Citadel added to 2002 slate; Va. Tech game moved

LSU has filled the opening in its 2002 football schedule with The Citadel, athletics director Skip Bertman announced on Thursday. LSU and The Citadel will play in Baton Rouge on Sept. 7. The Citadel, a member of the Southern Conference, fills the void left in LSU's schedule when Bowling Green backed out of its contract to play the Tigers last month.

"Given the unforeseen cancellation by Bowling Green, we were limited with our options to replace the game," Bertman said. "We looked all over the country and made numerous phone calls, but with the short time frame in which we had to work, it made it nearly impossible to find an opponent for the weekend of Sept. 7.

Bertman said The Citadel game, if necessary, would count towards making the Tigers bowl-eligible in 2002. LSU did not have to count its win over I-AA Western Carolina in 2000 to become bowl-eligible that season. LSU would have qualified for a bowl game in 2000 even without the Western Carolina victory.

In addition, LSU's game with Virginia Tech has been moved forward one day to accommodate national television, Bertman said. The LSU-Virginia Tech game, originally scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 31, will be played on Sunday, Sept. 1 in Blacksburg, Va., and will be televised to a national audience by ABC. Kickoff for the contest is set for 1:30 p.m. CT.

The Virginia Tech contest will mark LSU's third straight game unopposed on national television. LSU closed out the 2001 season with a prime time game against Tennessee on CBS followed by another prime time contest against Illinois on ABC in the Sugar Bowl.

"To play a team the caliber of Virginia Tech on national television is a great opportunity for LSU," Bertman said. "This will be great national exposure for Coach Saban and our football team."

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