LSU vs. Tennessee Notebook

LSU returns to action for the first time since Sept. 8 when the Tigers travel to Knoxville to face seventh-ranked Tennessee in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6:45 p.m. (CT)

Location: Knoxville, Tenn. - Neyland Stadium (104,079)

Television: ESPN (Live)

The Series: UT leads 18-4-3; Last meeting: LSU won 38-31 in overtime in 2000

The Tigers are coming off a 31-14 win over Utah State in their last outing, while Tennessee beat Arkansas, 13-3, in its last contest. Both teams have been idle for the last two weeks. The 21-day regular-season layoff is the longest stretch without a game for the Tigers in the modern era. In 1907, LSU had 25 days off between games against Baylor (Nov. 30) and Havana (Dec. 25). LSU enters the contest looking to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 1998. LSU is 7-2 in SEC openers since 1992 with the two losses coming to Auburn in 1999 and 2000.

The Series

LSU and Tenneessee meet for only the 26th time on Saturday in Knoxville ... Tennessee holds an 18-4-3 advantage in the series which dates back to 1925 ... The teams meet only three times in the 1970's (once time coming in the Astro-Blubonnet Bowl), four times in the 80's, and just twice in the 90's ... Last year, the Tigers posted a thrilling 38-31 overtime win over the Vols in Baton Rouge ... This will be LSU's first trip to Knoxville since 1993 when the Vols recorded a 42-20 victory ... In 12 games in Knoxville, the Tigers are 1-10-1 ... LSU's only victory in Neyland Stadium came in 1988 by a 34-9 count ... LSU and Tennessee tied in Knxoville, 0-0, in 1925 in the first meeting between the teams.

LSU

Record: 2-0, 0-0 SEC

Ranking: No. 14 AP; No. 14 ESPN/USA Today

Last Game: Sept. 8 at Baton Rouge, def. Utah State, 31-14

Coach: Nick Saban

Career Record: 53-30-1/eighth year

LSU Record: 10-4/second year

vs. Tennessee: 1-0

Tennessee

Record: 2-0, 1-0 SEC

Ranking: No. 7 AP; No. 8 ESPN/USA Today

Last Game: Sept. 8 at Fayetteville, Ark., def. Arkansas, 13-3

Coach: Phillip Fulmer

Career Record: 90-18/10th year

UT Record: same

vs. LSU: 1-1

LSU FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: LSU will look to win in Knoxville for only the second time ever on Saturday as the Tigers travel to face the seventh-ranked Vols of Tennessee in a game televised to a national audience on ESPN ... LSU is 4-18-3 all-time against the Vols, which includes a 1-10-1 mark in Knoxville ... Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won seven of their last eight games overall, and four of the last five in SEC action ... LSU has not beat a ranked team on the road since a 19-15 victory over 13th-ranked Auburn on Sept. 21, 1996 ... LSU has scored 20 or more points in all 10 of its victories under Nick Saban ... LSU quarterback Rohan Davey ran his streak of passes without an interception to 78 against Utah State ... Over his last eight games, Davey has thrown 15 TD passes compared to just one interception ... LSU is 18-18 all-time in games on ESPN, including a 1-1 mark vs. Tennessee.

LSU'S TENNESSEE TIES: LSU strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt and freshman quarterback Rick Clausen are the only Tigers with ties to Tennessee. Moffitt served as associate head strength and conditioning coach at Tennessee from 1994-97, while Clausen is the younger brother of Vols signal-caller Casey Clausen. In addition, Tennessee placekicker Christian Chauvin was a member of the LSU team in 1998.

DAVEY HAD CAREER-GAME LAST YEAR VS. TENNESSEE:  LSU quarterback Rohan Davey played perhaps one of the best games for a quarterback in school history last year in the Tigers' 38-31 overtime win over the Vols. Davey, who was making only his second career start, completed 23 of 35 passes for a career-best 318 yards and four TDs. The four TDs also marked a career-high and ranked as the second-highet total in school history. Davey's 25-yard TD pass to Robert Royal on the first play of overtime proved to be the game-winner for the Tigers. For his performance, Davey was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week, as well as National Player of the Week by USA Today and CNNSI.com.

TOEFIELD BLASTS OUT OF THE GATES: It didn't take long for LaBrandon Toefield to establish himself among the nation's elite in 2001. Just two games in fact. In only two games, the sophomore from Independence, La., has recorded seven touchdowns and already surpassed his season total of a year ago (5). Toefield opened the season with a three-touchdown performance against Tulane, then followed that with a career high four TDs on 183 yards rushing against Utah State. Toefield became the first Tiger in the modern era (since 1937) to rush for at least three touchdowns in back-to-back games and became the first Tiger since Kevin Faulk to amass seven rushing touchdowns over two games (Faulk had five against Kentucky, Nov. 1, 1997, then two against Alabama, Nov. 8, 1997).

TOEFIELD OFF TO FASTEST START IN LSU HISTORY: With seven touchdowns through two games, running back LaBrandon Toefield is off to the fastest start in LSU scoring history. Toefield's seven TDs in the first two games of the season is the most ever for a Tiger out of the gates to start a year. The previous high was five by Carlos Carson in 1977, who scored all five of his in the second game of the season, a 77-0 blowout of Rice.

TIGERS 3-0 WHEN TOEFIELD HITS CENTURY MARK: With a career-high 183 yards on 27 carries last weekend, LaBrandon Toefield came up with the third 100-yard performance of his young career. The Tigers are 3-0 all-time when "Toe" rushes for more than 100 yards. His previous 100-yard efforts came in victories against Tennessee (120) and Mississippi State (119) a year ago.

TOEFIELD JOINS ELITE COMPANY: With a four-touchdown performance against Utah State, LaBrandon Toefield became the first Tiger to post such an evening since former LSU great Kevin Faulk raced through Kentucky for five touchdowns in 1997. Toefield became the sixth running back in LSU history to rush for four or more touchdowns in a single game.

The following is a listing of Tigers who have rushed for four or more TDs in a single game:

Player

TDs

Opponent

Kevin Faulk

5

1997 vs. Kentucky

LaBrandon Toefield

4

2001 vs. Utah State

Charles Alexander

4

1977 vs. Oregon

Dalton Hilliard

4

1984 vs. Kentucky

Harvey Williams

4

1990 vs. Miami (Ohio)

Rondell Mealey

4

1996 vs. New Mexico State

LSU'S DAVEY NAMED TO AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM: LSU quarterback Rohan Davey is one of 11 players at the NCAA Division I-A level that has been named to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, the AFCA announced this week. The team honors players for their dedication and commitment to community service.

"It's a tremendous honor to be recognized for your accomplishments off the field of play," Davey said. "I've always wanted to be the type of athlete who gave back to the community. We lose perspective sometimes and forget how fortunate we are to be able to play athletics for LSU. We're just as fortunate to be able to give back to the community. I think it sends the right message in the sense that, even though we may be successful on the field, we really do care.

"The kids that I've been fortunate enough to meet really stick out. It's a great feeling to see the way they look up to you and know that you can influence them in a positive way. It's amazing when you go to talk to kids or go to a banquet and see the look in their eyes, kind of like, 'I can't believe you're here.' It's a great feeling to be able to give something back."

Davey, an LSU team captain for the second straight year, is an active participant in the LSU Champs program and he also speaks regularly at local elementary and middle schools. Davey has been the featured speaker at the Mohican Elementary School Awards program and last year, he was the featured speaker at Law Day, where he underwent the naturalization process in front of more than 1,500 elementary students. Davey also serves on a panel at North Dale Academy to discuss the issues of violence, drugs and alcohol and other issues with the students.

TIGERS CAN START 3-0 FOR ONLY FIFTH TIME IN 20 YEARS: With a victory over Tennessee on Saturday, the Tigers can race out of the gates to a 3-0 start for only the fifth time in the last 20 years. The Tigers are 2-0 for the sixth straight year. LSU has lost the third game of the season three of the last five years. Over the last 20 years, the Tigers have gotten off to 3-0 starts in 1982, 1987, 1996 and 1998.

LSU'S TOUGH WHEN HOLDING OPPONENTS UNDER 100 YARDS RUSHING: For the second consecutive week to open the 2001 season, the Tigers held their opponent to under 100 yards rushing. The Tigers held Tulane to 48 yards rushing in the season opener, then held Utah state to 91 net yards rushing on Sept. 8. The Tigers are 6-0 under Nick Saban when holding the opposition to under 100 yards rushing.

20 POINTS THE MAGIC NUMBER FOR THE TIGERS: With a 31-point offensive showing in their victory over Utah State, the Tigers won their 11th straight game when scoring better than 20 points.

The Tigers won all eight games in 2000 when scoring 20+ points and have won all 10 games in the Nick Saban era when reaching that standard. The last time the Tigers lost when scoring better than 20 points was a 42-23 loss to Ole Miss on Oct. 30, 1999.

REED CONTINUES TO EXCEL: Josh Reed continues to add to his lore among the great receivers in LSU history. Against Utah State, Reed hauled in five balls for 124 yards, his second 100-yard game in as many attempts this season. Since being moved from running back to receiver prior to the Alabama game in 1999, Reed has posted nine 100-yard receiving games in only 16 outings at the position.

Reed had six 100-yard receiving games in 2000 and continues to move up the all-time LSU list in the category. The junior is now only three behind Wedndell Davis for most career 100-yard receiving games in LSU history (13). In his only game at receiver against Tennessee, hauled in seven receptions for 146 yards and a career-best three TDs.

TIGERS TOP 200-YARD RUSHING MARK FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK: With 275 yards rushing against Utah State, the Tigers surpassed the 200-yard team rushing mark for the second time in as many weeks. The Tigers have not lost a game when rushing for 200 yards since Nov. 7, 1998 against Alabama.

REED 16 YARDS SHY OF MOVING INTO LSU TOP 10 RECEIVING LIST: With back-to-back 100-yard games to open the season, Josh Reed continues to move closer to the top 10 LSU receiving yardage list at a meteoric pace. Reed is just 16 yards shy of moving into the top 10 in LSU history in receiving yardage. Reed has 1,520 yards and can move past  former Tiger captain Sheddrick Wilson who posted 1,536 yards in his career. Reed is only 34 yards away from matching former Tiger speedster and current Denver Bronco Eddie Kennison and moving into eighth place. With 1,520 yards in only 16 games, Reed has averaged 95.0 yards per game since the move out wide.

TIGER STREAKS EXTENDED: Senior free safety Ryan Clark started his 26th consecutive game against Utah State, dating back to the first game of his sophomore year in 1999. Junior middle linebacker Trev Faulk also extended his consecutive streaks start to 23, dating back to the 1999 game at Georgia during his freshman season. Junior wide receiver Jerel Myers has now started 16 consecutive games and 25 of 26 during his career. The only game in which he did not start was the 1999 season finale against Arkansas when the Tigers started with three tight ends. Each streak includes the 2000 Peach Bowl.

MORE STREAKS: Rohan Davey has now thrown 78 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to the Florida game in 2000. Josh Reed has caught at least one pass in all 16 games since moving to receiver prior to the Alabama game in 1999. Jerel Myers has a reception in 25 of 26 games in his three-year career. The only game in which Myers did not catch at least one pass was the Tigers' victory over Ole Miss in Oxford in 2000.

ROYAL POSTS PAIR OF CAREER HIGHS AGAINST UTAH STATE: Robert Royal entered the 2001 season with plenty of expectations after being named Playboy Preseason All-American. After picking up his first touchdown of the season in the opening night victory over Tulane, Royal followed that with five receptions for 72 yards, both career highs, in the Tigers' victory over Utah State. At 6'5" and 261 pounds, Royal has become a favorite of LSU quarterback Rohan Davey due to his ability to create mismatches over the middle of the field.

LSU BREAKS SCHOOL'S ATTENDANCE RECORD... AGAIN: LSU's season-opener against Tulane drew a school-record 91,782 fans, breaking the mark of 91,778 set in last year's home finale against Alabama. Since the stadium expanded to seat 91,600 in 2000, LSU has drawn four crowds of 90,000 or better, all of which were LSU victories. The following is a listing of the top five Tiger Stadium crowds:

No.

Game

Date

Attendance

Results

1.

Tulane

9/1/01

91,782

W, 48-17

2.

Alabama

11/11/00

91,778

W, 30-28

3.

Tennessee

9/30/00

91,682

W, 38-31 (OT)

4.

Miss. State

10/21/00

90,584

W, 45-38 (OT)

5.

Utah State

9/8/01

87,756

W, 31-14

 


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