LSU vs. ARIZONA: Notebook

The LSU Tigers play their second straight home game Saturday versus the Arizona Wildcats. For the fourth straight year, LSU plays a team from the Pac-10. LSU last played the Wildcats in 2003, defeating Arizona 59-13 en route to the national title.

Tigers Host Arizona In Tiger Stadium On ESPN2

LSU faces a Pac-10 opponent for the fourth consecutive year on Saturday as the eighth-ranked Tigers host Arizona at 5:30 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised to a national audience on ESPN2 with Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham handling the call. LSU brings a 1-0 mark into the game after opening the season with a 45-3 dismantling of Louisiana-Lafayette. Arizona, also 1-0, is coming off a 16-13 victory over BYU. The game will be the first between the two teams since LSU's national championship season in 2003 when the Tigers rolled to a 59-13 win over the Wildcats in Tucson. After going 18 years (1984 to 2002) without facing a squad from the Pac-10, the Tigers will face a team from that league for the fourth consecutive year - Arizona, 2003; Oregon State, 2004; Arizona State, 2005; Arizona 2006. LSU brings an 8-game winning streak against Pac-10 teams into the Arizona contest a streak that dates back to a 27-24 win over Oregon State in 1980. LSU's last loss to a Pac-10 team came in 1979 when then-No. 1 Southern Cal beat the Tigers, 17-12, in Tiger Stadium. The Tigers go into Saturday's contest coming off another impressive passing performance by QB JaMarcus Russell and a stout defensive effort. In just over two quarters of action, Russell connected on 13-of-17 passes for 253 yards and three scores, while the Tiger defense limited the Cajuns to only 176 yards of offense and eight first downs.

 

Russell, Defense Dominant In 45-3 Dismantling Of Louisiana-Lafayette

JaMarcus Russell looked to be in mid-season form and the Tiger defense seemed to pick up where last season left off as eight-ranked LSU rolled to a 45-3 season-opening win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Russell, seeing his first action since the SEC title game a year ago, connected on 13-of-17 passes for 253 yards and threw a career-high 3 TD passes in the victory, including a 58-yarder to Brandon LaFell on LSU's first possession of the contest. Minutes later CB Jonathan Zenon returned an interception 20-yards for a touchdown, giving the Tigers a 14-0 lead just five minutes into the game. ULL's only points came early in the second quarter on a field goal as the Tiger defense stretched its streak of not allowing a touchdown to 10 quarters. The Tigers closed out the first half with Russell throwing TD passes to Early Doucet and Dwayne Bowe as LSU led 28-3 at halftime. Jacob Hester and Alley Broussard added TD runs in the second half for the Tigers as LSU rolled up 469 yards of offense compared to just eight first downs and 176 yards for the Cajuns. For the contest, LSU's three quarterbacks combined to connect on 17-of-23 passes for 299 yards and 3 scores, while the Tigers racked up 170 yards on the ground, with Broussard leading the way with 46 yards on eight carries in his first action since a severe knee injury in August of 2005.

 

LSU vs. Arizona: The Facts

Date/Time:          Saturday, Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m. CDT

Location:              Baton Rouge, La. (Tiger Stadium 92,400)

Television:           ESPN2 (live)

                                Cox Sports Television (delay) - cable ch. 37 in Baton Rouge

Radio:                   LSU Sports Radio Network - 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge

                                Sirius Satellite Radio - ch. 110

The Series:           LSU leads 2-0

 

The Series

LSU and Arizona meet for the third time when the Wildcats come to Tiger Stadium on Saturday night … LSU is 2-0 all-time against Arizona, which includes a 59-13 win in Tucson in 2003 … First meeting between the teams came in 1984 when LSU posted a 27-26 win in Tiger Stadium … Contest will mark the fourth straight year in which the Tigers will face a member of the Pac-10 … LSU went 18 years (1984 to 2002) without playing a team from the Pac-10 … LSU is 9-3 all-time against teams from the Pac-10 … LSU is currently riding an 8-game winning streak against Pac-10 teams, a streak that dates back to a 27-24 win over Oregon State in 1981 … LSU's last loss to a Pac-10 team came in 1979 when Southern Cal beat the Tigers, 17-12, in Baton Rouge … LSU coach Les Miles is 2-1 vs. the Pac-10 (1-0 vs. Arizona State, 1-1 vs UCLA).

 

Tigers Return To Action Against Arizona

For the fourth straight year, LSU will step out of conference to play a team from the Pac-10 as Arizona comes to Tiger Stadium for a 5:30 p.m. contest. The game will be televised to a national audience by ESPN2 with Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham calling the action. Both teams come into Saturday's game with a 1-0 mark - LSU beat Louisiana-Lafayette 45-3 to open the year, while Arizona edged BYU, 16-13 a week ago. LSU is 2-0 all-time against the Wildcats as the teams last meet in Tucson in 2003 with the Tigers posting a 59-13 victory.

 

2005: A Year of Firsts For LSU and Les Miles

A year ago, Les Miles set several milestones for first-year LSU coaches as he guided the Tigers to 11 wins, making him the winningest first-year Tiger coach in school history. In addition, Miles became the only coach in school history to beat Florida, Auburn and Alabama in the same season. LSU beat Florida 21-17 on Oct. 15, then followed that with a 20-17 overtime win over Auburn a week later. The 16-13 overtime win over Alabama clinched the feat for Miles. He was also the first coach in SEC history to lead his team to the SEC Championship Game in his first year in the league. Miles currently is 12-2 as LSU's head coach and he's 40-23 overall in 5-plus seasons as a collegiate head coach.

 

About Arizona

The Wildcats are coached by Mike Stoops, who is in his third season at Arizona … Stoops has an overall head coaching record of 7-16, all at Arizona … Stoops was the defensive coordinator for Oklahoma in 2003 when the Tigers beat the Sooners, 21-14, to claim the BCS National Title in the Sugar Bowl … The Wildcats are led by sophomore QB Willie Tuitama, who took over as the starter in week 7 a year ago … Tuitama threw for 186 yards and 1 score in the opener against BYU … RB Chris Henry led the Wildcats with 63 yards rushing against BYU, which included a 54-yard run … Defensively, Louis Holmes had 2 sacks and a forced fumble against BYU to key a Wildcat defense that held the Cougars to just 24 yards rushing.

 

Grand Canyon State Tigers

LSU has one player on its roster who calls Arizona home and that's junior college transfer Chad Baniecki from Seton, Ariz. … Baniecki is in his first year with the Tigers after transferring to LSU during the summer from Mesa Community College … Baniecki originally played for LSU coach Les Miles at Oklahoma State in 2004 before transferring to Mesa Community College.

 

The Pelini-Stoops Connection

LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini is well connected to the Arizona coaching staff. Pelini, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, grew up with Mike Stoops (Arizona head coach) and Mark Stoops (Arizona defensive coordinator). Pelini spent a year coaching with Mike and Mark at Iowa in 1991 and he played high school football with Mark at Cardinal Mooney in Youngstown, where they were coached by Stoops' dad, the late Ron Stoops. Pelini also coached with another Stoops, Bob, at Oklahoma in 2004 before taking over as LSU's defensive coordinator for the 2005 season.

 

In The Polls

The Tigers went into the 2006 season ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches poll. It marks the third straight year that the Tigers start a season ranked in the top 10. Last year, the Tigers were ranked No. 5 in the AP poll and No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches poll. LSU also had a top 10 national ranking to open the 2004 season as the Tigers were ranked No. 4 in the AP poll following their national championship season in 2003. LSU has now been ranked for 51 consecutive polls by USA Today and 50 straight polls by the AP. This week's poll will be released on Tuesday following the Miami-Florida State game on Monday night. 

 

Tigers Have Been Tough To Beat In Tiger Stadium

LSU goes into the Arizona game having won five straight and 16 of its last 17 games in Tiger Stadium. LSU's last loss at home came against Tennessee on Sept. 26 of last year, a Monday night. LSU hasn't lost a Saturday game in Tiger Stadium since a 19-7 setback to Florida on Oct. 11, 2003. To take it a step further, LSU hasn't dropped a Saturday night game at home since a 31-0 defeat to Alabama on Nov. 16, 2002, a streak that stretches 14 consecutive games.

 

LSU's Non-Conference Home Winning Streak At 15 Straight

LSU brings a streak of having won 15 straight non-conference home games in the Arizona contest. The Tigers haven't dropped a home non-conference game since falling to UAB, 13-10, on Sept. 23, 2000.

 

LSU's Won 5 Straight and 13 Of Last 14 Non-Conference Games

LSU has won five straight and 13 of its last 14 non-conference games heading into the Arizona contest. LSU was 5-0 in non-conference action a year ago. LSU's last non-conference loss came at the hands of Iowa by a 30-25 count in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2005. Prior to that, LSU's last non-conference loss was to Texas by a 35-20 margin in the Cotton Bowl during the 2002 season.

 

Tiger Defense Hasn't Allowed A TD For 10 Straight Quarters; Ranks As Nation's Longest Streak

LSU's defense brings a streak into the Arizona game of holding its opponents without a touchdown for 10 straight quarters into the 2006 season, which ranks as the longest current streak in the nation. LSU closed out last year by holding Miami to only 3 points in the Peach Bowl. Prior to that, LSU's defense allowed only a pair of second half field goals in a loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. The last offensive touchdown scored against LSU was on a 7-yard run by D.J. Shockley at the 8:23 mark of the second quarter in the SEC title game.

 

Redzone Streak Still Intact? You Make That Call

LSU's streak of 31 straight trips inside the redzone came to an end  (or did it?) on Saturday, not because of  the UL-Lafayette defense or a missed opportunity by the Tigers, but by the game clock. The game ended with the Tigers on the Cajuns 5-yard line. So until the Tigers are either stopped by the defense in the redzone or miss a scoring opportunity in the redzone, the LSU SID office will say the streak is still intact. Dating back to the Auburn game in 2005, the Tigers have been successful on every trip inside the redzone (24 touchdowns, 7 field goals).

  

Keeping Them Under 20 Points

LSU goes into the Arizona game having held 11 of its last 12 opponents, 7 of which were SEC foes, to 20 points or less, a streak that dates back to early last year. Prior to the Georgia game in the SEC Championship, LSU held 9 straight opponents to 20 points. It was the longest streak since 2003 when the Tigers did it for the first 11 weeks of the season on their way to claiming both the SEC and National titles.

 

Taking Note On The Tigers Since 2000

Here is a look at some notable trends for LSU during the 78 games its played since 2000 … LSU is 50-4 when leading at halftime and 45-4 when leading after three quarters … The Tigers are 55-5 when scoring 20 or more points and 46-2 when scoring at least 25 points in a game … On the other hand, the Tigers are 5-13 when failing to reach the 20-point mark … LSU is 19-5 in games decided by 7 points or less and 9-3 in games decided by 3 points or less … LSU is 41-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 team rushing yards and the Tigers are 26-1 when having a player rush for 100 yards.

  

Russell Runs Record As LSU's Starting QB To 15-2

LSU QB JaMarcus Russell ran his record as the Tigers starter to 15-2 with the 45-3 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Russell guided the Tigers to a 10-2 mark as a starter last year after going 4-0 as a redshirt freshman in 2004. LSU's Matt Flynn is 1-0 as a starter after leading the Tigers to a 40-3 win over Miami in last year's Peach Bowl.

 

Russell Sets Career Mark for TD Passes Against Louisiana-Lafayette

When LSU QB JaMarcus Russell connected with Brandon LaFell on a 58-yard TD pass on the third play of the game against Louisiana-Lafayette, it marked the longest completion of Russell's career. It also marked the first of what would be a career-best three TD passes for Russell against the Cajuns. For the game, Russell finished 13-of-17 for 253 yards and 3 scores. The 253 passing yards ranks as the second-highest total of Russell's career.

 

Landry Runs Starting Streak to 36 Straight

LSU All-America free safety LaRon Landry ran his streak of consecutive starts to 36 straight against Louisiana-Lafayette. Landry, from Ama, La., has been in the LSU lineup since the Mississippi State contest (week 5) in 2003. The 36 straight starts ranks as the fifth-longest streak in the Division IA. 

 

Craig Davis Reception Streak At 24 Straight

With 4 catches for 82 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette, senior WR Craig Davis has caught at least one pass in 24 straight games. The streak dates back to LSU's season-opener in 2003 against Oregon State. Davis caught at least one pass in all 12 games a year ago. Davis missed the Mississippi State and Florida contests with injuries a year ago. In 11 games in 2005, Davis caught 35 passes for 559 yards and 2 TDs.

 

Alley's Back

LSU RB Alley Broussard returned to action for the first time in nearly two years on Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. Broussard, who injured his knee in fall camp a year ago, hadn't played since the Capital One Bowl in January of 2005. Broussard entered the ULL game in the second half and responded with 46 yards and 1 touchdown on 8 carries, which included a 19-yard run on his first carry of the game.

 

Colt David PAT Streak At 41 Straight

LSU PK Colt David ran his streak of successful PATs to 41 straight by connecting on all six of his attempts against Louisiana-Lafayette. The 41 straight successful PATs ranks as the seventh longest streak in school history. David Browndyke holds the school record by making 109 in a row from 1986 to 1989.

 

LSU Used 5 First-Time Starters Against Louisiana-Lafayette

The Tigers had four first-time starters in the contest against Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday. First time starters for the Tigers included: Tyson Jackson at defensive end; Daniel Francis at nickel back; Luke Sanders at linebacker; Ciron Black at left offensive tackle; and Peter Dyakowski at right offensive tackle.

 

11 True Freshmen See Action In Opener

A total of 11 true freshman saw action in the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette. True freshmen who played in the season-opener were: WR/RS Trindon Holliday, WR Ricky Dixon, RB Charles Scott, DB Danny McCary, LB Jacob Cutrera, LB Perry Riley, TE Richard Dickson, WR Chris Mitchell, WR Jared Mitchell, DT Al Woods, and RB Keiland Williams 

 

LaRon Landry Back To Lead Secondary

LaRon Landry, a First-Team All-SEC pick in 2004, returns as the "quarterback" of the Tiger secondary in 2006. Landry is listed on just about every preseason All-America team as well as being named the top safety in the country by several publications. Landry opened his senior season with 6 tackles and 1 tackle for a 3-yard loss against UL-Lafayette. For his career, Landry has recorded 247 career tackles, 13.5 tackles for losses, 7 sacks and 9 interceptions.

 

A Familiar Face Under Center

For just the second time since 1998, the Tigers opened a season with the same quarterback who served as the starter from the year before. Junior JaMarcus Russell joined Matt Mauck (2002-03) as the only quarterbacks since the days of Herb Tyler to start consecutive season openers for the Tigers when he takes the first snap against Louisiana-Lafayette. The following is a look at LSU's starting quarterbacks in season-opening games since 1998: 

 

Cap and Gown Tigers

When LSU opens the 2006 season, two members of the squad will have already earned their undergraduate degree. The list includes starting right tackle Peter Dyakowski (Spring, 2006 - History); place kicker Ryan Gaudet (Spring, 2006 - Management). 


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