The Hat and the Big. Damn. Hero. LSU's offense will look different in 2012. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

LSU Vs. North Texas: Tigers Begin Another BCS National Title Quest

LSU will look to end its nine-month hangover from the loss to Alabama Saturday night when they host North Texas.

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North Texas Vs. LSU 2012: Final Score And Game Recap

No. 3 LSU easily beat North Texas on Saturday night, 41-14, at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA.

The Tigers dominated the Mean Green, mostly on the ground, and only a few uncharacteristic mistakes kept the game from being an even bigger blowout.

LSU running backs Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue combined for 264 yards on 29 rushing attempts, with Hilliard scoring twice in the game. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger was 19-of-26 for 192 yards and one touchdown, throwing an interception in the final minute of the first half on 3rd-and-goal from the UNT 7-yard line.

The Tigers would out-gain UNT 508-219 in the game, forcing two turnovers and holding the Mean Green to just nine first downs in the game. UNT quarterback Derek Thompson was just 8-of-21 for 143 yards in the game, throwing for two touchdowns and one interception.

For more coverage of LSU's game against North Texas, check out the SB Nation Houston StoryStream as well as And The Valley Shook.

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LSU Vs. North Texas Halftime Score: Tigers Lead 24-7

As expected, the LSU Tigers are leading the North Texas Mean Green at the half and are doing so by a score of 24-7. The Tigers rushed out to a 24-0 lead before giving up a North Texas touchdown at the end of the half on an 80-yard bomb by Derek Thompson to Brelan Chancellor.

The running game has helped LSU get out to their big lead with Kenny Hilliard has two touchdowns and has rushed for 112 yards on just seven carries, and then Alfred Blue has 85 yards on only 10 carries.

LSU starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger has completed 10-of-16 passes for 97 yards. However, the big news is that Mettenberger left the game with a possible concussion and there is no word on if he will return to the game in the second half.

For more coverage of LSU's game against North Texas, check out the SB Nation Houston StoryStream as well as And The Valley Shook.

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North Texas Vs. LSU 2012: Game Time, TV Schedule, Spread And More

Despite Hurricane Isaac's pounding of the South, including Louisiana, the LSU Tigers will kickoff their season as scheduled on Saturday when they take on the North Texas Mean Green. Without former-Heisman hopeful Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary and returning punts and with the departure of top players like Morris Claiborne, Michael Brockers and Reuben Randle, it's reasonable to believe that the Tigers will have an uphill climb to make it back to the National Championship.

An uphill climb does not face the team on Saturday, though, as they enter the game as mammoth favorites over the team that finished 4-4 in Sun Belt Conference play. In their third game of the 2011 season, North Texas took on the eventual National Champions, Alabama, and were pummeled in a 41-0 defeat. Most expect Saturday's game to yield a similar result.

Game time/date: 7 p.m. ET, Saturday

Location: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA

TV Schedule/Streaming: ESPNU & ESPN3

Odds: LSU -42.5
Over/Under: 52

For more coverage of LSU's game against North Texas, check out the SB Nation Houston StoryStream as well as And The Valley Shook.

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LSU RB Michael Ford Is Cleared To Play Against North Texas

LSU Tigers running back Michael Ford reportedly had academic issues and was questionable to play on Saturday against the North Texas Mean Green. On Friday night, LSU head coach Les Miles announced that Ford was going to suit up and play this weekend.

Ford was the teams leading rusher from last season with 756 yards and seven touchdowns, but Miles will have Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard ahead of Ford on the depth chart on Saturday. Miles added that Ford would still get some carries against North Texas as well as possibly seeing time on special teams.

Miles also added that linebacker Tahj Jones who also has had academic issues will more than likely not be playing on Saturday, and his future beyond that is in doubt.

For more coverage of LSU's game against North Texas, check out the SB Nation Houston StoryStream as well as And The Valley Shook.

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LSU Won’t Win the 2013 BCS National Championship: 5 Reasons Why Not

There are plenty of reasons why LSU will win the National Title in 2013, but here 5 major reasons they won't.

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BlogPoll Top 25: LSU Slips After Honey Badger's Departure

Despite losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide in last year's BCS title game, the LSU Tigers were ranked No. 1 in the SB Nation BlogPoll as the summer started, thanks mainly to the huge number of contributors from last season's SEC championship team returning in 2012.

However, the departure of troubled cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, a.k.a. "The Honey Badger," has dropped the Tigers to No. 3 in the latest BlogPoll. They were jumped by both USC and Alabama in the last edition of the poll before the 2012 season begins.

While that doesn't actually mean anything in the big picture, public perception of a team's strength can have an outsized role in their fate in the BCS, as Oklahoma State found out last season when the Cowboys were jumped by the Crimson Tide in the last week of the season.

The Tigers had the chance to prove themselves early in 2011, when they defeated Oregon in an opening-week showdown in Dallas. There are no such powers on their non-conference schedule in 2012, although a home date with Washington in Week 2 will draw the ESPN cameras.

For more coverage of LSU's game against North Texas, check out the SB Nation Houston StoryStream as well as And The Valley Shook.

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LSU Vs. North Texas: Philip Rivers Younger Brother Named Tigers Backup QB

Blood lines aren't everything in football, but LSU football fans would be forgiven if they start dreaming about their own version of the throwing Mannings, born and bred in New Orleans.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Les Miles announced that Stephen Rivers, the younger brother of San Diego Chargers star Philip Rivers, had won the competition for the No. 2 QB job behind Zach Mettenberger.

Rivers came into camp competing with former Penn State QB Rob Bolden, who had 16 starts in his time at Happy Valley, but it appears that his working knowledge of the LSU offense helped him get the upper hand.

If everything goes according to plan in 2012, neither Rivers nor Bolden will have much of a role on the team. However, after the disastrous end to the 2011 season, when the coaching staff completely lost confidence in both Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson, you can't discount the possibility that LSU will have to call on their No. 2 at some point this fall.

At the very least, Rivers will have someone with a lot of high-level experience and production under center to lean on.

For more coverage of LSU's game against North Texas, check out the SB Nation Houston StoryStream as well as And The Valley Shook.

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LSU RB Michael Ford In Academic Trouble, According To Report

The leading rusher for the LSU Tigers during the 2011 season, Michael Ford, may miss time during the 2012 season due to "academic trouble," according to a report from the Shreveport Times. Also facing a potential academic suspension is junior backup linebacker Tahj Jones. The two could face as much as a full-season suspension, according to the LSU student-athlete manual.

Coach Les Miles confirmed the report on Monday when he spoke to reporters: "Yeah, there is some appeal process that being undertaken for those guys. And we'll kind of have to wait and see how that all turns out as we get closer to the game."

Ford, a junior for the Tigers, picked up 756 yards on 127 yards during the 2011 season and was expected to start at running back for LSU in 2012.

For more on LSU football, check out And The Valley Shook, Team Speed Kills and SB Nation's college football page.

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LSU Will Win The 2013 BCS National Championship: 5 Reasons Why

There are plenty of reasons why LSU will win the National Title in 2013, but here 5 major ones.

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