LSU-Florida Notebook

Death Valley will be the site of one of the nation's premier match-ups this weekend as 18th-ranked LSU hosts second-ranked Florida in a nationally televised tilt on CBS. The Tigers (2-1 overall, 0-1 in SEC) enter the contest on the heels of a 26-18 loss to then No. 7 Tennessee, while Florida comes to Baton Rouge with a 4-0 record after an impressive 52-0 thrashing of Mississippi State in its last outing.

Florida is the highest ranked team to come to Baton Rouge since 1997 when the Gators came to Death Valley ranked No. 1 and left with a 28-21 loss. Dating back to last season, the Tigers have won six straight home games, which includes victories over four SEC teams.

Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. (CT)

Location: Baton Rouge, La. - Tiger Stadium (91,600)

Television: CBS (Live)

The Series:  LSU and Florida meet for the 48th time with the Gators holding a 25-19-3 advantage in the series which dates back to 1937 ... Florida has won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the teams ... The only exception came in 1997 when the Tigers posted a 28-21 win over then-No. 1 Florida in Baton Rouge ... That win marked the only time in school history in which an LSU team has beaten a team ranked No. 1 in the nation ... Florida leads 13-11 in games played in Baton Rouge ... From 1977-87, the Tigers were 7-3-1 vs. the Gators ... Florida has won five of the last six meetings between the teams in Tiger Stadium, including a 31-10 victory in 1999 ... Nick Saban is 0-1 all-time vs. Florida.

LSU FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: LSU will look to bounce back from Saturday's loss to Tennessee in Knoxville when they face second-ranked Florida in Baton Rouge ... The Tigers will take a six-game home field winning streak into Saturday's contest with the Gators ... LSU hasn't dropped a home contest since a 13-10 decision last September to UAB ... Since then, the Tigers have reeled off six consecutive victories, four coming in SEC play and two against Top 25 teams ... Overall, LSU has won its last three home games against teams ranked in the Top 25 - beat No. 17 Arkansas, 35-10, in season-finale in 1999, beat No. 11 Tennessee, 38-31 (OT) and beat No. 13 Mississippi State, 45-38 (OT) last year ... Under Nick Saban, the Tigers are 3-1 after a loss ... 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 121 against Tennessee ... Over his last nine games (including the Peach Bowl), Davey has thrown 17 TD passes (which includes 2 in last year's Peach Bowl) compared to just one interception ... LSU is 11-11-1 all-time in games played on CBS, which includes an 0-3 mark vs. Florida.

DAVEY COMES UP WITH FIFTH HIGHEST PASSING TOTAL IN LSU HISTORY: With a career-high 356 yards passing against Tennessee last Saturday, Rohan Davey matched the fifth highest single game passing total in LSU history, posting the most yards since Jamie Howard threw for an identical 356 yards against Rice in 1995. In addition, the 43 attempts by Davey were a career high. The game was Davey's second career 300-yard passing game (joining last year's 318-yard performance against Tennessee) and only the 12th 300-yard game in LSU history. Davey tied Tommy Hodson and Jeff Wickersham for the second most career 300-yard passing games in LSU history. Jamie Howard holds the record with three.

For his career, Davey has completed 122-of-207 passes for 1,906 yards and 15 TDs. He's only thrown five interceptions in his career. Davey's 15 career TD passes (bowl stats don't count in career totals) rank as the 10th best total in school history, while his 1,906 career passing yards are 620 shy of moving past Y.A. Tittle (2,525 yards) for 10th place in LSU history.

REED BREAKS INTO TOP 10 IN LSU RECEIVING YARDAGE: With 125 yards receiving on seven catches against Tennessee, Josh Reed moved from 11th place to ninth place on the LSU all-time receiving list, passing former Tiger greats Sheddrick Wilson and Eddie Kennison in the process. With 1,645 career yards receiving, Reed needs 83 yards to move into eighth place and only 124 to move all the way up to sixth place. For his career, Reed has 91 receptions for 1,645 yards and 11 TDs. Reed is averaging 18.1 yards per catch, and since being moved to wide receiver in week 9 of the 1999 season, he's averaging 5.1 receptions a contest.

REED CLOSES IN ON ALL-TIME 100-YARD LSU MARK: Josh Reed came up with 125 yards on seven catches in the Tigers' loss at Tennessee last weekend, posting his 10th career 100-yard game in only 18 games at the position. Reed is only three 100-yard games shy of matching Wendell Davis for most career 100-yard games in LSU history (13). Reed has started the 2001 season with three consecutive 100-yard games. Since the Mississippi State contest last year, Reed has recorded 100-yard receiving games in six of the Tigers' last eight contests.

MORE REED: Reed caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Rohan Davey giving him 11 career TDs. He needs one more to tie Larry Foster for eighth on the all-time LSU touchdown reception list. With 91 career receptions, Reed needs seven to match Eddie Kennison and move into 10th place on the all-time LSU receptions list and only nine to become the 10th player in LSU history to reach 100 receptions.

LSU'S SPECIAL TEAMS COVERAGE HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING: The Tigers continue to get outstanding play from its kickoff and punt coverage teams as the Tigers allowed Tennessee only 80 yards in total return yards on nine returns. Thru three games this season, the Tigers have allowed just 29 yards in punt returns (on 10 attempts) for a 2.9 average per return. On kickoff returns, the Tigers are limiting the opposition to just 12.4 yards a return. On 15 kickoff returns this season, the Tigers have allowed only 20 yards or more just twice with the season-long being a 25-yard return in the Utah State contest. LSU has kicked off 33 times this year and its opponent has started outside the 20-yard line only five times. On 33 kickoffs this year, the LSU opponents' average starting field position is the 19-yard line.

PUNTER JONES' PLAY HAS BEEN CRITICAL: The play of sophomore punter Donnie Jones has been vital to the Tigers' success this season. Through three games, Jones is averaging a league-leading 45.1 yards per punt. Jones, who punts left-footed, punts a high ball with enough hang time which  gives LSU's defenders the opportunity to get down field to be in position to make a play on the returner. Jones' average of 45.1 per punt, combined with LSU's opponent punt return average of 2.4 yards per return, gives the Tigers a net punt average of 42.7 a punt, a figure which ranks second in the SEC. Auburn leads the league with a net punt average of 42.9 per punt.

TIGERS HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE ON 3RD DOWN OPPORTUNITIES: Through three games this season the Tigers have established themselves as one of the better third down teams around as LSU has converted 23 of 42 third down attempts for a 54.7 success rate. LSU currently leads the SEC in third down conversion percentage. LSU is the only team in the SEC that has a 50 percent or better third down conversion percent. Ole Miss ranks second in the league at 47.6 percent.

FRESHMAN CLAYTON EMERGES AS ANOTHER WIDEOUT THREAT FOR LSU: Heading into the 2001 season, the Tigers knew they had reliable hands in receivers Josh Reed and Jerel Myers, but were forced to find a solid No. 3 receiver when they learned senior Reggie Robinson would be unavailable for the entire year. The answer has come in true freshman Michael Clayton, who had a breakout performance against Tennessee. The Baton Rouge native came up with three receptions for a career-high 93 yards, including the first touchdown of his career, a 67-yard bomb from Rohan Davey. Thru three games, Clayton has six receptions for 131 yards and one TD. With great speed and ability to get open down field, Clayton's presence helps stretch opposing defenses while keeping defenses honest in covering Reed and Myers.

GREEN MATCHES FORMER TEAMMATE ON ALL-TIME SACK LIST: With a sack of Casey Clausen in the second half of the Tigers' last outing at Tennessee, Jarvis Green registered the 17th sack of his career, moving him into a sixth place tie on the all-time LSU list. Green tied former teammate and current NFL standout Anthony "Booger" McFarland who registered 17 sacks from 1995-98.

LSU-FLORIDA TIES: While it seems like Pete Jenkins has always been a Tiger deep down, in reality he was a Gator first. His final job before coming to LSU for his first 11-season stint was as defensive line coach for Florida in 1979. Jenkins is the only member of the LSU coaching staff to coach at Florida. The Tigers have eight players on their roster from the state of Florida- Rohan Davey (Miami), Torran Williams (Miami), Tim Pope (Panama City), Kris Kessler (Longwood), Demetri Robinson (Lake City), Travis Daniels (Hollywood), Steve Arflin (Jacksonville), Dave Peterson (Bristol).

ESPN SPENT A WEEK WITH THE TIGERS: ESPN spent all last week, including trips to and from Knoxville, with the Tigers. The first part of the behind the scenes piece aired last Saturday on ESPN's College Football Gameday with another eight-minute piece to air this Saturday. This Saturday the feature will focus on game day with the Tigers as the cameras followed the players from breakfast to team meetings, to the bus ride and even captures the mood of the locker room prior to the contest.

TOEFIELD STILL ON RECORD PACE FOR RUSHING TDS IN A SEASON: Despite only rushing for 20 yards on eight carries against Tennessee last weekend, sophomore tailback LaBrandon Toefield is still on pace to re-write LSU's rushing TD record this season. Through three games, Toefield has rushed for seven TDs, two more than he rushed for all of last season. Toefield's average of 2.3 rushing TDs a game this season puts him on pace to break the school mark of 17 held by Charles Alexander in 1977.

Toefield's four rushing TDs vs. Utah State was the second-most in school history and he's the only player in school history to have seven rushing TDs in the first two games of a season. Despite not scoring against Tennessee, Toefield still leads the SEC in scoring with a league-best seven TDs for a league-high 42 points (14.0 points a contest).

DAVIS MOVES CLOSER TO RETURN YARD RECORD: With 63 kickoff return yards against Tennessee Domanick Davis inched closer to Robert Dow's school record of 1,780 career yards, moving to within 467 yards of the record. For his career, Davis has 1,313 career kickoff return yards, second in school history. In addition, Davis has 376 career yards on punt returns, 10th in school history.

LSU VS. THE SEC EASTERN DIVISION: Following a 26-18 loss at Tennessee last weekend, the Tigers dropped their eighth decision to an SEC Eastern Division team in their last 10 attempts. The Tigers are 2-8 against the SEC East since 1998 with both victories coming a year ago when the Tigers beat Tennessee and Kentucky. LSU is 2-2 against the SEC East under Nick Saban.

TIGER STREAKS EXTENDED: Senior free safety Ryan Clark started his 26th consecutive game against Tennessee, dating back to the first game of his sophomore year in 1999. Junior middle linebacker Trev Faulk also extended his consecutive streaks start to 24, dating back to the 1999 game at Georgia during his freshman season. Junior wide receiver Jerel Myers has now started 15 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 121 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to the Florida game in 2000. Josh Reed has caught at least one pass in all 18 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, while tight end Robert Royal has caught at least one pass in 14 straight regular season games for the Tigers. The only game in which Myers did not catch at least one pass was the Tigers' victory over Ole Miss in Oxford in 2000.


Tiger Blitz Top Stories