LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Louisiana State hopes to benefit from its second bye week of the season.
The 14th-ranked Tigers used the time off to regroup from a lopsided loss to Auburn and look to bounce back Saturday when they visit Kentucky in a Southeastern Conference contest.
Despite a 31-7 loss to Auburn, LSU (6-2, 3-1 SEC West) controls it owns destiny and can return to the SEC championship game by winning three of its remaining four games.
Alabama also has just one loss in SEC play, but is not eligible for the championship game due to NCAA probation.
LSU, the defending SEC champions, will be without linebacker Damien James, the man for whom the Tigers' "James Gang" defense was named. James was dismissed from the team last week after skipping practice for several days without alerting the coaching staff.
The Tigers continue to be without quarterback Matt Mauck and running back LaBrandon Toefield, who are sidelined with injuries.
LSU badly missed Mauck against Auburn as Marcus Randall completed just 4-of-9 passes for 79 yards and threw four interceptions in his second career start.
With a number of offensive weapons, Kentucky should test the "James Gang" defense, which has allowed only one opponent to surpass 300 total yards this season.
The Wildcats routed Mississippi State, 45-24, last week, winning a second SEC game on the road for the first time since 1993. Derek Abney, the nation's third-leading punt returner, returned two punts for touchdowns.
Jared Lorenzen ranks first in the SEC in passing efficiency and Artose Pinner leads the conference in rushing. Pinner needs just five yards to become Kentucky's fifth 1,000-yard rusher.
LSU leads the all-time series, 36-15-1, and is 21-3-1 against Kentucky when ranked. The Wildcats' last win over the Tigers was a 31-5 victory at Commonwealth Stadium in 1999.