Northwestern State (1-0) at No. 2 LSU (1-0)
7 p.m./Tiger Stadium/ WDGL-FM 98.1/XM 200; Sirius 219/Tiger Vision
Series record: LSU lead 10-0 and hasn’t given up a single point against the Demons. The last game was 1942 when the Tigers rolled 40-0.
Injuries/suspensions: QB Jordan Jefferson (suspension) out, WR Russell Shepard (suspensions) out, LG Josh Dworaczyk (knee) out, WR Rueben Randle (knee) probable
In the spotlight
RB Michael Ford (5-11, 212, So.)
Stats last week: 14-96 rushing vs. Oregon, 2 TDs
For the first time in his career, Ford looked like a front-line running back against a defense capable of slowing him down. He was decisive when he got to holes, created space if there wasn’t any to find whatever yards he could and finished runs much stronger than he had as a redshirt freshman last season. If he can continue to give the Tigers a two-headed threat, opposing defenses will have a lot more to worry about than before the season began.
Sept. 3 LSU 40, Oregon 27
Sept. 10 Northwestern State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 at Mississippi State, 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 at West Virginia, TBA
Oct. 1 Kentucky, TBA
Oct. 8 Florida, TBA
Oct. 15 at Tennessee, TBA
Oct. 22 Auburn, TBA
Nov. 5 at Alabama
Nov. 12 Western Kentucky
Nov. 19 at Ole Miss
Nov. 25 Arkansas
Dec. 3 SEC Championship Game
Injuries/suspensions: QB Paul Harris (suspension) out
In the spotlight
MLB Derek Rose (5-11, 225, Jr.)
Stats last week: 9 tackles, 3 TFL
True to his team’s nickname, Rose was a demon in the second half against Delta State last week and anchored a defensive performance that limited the Statesmen to 63 total yards. He recorded 138 tackles last season, the most for a Northwestern State player since 1991. For the Demons to have any shot at slowing LSU down, especially on the ground, Rose has to deliver a massive performance and be all over the field.
Sept. 3 Northwestern State 24, Delta State 23
Sept. 10 at LSU, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 at SMU, 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Nicholls State, 3 p.m.
Oct. 1 McNeese State, 6 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Lamar, 6 p.m.
Oct. 15 Southeastern Louisiana, 6 p.m.
Oct. 29 at Texas State, 3 p.m.
Nov. 5 Central Arkansas, 3 p.m.
Nov. 12 at Sam Houston State, 2 p.m.
Nov. 19 Stephen F. Austin, 2 p.m.
Three keys to the game
- Once more with feeling: More importantly than anything else this week, it’s vital for LSU to come out with energy and enthusiasm to avoid a letdown after so much focus was placed on Oregon in the season opener. Northwestern State doesn’t have the horses to compete with the Tigers, but the Demons could make things uncomfortable if LSU isn’t clicking.
- Open it up, but don’t tip your hand: LSU should have a chance to test some different things on offense this week, especially through the air, and it’s important that quarterback Jarrett Lee find some pass plays he’s comfortable with as the Tigers head into SEC play. But it’s not vital for LSU to empty the playbook and hand-deliver Mississippi State a full scouting report.
- Don’t let ’em up for air: A defense that was so aggressive and disruptive last week needs to take another step forward this week. The Demons have some nice offensive weapons, but don’t figure to be much of a challenge. That said, the defense can’t relax because one big play can ignite the kind of momentum an underdog like the Demons can thrive on.
With the Tigers ripe for a letdown, this game might be scary. But there’s too much else on the table for LSU for that to happen. This is the Tigers’ only home game of the opening month, so the fans will be eager for their only look until a busy November at Tiger Stadium. And there’s nothing that gets LSU football played revving and able to overcome being flat than a lively home crowd. Northwestern State has never scored a point vs. the Tigers and barring a defensive or special teams TD, it’s hard to imagine that changing this time around: LSU 49, Northwestern State 0