NOTEBOOK: LSU vs. Mississippi State

LSU will host a rare late morning contest on Saturday as the ninth-ranked Tigers welcome Mississippi State to Tiger Stadium. Kickoff for Saturday's game is set for 11:30 a.m. and it will be televised to a regional audience on Lincoln Financial Sports (formerly Jefferson Pilot).

The contest will serve as the 100th meeting between the schools with the Tigers leading the series 63-33-3. LSU has played Mississippi State more than any other team. The LFS game will mark the first time the Tigers have hosted an 11:30 a.m. contest since 2004 when the Tigers blanked Mississippi State, 51-0. The game also marks the Southeastern Conference home opener for the Tigers.


LSU brings a 3-1 overall mark into the game following last week's 49-7 victory over Tulane. The Tigers are 0-1 in league play, dropping a 7-3 decision at Auburn on Sept. 16. LSU moved up one spot in both national polls this week, jumping from No. 10 to No. 9 in the AP poll and moving from No. 11 to a tie for No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches poll. The Tigers debuted at No. 10 in the Harris Poll, which was released for the first time this year on Sunday. Mississippi State picked up its first win over the season last week with a 16-10 overtime victory over UAB.


 The Bulldogs are 1-3 overall and 0-2 in league play. Last year, the Tigers posted a 37-7 win over Mississippi State in Starkville to run their winning streak against the Bulldogs to six straight. LSU has also won 13 of 14 against MSU. LSU brings arguably the nation's best defense into the MSU game as the Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the country in scoring defense (5.0 points per game) and pass efficiency defense (61.28 rating) and No. 2 in total defense (185.25 yards per game) and pass defense (102.25 yards per game). Offensively, the Tigers have scored 40 or more points three times this year and they are averaging an SEC-best 35.5 points per game.


QB JaMarcus Russell has completed 63 of 95 passes for 916 yards and seven touchdowns. Freshman RB Charles Scott leads the Tigers in rushing with 187 yards and three TDs on 24 carries. LSU has three players with at least 13 receptions led by Buster Davis with 19 catches for 293 yard, while WR Dwayne Bowe has 16 catches for 258 yards and 2 TD and Early Doucet 13 receptions for 201 yards and three scores.


LB Darry Beckwith leads the Tiger defense with 27 tackles, including 3.0 for losses and 1.5 sacks. DT Glenn Dorsey is second on the team with 21 tackles and he's tops on the squad with 6 tackles for losses and 2 sacks. CB Jonathan Zenon and S Craig Steltz lead the SEC with 3 interceptions this year. Steltz has intercepted a pass in three straight games for the Tigers.



Tigers Dominant In All Phases in 49-7 Win Over Tulane


LSU bounced back from its disappointing loss to Auburn a week earlier with a 49-7 victory over Tulane in Tiger Stadium. LSU scored early and often in the contest, building a 14-0 first quarter lead and then stretching it to 28-0 at halftime. Early Doucet scored three first half touchdowns, two on passes from JaMarcus Russell and the other coming on a 17-yard run. Freshman Charles Scott added an 8-yard run to cap the first half scoring for the Tigers. Scott added another scoring run in the third quarter as the Tigers built a 35-0 lead. Scott finished the game with a career-best 101 yards rushing as the Tigers had 201 yards on the ground in the contest. LSU rounded out the scoring with TD runs of 7-yards by Matt Flynn and 6-yards by Jacob Hester. For the game, LSU limited the Green Wave to just 231 total yards and one fourth quarter touchdown, which came against LSU's defensive backups.  Tulane did become the first team in 2006 to surpass the 200-yard mark on the Tigers as the Green Wave eclipsed the mark late in the fourth quarter against LSU defensive reserves. Russell connected on 17 of 23 passes for 198 yards and 2 TDs. As a team, the Tigers rushed for 5 scores in the game.



Date/Time:          Saturday, Sept. 30 at 11:30 a.m. CDT


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


Television:           Lincoln Financial Sports (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. 123


The Series:           LSU leads 63-33-3



The Series


LSU and Mississippi State meet for the 100 time on Saturday in Tiger Stadium … The Tigers have played MSU more than any other team … LSU leads the overall series with the Bulldogs, 63-33-3 … The series dates back to a 52-0 LSU win in 1896 … LSU has won six straight and 13 of the last 14 against MSU, including last year's 37-7 win in Starkville … LSU has also won seven straight over State in Tiger Stadium, which includes a 51-0 victory in 2004 … MSU's last win over LSU came in Starkville by a 17-16 count … The Bulldogs haven't won in Baton Rouge since a 28-19 victory in 1991 … Since 2001, LSU has outscored the Bulldogs, 202-26 … Since the 2000 season, LSU has scored at least 40 points against the Bulldogs four times … LSU is 43-18-1 against in Baton Rouge … LSU coach Les Miles is 1-0 against Mississippi State.



LSU and Mississippi State To Battle On Lincoln Financial Sports


LSU returns to Tiger Stadium for the fourth time in five games this year on Saturday as the ninth-ranked Tigers host Mississippi State at 11:30 a.m. The game will be televised to a regional audience by Lincoln Financial Sports (formerly Jefferson Pilot). The game will mark the first day game of the year for the Tigers and it's the first 11:30 a.m. start for LSU since beating Mississippi State, 51-0, in 2004. LSU brings a 3-1 overall mark and an 0-1 league record into the game, while the Bulldogs are 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Last year, LSU posted a 37-7 win over State in Starkville.



LSU On Lincoln Financial Sports For First Time


LSU will make its first appearance on Lincoln Financial Sports (formerly Jefferson Pilot). The only thing that has changed with the network is the name as the announcers (Dave Neal, Dave Roe and Dave Baker) are all the same as is the 11:30 a.m. start time. The last time the Tigers played in the 11:30 a.m. game came in 2004 when LSU posted a 51-0 win over Mississippi State. LSU is 6-11-1 all-time in games televised by LFS and/or JP. 



LSU Brings Nation's Top Rated Defense Into Mississippi State Game


LSU brings the nation's No. 1 rated defense in terms of points allowed (5.0 points per game) and pass efficiency (61.28 rating). LSU, who has only allowed two touchdowns all season, is also ranked No. 2 in the nation in total defense (185.25 yards per game) and No. 2 in pass defense (102.25 yards per game).



LSU Streak Of Holding Opponents To Under 200 Yards Of Offense Snapped By Tulane


LSU's streak of holding opponents to fewer than 200 yards of offense came to an end at four game in the fourth quarter against Tulane on Saturday. With the Tiger starters on the bench, LSU's reserves couldn't keep the Green Wave under 200 yards as Tulane finished the contest with 231 yards of offense, 90 of which came in the fourth quarter. It's the first time a team has gone over the 200-yard mark against the Tigers since the SEC Championship game last year against Georgia. The streak was the first time in school history that LSU held four consecutive opponents to fewer than 200 yards in a game.



LSU Defense Playing Like It's 1969


Through the first four games of the 2006 season, LSU's defense is looking more and more like the Tiger defense from 1969. As a matter of fact, the Tiger defense has allowed only 741 yards of offense through the first four games. It's the fewest yards allowed in the first four games of a season since 1969 when the Tigers held Texas A&M, Rice, Baylor and Miami (Fla.) to 706 yards during the first four weeks of the season. In addition, the Tigers have allowed only 20 points this year, the fewest over the first four weeks of a season since the 1969 squad limited its first four foes to just 14 points.



No Turnovers For LSU In Back-To-Back Games


LSU goes into the Mississippi State game without turning over the football in consecutive games, the second time in the Les Miles era that it's happened. Last year, LSU didn't turn the ball over in wins over Appalachian State and Alabama. It may not seem like much, but prior to the 2005 season, the last time LSU went consecutive games without a turnover came in 2002 when the Tigers beat Florida and South Carolina in back-to-back weeks without turning the ball over. Before that, you have to back to 1998 when the Tigers did it against Mississippi State and Ole Miss. The following is a look at LSU's stretch without a turnover on offense:


• LSU hasn't  turned the ball over in 63 minutes and 53 seconds of possession time, a stretch that dates back to the third quarter of the Arizona game.


• LSU's last TO came in the 3Q vs. Arizona when Early Doucet was stripped of the ball after a 31-yard reception.


• As a team, LSU has thrown 74 passes without an interception, a streak that goes back to the 2Q of the Arizona game. 



Tigers Lead The SEC In Both Scoring Offense And Scoring Defense


LSU goes into the Mississippi State game leading the SEC in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Tigers are averaging 35.5 points per game, which ranks 18th nationally, and they are allowing an SEC and national best 5.0 points per game. In four games, the Tigers have scored 142 points compared to just 20 points by their opponents.



LSU's Celebrates 75th Anniversary Under The Lights In Tiger Stadium


The 2006 season will also mark the 75th anniversary of LSU's first night game in Tiger Stadium. LSU's first night game in Tiger Stadium was played in 1931 when the Tigers posted a 35-0 win over Spring Hill on Oct. 3. Since that first night game in Tiger Stadium, played under the lights in Death Valley has become one of the grandest traditions in all of college football.



This Day vs. Night Thing In Tiger Stadium


Myth has it that LSU plays better at night in Tiger Stadium than they do during the day. The facts show that since 1960, LSU is 198-59-3 (.761) at night under the lights compared to a 18-22-3 (.453) mark in Tiger Stadium during the day. Since 2000, LSU is 38-6 overall at home, which includes a 31-4 (.886) mark at night in Tiger Stadium and a 7-2 (.778) record during the day. Prior to 2000, LSU had only won 11 games at home during the day in 34 tries. From 1960 to 1999, LSU posted an 11-20-3 (.368) record at home during the day.



Dorsey Already An All-American? Yes, According To Dennis Dodd And Ivan Maisel


LSU DT Glenn Dorsey is off to one of the best starts for a Tiger defender in recent history as he already has 6 tackles for losses and a pair of sacks through the first 4 games of the season. Dorsey played so well against Auburn that CBSsportsline's Dennis Dodd wrote, "based on Saturday, Glenn Dorsey should be named an All-American right now. End of discussion."'s Ivan Maisel wrote, "three-quarters of the season is left, but if LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey continues to perform the way he did Saturday (vs. Auburn), you can write his name in ink on your All-America team." Dorsey keyed an LSU defense that held Auburn to 182 yards of offense. Dorsey finished with 8 tackles, 3 tackles for losses (17 yards) and 1.5 sacks (11 yards). He also added a QB hurry in the game.



In The Polls


After dropping the polls last week following the 7-3 loss to Auburn, the Tigers impressed the pollsters this week following the 49-7 win over Tulane as LSU moved up one spot in both the AP and USA Today Coaches poll. LSU jumped from No. 10 to No. 9 in the AP poll and moved from No. 11 to a tie for No. 10 in the coaches poll. LSU also came in at No. 10 in the Harris poll, which made its debut this week.  LSU has now been ranked for 54 consecutive polls by USA Today and 53 straight polls by the AP. Mississippi State is unranked.



Tigers Have Been Tough To Beat In Tiger Stadium


LSU goes into the game against Mississippi State contest having won 8 straight and 18 of its last 19 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 17 consecutive games.



LSU Has Nation's Eighth-Best Home Mark Over Last 4 Years


LSU brings the nation's eighth-best home mark over the last 4 years into the Tulane contest as the Tigers have put together a 20-2 record in Tiger Stadium since the 2003 season.



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 14-3 as LSU's head coach and he's 42-24 overall in 5-plus seasons as a collegiate head coach.



About Mississippi State 


Mississippi State is coached by Sylvester Croom, who is in his third year with the Bulldogs … Croom has a 7-19 mark as a head coach, all coming at Mississippi State … MSU is 1-3 this year and they are coming off a 16-10 overtime win over UAB … They are led by QB Omar Conner … Conner, who started the year as a wide receiver, is tops on the MSU squad in rushing (227 yards), passing (356 yards), and second in receiving (8 rec., 70 yards) … Defensively, MSU is allowing 324 yards per game - 103 rushing and 221 passing … Their top defender is LB Quinton Culberson who has 36 tackles, 4.5 tackles for losses and 1 sack.



Tigers Have Outscored Opponents 182-23 Over Last 20 Quarters


Dating back to the Miami (Fla.) game in last year's Peach Bowl, the Tigers have outscored their opposition 182-23. That stretch has had the Tigers scoring over 40 points four times, while holding their opponents to a combined 2 touchdowns (by Auburn and Tulane) and 3 field goals (by Miami, UL-Lafayette and Arizona).



LSU'S Dorsey Has Been Named SEC Defensive Lineman Of The Week Twice In 2006 


LSU DT Glenn Dorsey has been named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week twice during the 2006 season. He earned it the first time for his efforts in a 45-3 win over Arizona and then he was the recipient against last week following his play in the 7-3 loss to Auburn. Dorsey, a junior from Gonzales, recorded eight tackles, three tackles for losses and 1.5 sacks in LSU's 7-3 loss to third-ranked Auburn. Dorsey's three tackles behind the line of scrimmage resulted in 17-yards in losses for Auburn. He also added a quarterback hurry. Dorsey led an LSU defense that limited Auburn to only 182 yards of offense. For the year, Dorsey ranks second in the squad with 21 tackles, six of which have gone for losses. He also has a pair of quarterback sacks for the Tigers.



LSU's Allowed Only 2 TDs In Last 24 Quarters


The LSU defense goes into the Mississippi State game having allowed only two touchdowns over the last 24 quarters. The streak dates back to the second half of the SEC Championship Game against Georgia. Since then, LSU went 16 straight quarters without allowing a TD. That streak, which was the longest in the nation, was snapped in the third quarter against Auburn. Tulane added a fourth quarter score for only the second TD against the Tiger defense this year. Through four games in 2006, LSU has allowed only 3 first half points. The last time LSU gave up a first half touchdown came against Georgia in last y ear's SEC title game. 



LSU's Gone Over 40-Point Mark 3 Times In First 4 Games


LSU has already gone over the 40-point mark three times this year. The last time an LSU team scored 40 or more points in three of its first four games came in 1930 when the Tigers beat S.D. Wesleyan, 76-0, Louisiana Tech, 71-0, and Southwestern Louisiana, 85-0, to open the season. LSU scored only six points in week four in a 7-6 defeat to South Carolina in 1930. The 1911 LSU team is the only squad in school history to score at least 40 points in each of the first four games of the season.



Tigers Have 8 Picks In First 4 Games; Rank Second Nationally 


With 8 interceptions over the first 4 games of the year, the Tigers rank second in the nation in interceptions. Western Michigan leads the nation with 9 picks. LSU didn't record its eighth interception last year until week 11 last year. The Tigers finished the 2005 season with 10 interceptions.



Steltz Picks Off A Pass In Third Straight Game


LSU S Craig Steltz intercepted a pass for the third straight game on Saturday against Tulane. Steltz becomes the first Tiger to intercept at least one pass in three straight games since 2003 when Corey Webster did it in consecutive games against Arizona, Western Illinois and Georgia. For the year, Steltz has returned his three interceptions a total of 111 yards. Steltz is tied with Jonathan Zenon for team-high honors. Zenon intercepted three passes in LSU's first two games, returning two for touchdowns.



Doucet Scores By Land And Air Against Tulane


Early Doucet scored a career-best 3 touchdowns against Tulane last week, all coming in the first half. Doucet scored on a 17-yard run as well as catching TD passes of 12 and 4 yards. Doucet became the first LSU wide receiver to score both a rushing TD and a receiving TD in the same game since Michael Clayton did it against Ole Miss in 2001.



Charles Scott Gives Tigers First 100-Yard Back In 2006


LSU true freshman Charles Scott rushed for a career-best 101 yards and 2 touchdowns against Tulane becoming the first Tiger to reach the 100-yard mark this year. In reaching the 100-yard mark in his third career game, Scott becomes the quickest LSU true freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game since 1995 when Kevin Faulk went for 171 yards against Mississippi State in the second game of his career. Scott is also the first LSU true freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game since 2003 when both Justin Vincent and Alley Broussard did it.



Tigers First In SEC In Sack By And Sacks Against


LSU goes into the Mississippi State game ranked first in the SEC in sacks, having recorded 14 through its first four games of the year. In addition, the Tigers are first in the league in sacks allowed as the LSU offensive line has yielded only a three sacks this season. 



LSU Has Second-Best Record In SEC Over Last 5-Plus Seasons


LSU's record of 54-15 over the last 5-plus seasons is the second-best record in the SEC during that span. Only Georgia, who has a 56-13 mark over that span, has a better 5-year record than LSU.



Redzone Success Streak Still At 41 Straight 


LSU's streak of successful trips inside the redzone jumped to 41 straight after going 7-of-7 against Tulane last week. The 41 successful redzone trips has seen the Tigers score 33 touchdowns and kick 8 field goals. The redzone streak dates back to the Auburn game a year ago.



Tiger Defense Has Scored In Two Games This Year


LSU's defense has supplied points for the Tigers in two games this year as CB Jonathan Zenon has returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns for the Tigers. Zenon opened the year by returning an interception 20 yards for a first quarter score against Louisiana-Lafayette. A week later he followed with an interception return of 41-yards for a touchdown against Arizona. The Zenon interception return for a score against Arizona marked the fourth time under defensive coordinator Bo Pelini that the Tiger defense has scored a touchdown. Here's a look at scoring plays by the LSU defense since the start of the 2005 season.



Zenon Joins Elite Club


With his 41-yard interception return for a touchdown against Arizona, LSU CB Jonathan Zenon is the first Tiger since at least the 1960s to return interceptions for scores in back-to-back games. Zenon is also the first LSU player since Jack Hunt in 2003 to have two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same season.



Keeping Them Under 20 Points


LSU goes into the Mississippi State game having held 14 of its last 15 opponents, 8 of which are 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 81 games its played since 2000 … LSU is 52-5 when leading at halftime and 47-4 when leading after three quarters … The Tigers are 57-5 when scoring 20 or more points and 48-2 when scoring at least 25 points in a game … On the other hand, the Tigers are 5-14 when failing to reach the 20-point mark … LSU is 19-6 in games decided by 7 points or less and 9-3 in games decided by 3 points or less … LSU is 42-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 team rushing yards and the Tigers are 27-1 when having a player rush for 100 yards.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories