4-4) lost four of their last five after cracking the Top 25.
With representatives from the Military and GoDaddy.com bowls on hand, the Golden Flashes put on a dazzling show early before the game bogged down into a puntfest. But Kent State took advantage of Ohio's mistakes in the opening quarter and did enough to pad its bowl resume.
The Golden Flashes entered the season hoping to build on a strong finish in 2011, when they won four of their last five.
But no one could have expected such a dramatic turnaround in coach Darrell Hazell's second season, which will have at least two more games.
Kent State is the first MAC East school to go 8-0 in conference play since 2003, when Miami did it behind senior quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
No. 24 Northern Illinois 49, Eastern Michigan 7 — In Ypsilanti, Mich., Jordan Lynch ran for 114 yards and Akeem Daniels scored a career-best four touchdowns as Northern Illinois beat Eastern Michigan for its 11th consecutive win.
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 MAC.
He added touchdowns carries from 19 and 16 yards out in the second half.
Lynch, a week removed from a 407-yard passing performance, was 16 for 25 for 168 yards but extended his FBS record streak of 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback to 10 in a row.
The Huskies have defeated 15 straight MAC opponents.
Eastern Michigan (2-10, 1-7) tied the game at 7 late in the first quarter but Northern Illinois needed just 15 seconds to retake the lead.
Tommylee Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards to score the first of three straight touchdowns that gave the Huskies a 28-7 halftime lead.
It was 38 degrees and windy at kickoff and snow flurries covered the artificial surface early in the second quarter.