NOTEBOOK: LSU plays well in bounce back game

With its 49-7 win over Tulane the Tigers are now 8-0 in their last eight games following a loss. Last year LSU followed up losses against Tennessee and Georgia with wins over Mississippi State and Miami, respectively.

The Tigers' win over Arizona State to begin the season came after LSU's defeat at the hands of Iowa in the 2005 Capital One Bowl.


After falling to both Auburn and Georgia during the 2004 season, LSU earned victories over Mississippi State and Florida, respectively. The Tigers' sole loss in the 2003 National Championship season to the Gators was quickly rectified with a road win over South Carolina. LSU's first win of 2003, against UL-Monroe, came after the Tigers' 2002 Cotton Bowl loss to Texas.


LSU's loss to the Longhorns marks the last time the Tigers dropped back-to-back contests, a loss that followed defeat at the hands of Arkansas. The Razorbacks prevented LSU from a return trip to the SEC Championship Game with last-minute heroics from Matt   Jones. Not since 2001 have the Tigers had back-to-back regular season losses. Then No. 7 Tennessee and then No. 2 Florida handled LSU in consecutive weeks.


In his first two seasons at the helm, Les Miles' Tigers have dropped their SEC openers. Only two other coaches in LSU history share that distinction – Gaynell "Gus" Tinsley and Nick Saban.





Although the Tigers didn't win at home 45-3 again, LSU did replicate their 42-point margin of victory in Tiger Stadium for a third consecutive time. Once again, such a performance was made possible because of the turnovers the defense produced.


LSU has forced at least two interceptions in each game and has picked-off opposing quarterbacks seven times when playing in Death Valley. Craig Steltz hauled in his second interception of the season last Saturday and returned it 76 yards before running out of steam at the Tulane six yardline.


"It's sad he didn't get in the endzone on that one," LSU Coach Les Miles said of Steltz's return. "He should've been awarded a touchdown on great effort."


The return was the longest for a Tiger since 1996, when Mark Roman brought an interception back 86 yards against another Tulane team.


Danny McCray hauled in his first interception of the season, and Ricky Jean-Francois joined the turnover club with a fumble recovery.





True freshman Charles Scott became LSU's first 100-yard rusher in a game this season, carrying the ball 15 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns against the Green Wave.


"It's nice to have a back go over a hundred yards," Miles said. "That's nice to have happen, but I'm not certain next week that it might not be another back. So we'll kind of see how it goes."


Scott's 15 rushes were more attempts in a game this season than any other back has had thus far. Alley Broussard, who had zero carries against Tulane, held the previous high of 10 against Auburn.





With a solo tackle, three assists, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal attempt against Tulane, Ricky Jean-Francois' name was uttered often by LSU P.A. Announcer Dan Borné. Most importantly for Jean-Francois, his name was being pronounced correctly. Borné's style of pausing between "Ricky" and the rest of the defensive end's moniker suits the redshirt freshman just fine.


"That keeps me happy every time he pronounces my name, ‘Ricky…Jean Francois.'" Jean-Francois said. "People can get used to it. It's like a catchphrase now. Now they can say my name right. When I was back home it was ‘Francisco, Francis' or they just said ‘Jean' and stopped. They wouldn't say anything else." 





Instant replay actually benefited LSU against Tulane…twice


Following a slew of reviews that hindered the Tigers at Auburn, LSU was granted a first down in the first quarter when Russell connected with Brandon LaFell on an 11-yard pass on a third and three. After an initial ruling that LaFell didn't get his feet inbounds to continue the drive, the booth took another look and determined the call to be incorrect.


With 5:37 to go in the second quarter Scott fumbled, resulting in a first down for LSU. The spot was challenged by Tulane, and the Green Wave was charged with a timeout after the ruling on the field stood.


"Yeah, how about that," Miles said enthusiastically when someone commented it was nice to see a replay go his way for a change.





Former LSU quarterback Lester Ricard's return to Baton Rouge obviously didn't go as he would have hoped.


After an ominous fumbled snap to start the game, Ricard endured three-and-outs on three of the Green Wave's six possessions of the opening half and was knocked out of the contest by the Tigers' defense before Tulane's last drive of the second quarter ended in a blocked field goal.


Ricard was 6-of-15 passing for 44 yards and was sacked twice. Including his sacks, he rushed three times for minus 13 yards.

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