LSU enters the Kentucky contest with a 2-2 overall mark and an 0-2 record in SEC action. LSU is coming off a 44-15 setback to second-ranked Florida, the Tigers' second consecutive top 10 opponent. Kentucky (1-4, 0-3) is coming off a 42-6 defeat to South Carolina. Last year, the Tigers toppled the Wildcats, 34-0, in Baton Rouge in a game that was the first of four straight SEC wins for the Tigers.
Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 13 at 6 (CT)
Location: Lexington, Ky. - Commonwealth Stadium (67,350)
Television: Tigervision (Live)
The Series: LSU leads 35-15-1
Last Meeting: LSU, 34-0, on Oct. 14, 2000 in Baton Rouge
Record: 2-2, 0-2 SEC
Ranking: Not Ranked
Last Game: Oct. 6 at Baton Rouge, La., lost #2 Florida, 44-15
Coach: Nick Saban
Career Record: 53-32-1/eighth year
LSU Record: 10-6/second year
vs. Kentucky: 1-0
Record: 1-4, 0-3 SEC
Ranking: Not Ranked
Last Game: Oct. 6 at Columbia, S.C., lost #12 So. Carolina, 42-6
Coach: Guy Morriss
Career Record: 1-4/first year
UK Record: 1-4/first year
vs. LSU: first meeting
LSU and Kentucky meet for the 52nd time with the Tigers holding a 35-15-1 lead over the Wildcats ... Last year, the Tigers posted a 34-0 win over Kentucky in Baton Rouge ... LSU is 14-10 vs. Kentucky in Lexington ... The last time the teams met in Lexington, UK posted a 31-5 victory ... The Tigers last won in Lexington in 1997 by a 63-28 count ... In that game, LSU's Kevin Faulk rushed for a school-record five TDs ... UK has won two of the last three vs. the Tigers ... The winning team has scored at least 30 points in the last five meetings between the teams ... Nick Saban is 1-0 all-time vs. Kentucky.
LSU FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: LSU will look to pick up its first Southeastern Conference win of the season and in the process snap a two-game losing streak when it travels to face Kentucky in Lexington on Saturday ... The Kentucky contest will mark the first of two straight on the road for the Tigers .. .Next week LSU hits the road to face Mississippi State in Starkville ... LSU is 0-1 on the road this season with the loss coming at Tennessee by a 26-18 count ... LSU has scored 20 or more points in all 10 of its victories under Nick Saban ... LSU quarterback Rohan Davey had his streak of passes without an interception snapped at 125 ... Davey hadn't been intercepted since the second half of the Florida game last year ... Over his last 10 games (including the Peach Bowl), Davey has thrown 17 TD passes - which includes two in the Peach Bowl - compared to just two interceptions ... LSU hasn't been shutout since the Alabama game on Nov. 9, 1996 - a span of 54 games ... LSU RB LaBrandon Toefield is 17 yards shy of reaching 1,000 rushing yards for his career.
MORE ON THE LSU-KENTUCKY SERIES: LSU and Kentucky have split the last eight meetings between the teams ... Prior to that, the Tigers had won seven of nine and 12 of 15 against the Wildcats ... From 1961 to 1973, the Tigers won 13 straight against the Wildcats ... The team that has scored first in the last six meetings has gone on to win the game ... Two of the last three games between the teams in Lexington have produced some interesting story lines ... LSU wore purple pants for the first and only time in school history in the 24-16 setback to the Wildcats in Lexington in 1995 ... Kevin Faulk rushed for 212 yards and a school-record five TDs in LSU's 63-28 win over Kentucky in Lexington in 1997 ... The 63 points was the most-ever by LSU in an SEC contest ... In Baton Rouge in 1998, Kentucky kicked a field goal as time expired to win 39-36.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR LSU: The Tigers travel to Starkville to face Mississippi State in a rematch of last year's 45-38 overtime LSU victory in Baton Rouge. After the Mississippi State contest, LSU will have four of its last five games at home.
JOSH REED CONTINUES TO MOVE UP LSU CHARTS: With six catches for 123 yards against Florida, LSU receiver Josh Reed moved from ninth to a tie for sixth place in career receiving yardage at LSU. Reed moved past Carlos Carson and Larry Foster, and equaled himself with Abram Booty for sixth place with 1,768 yards. Reed needs 143 yards to catch Todd Kinchen and move into the top five in LSU history. Through four games, Reed is already over half his way to another 1,000 yard season, having accumulated 507 yards on 24 catches. Reed is on pace to shatter Wendell Davis' single season record of 1,244 set in 1986. Reed is currently on pace to record nearly 1,400 this season. Since moving to receiver prior to the Alabama game in the 1999 season, Reed has averaged 98.2 yards per game over 18 games. Reed currently leads the SEC and ranks fourth in the nation with 126.8 yards receiving a contest.
THIRD QUARTER WOES FOR THE TIGERS: Scoring in the third quarter has become somewhat of a problem for LSU over the first four games of the season as the Tigers have managed only seven points in the third quarter through the first four games. LSU's only third quarter score came against Tulane in the season-opener. This season, the Tigers have had 11 third quarter possessions with just one resulting in a TD.
LSU's best scoring quarter is the second quarter as the Tigers have put 50 points on the board during that stanza. In the second quarter alone, LSU has outscored its opposition 50-19. The Tigers have also outscored the opposition 31-21 in the fourth quarter. Through four games, LSU has scored 112 points for an average of 28.0 points a contest.
TOEFIELD CONTINUES TO LEAD THE SEC IN SCORING: LaBrandon Toefield continues to lead the SEC in scoring as the sophomore running back scored his eighth TD of the season on Saturday vs. Florida. Through four games, Toefield has scored a total of 48 points for an SEC best average of 12.0 points a contest.
CLAYTON EMERGES AS RECEIVING THREAT: In the absence of senior Reggie Robinson, sidelined for the season with a neck injury, true freshman Michael Clayton has quickly emerged as one of the Tigers' key go-to guys through the early stages of the season.
Clayton came up with a breakout performance against Tennessee, hauling in three catches for 93 yards, including a 67-yard strike from Rohan Davey for the first touchdown of his young career. Clayton followed that with the first start of his career vs. Florida, becoming the first of LSU's 2001 true freshman class to start a game. Clayton caught a career-high five balls for 79 yards, including a 30-yarder to set up the Tigers' first touchdown. Through four games, the Baton Rouge native has caught 11 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown.
TIGERS SPREAD THE WEALTH IN PASSING GAME: One thing is for sure, LSU can never be accused of focusing on one receiver in its passing game as 11 different players - five split ends, three tight ends, two tailbacks and one fullback - have caught passes for the Tigers this season. Spreading the football around has become a trademark of the Jimbo Fisher offense as last year, 13 Tigers caught passes during the regular-season. The only two players with extensive game experience that have yet to catch a pass for the Tigers this year are tight end Marcus Spears (several have been thrown to him) and running back Devery Henderson.
MAUCK STEPS UP IN RELIEF: It had been five years since he stepped into a huddle in a real game situation, but Matt Mauck filled in admirably at quarterback last Saturday against Florida when starting signal caller Rohan Davey went out with a knee injury. The redshirt freshman from Jasper, Ind., hadn't taken a snap since 1996, but completed 11 of 22 passes for 132 yards while running for an additional 37 yards. Mauck originally signed with current LSU head coach Nick Saban in 1997 at Michigan State but opted to play minor league baseball instead. After three years in the minors in the Chicago Cubs orginization, Mauck opted to return to football and was on the Tigers' roster for the 2000 season, but did not take a snap.
HENDERSON ADDS ADDITONAL THREAT AT RUNNING BACK: Devery Henderson has turned into the perfect compliment to LaBrandon Toefield and came up with a career-high 86 yards on just six carries in the Tigers' last outing against Florida. Included in that total was a career-best 50-yard rush in the second half which demonstrated Henderson's tremendous ability to get to the outside, get around the corner and explode. While Toefield is more of a bruising back, Henderson relies on pure speed. Henderson ranks among the fastest football players in the nation, with 10.40 speed in track and field, he served as the opening leg of the Tigers' NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifying 4x100-meter relay team and holds the second fastest 60-meter time in LSU track and field history. Through four games this season, Henderson has rushed for 227 yards on 37 carries, an average of 6.1 yards an attempt.
20 POINTS THE MAGIC MARK: Since coming to LSU for the 2000 season, Nick Saban has posted a 10-6 record in Baton Rouge. In that time, the Tigers are 10-0 when scoring 20+ points and 0-6 when failing to reach that mark under Saban. The Tigers registered 48 and 31 points respectively in victories in their first two games of the season before scoring only 18 and 15 points respectively in their last two outings, both losses. In their seven regular season wins a year ago they averaged 36 points per game. In their four losses, they scored a total of 39 points. In LSU's two wins this season, the Tigers are averaging 39.5 points a contest. On the other hand, the Tigers are scoring an average of 16.5 points in their two defeats in 2001.
DAVEY REACHES 2,000 YARDS: With 154 yards passing against Florida, senior quarterback Rohan Davey surpassed 2,000 career passing yards. Davey enters the Kentucky game with 2,049 yards, 476 yards shy of moving into the top 10 in all-time passing yardage history. NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle currently sits 10th with 2,525 career yards passing. For his career, Davey has completed 129 of 248 passes for 2,049 yards and 15 TDs. Davey has thrown only six interceptions in his career.
DAVEY'S STREAK OF PASSES WITHOUT AN INTERCEPTION SNAPPED: Rohan Davey's streak of consecutive passes without an interception came to an end at 125 last Saturday against Florida when the senior signal caller was picked off in the first quarter. Despite his one interception this season, Davey has still been a model of efficiency and has thrown 17 touchdown passes to just two inteceptions since entering in a relief appearance in the 1999 season finale against Arkansas.
REED NEARS 100 CAREER RECEPTIONS: With one reception, Josh Reed will tie Eddie Kennison and move into 10th place on the all-time LSU receptions list with 98. Reed is just three receptions away from becoming the 10th player in LSU history to reach 100 career receptions. In 18 games as a receiver, Reed has averaged 5.3 receptions per game since making the move from running back in week nine of the 1999 season.
REED ADDS ANOTHER 100-YARD OUTING: With 123 yards on six catches against Florida, Josh Reed posted his 11th career 100-yard game in only 18 career games at the position. Reed moved into sole possession of second place on the LSU all-time 100-yard receiving game list and sits only two away from Wendell Davis' school record of 13. Through LSU's first four games, Reed has recorded at least 120 yards four times.
STREAKS TO NOTE: Senior free safety Ryan Clark made his 27th consecutive start last weekend, dating back to the start of the 1999 season (including last year's Peach Bowl) ... Junior Trev Faulk extended his consecutive starts streak to 24 games dating back to the fourth game of his freshman year in 1999 ... Jerel Myers has now started 26 of 27 career games with the lone exception being the 1999 season finale against Arkansas when the Tigers started in a three tight end alignment ... Josh Reed has caught at least one pass in all 19 games since moving to receiver prior to the Alabama game in 1999 ... Myers has a reception in 26 of 27 games in his three-year career, while tight end Robert Royal has caught at least one pass in 15 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.
TIGERS GET IT DONE ON THIRD DOWN: The Tigers 17-play scoring drive in the second quarter of Saturday's game against Florida was aided by a statistic that is becoming a strength of this Tiger team - the ability to convert on third down. The Tigers went 5-5 on that series, including conversions on third-and-23 and third-and-15. LSU finished eight-of-17 on third down conversions vs. Florida, and for the season, the Tigers have converted an SEC-best 31-of-59 for 52.5 percent.
LSU VS. SEC EASTERN DIVISION: With a 44-15 loss to Florida, LSU's struggles against the SEC Eastern Divison continued. The Tigers are only 2-9 against the SEC East since 1998. One of those victories, however, was a 34-0 win over Kentucky in Baton Rouge a year ago. Nick Saban is 2-3 against the SEC East. Since the SEC split into divisions in 1992, the Tigers are 8-20-1 vs. the eastern division of the league. Last year, the Tigers were 2-1 vs. the eastern division marking only the third time in nine tries in which LSU had a winning record against the other side of the league.
LSU'S SPECIAL TEAMS COVERAGE HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING: Despite the loss to Florida, LSU's special teams coverage had another outstanding game as the Gators combined for only 16 punt return yards and 54 yards in kickoff returns. Florida did return the opening kickoff 45 yards, but the Gators followed that with a nine-yard kickoff return. Through four games, the Tigers are allowing only 14.1 yards per kickoff return and just 3.5 yards on punt returns. On 17 kickoff returns this season, the Tigers have allowed only 20 yards or more just three times. LSU has kicked off 36 times this year and its opponent has started outside the 20-yard line only six times.
PUNTER JONES' PLAY HAS BEEN CRITICAL: The play of sophomore punter Donnie Jones has been vital to the Tigers' success this season. Through four games, Jones is averaging 42.4 yards per punt, fourth in the SEC. 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. As a team, the Tigers rank second in the SEC and 11th in the nation in net punting as they are averaging 39.9 yards per punt. Net punting takes a punters average and subtracts yards per return for the opposition. Auburn leads the league at 41.9 net yards per punt.
GREEN MATCHES FORMER TEAMMATE ON ALL-TIME SACK LIST: With a sack of Casey Clausen in the second half of the Tigers' game against Tennessee on Sept. 29, 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.
TOEFIELD STILL ON RECORD PACE FOR RUSHING TDS IN A SEASON: LaBrandon Toefield is still on pace to re-write LSU's rushing TD record this season as the sophomore picked up his league-leading eighth TD of the season vs. Florida on Saturday. Through four games, Toefield has rushed for eight TDs, three more than he rushed for all of last season. Toefield's average of 2.0 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.
DAVIS MOVES CLOSER TO RETURN YARD RECORD: With 29 kickoff return yards against Florida, Domanick Davis inched closer to Robert Dow's school record of 1,780 career yards, moving to within 438 yards of the record. For his career, Davis has 1,342 career kickoff return yards, second in school history. In addition, Davis has 393 career yards on punt returns, 10th in school history.