NOTEBOOK: LSU steps out of league for Fresno

LSU steps outside of the Southeastern Conference on Saturday as the 14th-ranked Tigers host Fresno State at 8 p.m. in Tiger Stadium in its final non-conference regular season contest.

The game will be televised to a national audience by ESPN2. The game will be the first ever meeting between LSU and Fresno State. LSU, winners of 10 straight games in Tiger Stadium, brings a 5-2 overall mark into the game. The Tigers are coming off a 49-0 win over Kentucky last Saturday in Tiger Stadium.


Fresno State is 1-5 overall following a 69-38 loss to Hawaii last week. Fresno State has lost five straight games since opening the year with a 28-19 victory over Nevada. The LSU game marks the first of two trips to Louisiana this year for Fresno State as the Bulldogs will face Louisiana Tech in Ruston on Nov. 24. The Tigers go into this week's game ranked No. 14 in all three major polls - AP, USA Today Coaches and Harris Interactive. LSU is also No. 18 in the first BCS Standings, which were released this week.


LSU goes into the Fresno State game with perhaps the most dominating defense in the nation as the Tigers are ranked among the top 8 in the nation in six categories, including leading the country in total defense (211.71 yards per game) and pass efficiency defense (81.81 rating). LSU is also No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense (8.57 points per game), No. 4 in pass defense (139.71 yards per game), No. 5 in interceptions (11) and No. 8 in rush defense (72.0 yards per game).


Offensively, LSU leads the SEC in scoring with 35.6 points per game and the Tigers are No. 2 in the league in total offense with 417.7 yards per game. LSU has scored 40 or more points five times this year, all coming in Tiger Stadium. In five home games this year, LSU is 5-0, has outscored its opponents 236-30 and has won those games by an average of 42 points per game (47 to 5). LSU QB JaMarcus Russell leads the Tigers offensively as he's thrown for 1,700 yards and 13 TDs. LSU RB Jacob Hester leads the SEC in touchdowns with 8 (6 rushing, 2 receiving). LSU's trio of receivers - Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis and Early Doucet - have combined for 97 receptions for 1,446 yards and 11 TDs. Davis leads the Tigers with 37 catches for 538 yards and 1 TD.


Defensively, DE Tyson Jackson leads the SEC in sacks with 6.0 through seven games. LB Darry Beckwith is tops on the team in tackles with 40, while FS LaRon Landry has 35. As a unit, the Tigers have 22 sacks and 41 tackles for losses to their credit.



Offense and Defense Shine in 49-0 Win Over Kentucky


A balanced offense and a stingy defense proved just too much for Kentucky as the Tigers rolled to a 49-0 win over Kentucky in Tiger Stadium. Offensively, the Tigers scored touchdowns on their first four possessions in building a 28-0 halftime lead. JaMarcus Russell connected on first half TD passes of 7 and 48 yards to Dwayne Bowe and Jacob Hester added scoring runs of 7 and 4 yards as the Tigers led 28-0 at halftime. In the second half, the Tigers tacked on 14 points third quarter points, one coming on a 12-yard run by Early Doucet and the other coming on an 8-yard TD pass from Matt Flynn to Bowe.


Flynn finished off the scoring for the Tigers early in the fourth quarter with a 2-yard TD pass to Shawn Jordan. For the game, LSU racked up a season-best 546 yards (268 rushing, 278 passing), while holding the Wildcats to season lows in points (0), passing yards (166) and total yards (227). For the game, Russell connected on his first 11 passing attempts on his way to completed 15 of 18 for 226 yards and 2 scores. Bowe led all receivers with 6 catches for 111 yards and a career-best 3 TDs, while Hester added 44 rushing yards and 2 TDs on the ground for the Tigers.


DE Tyson Jackson led a Tiger defense that pitched their first shutout of the season with 3 tackles, 1 sack and his first career interception.



LSU Steps Out Of Conference To Host Fresno State


LSU steps out of conference for the final time during the regular season on Saturday as the 14th-ranked Tigers host Fresno State from the Western Athletic Conference at 8 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised to a national audience by ESPN2. LSU brings a 5-2 overall mark into the contest following last week's 49-0 win over Kentucky. Fresno State, losers of five straight since opening the year with a 28-19 win over Nevada, is 1-5 overall. It will mark the first ever meeting between LSU and Fresno State in football.



In The Polls


The Tigers came in at No. 14 in all three major polls - AP, USA Today Coaches and Harris Interactive. LSU also opened at No. 18 in the first BCS Standings, which were released on Sunday. LSU has now been ranked for 57 consecutive polls by USA Today and 56 straight polls by the AP. Fresno State is not ranked.



Up Next


The Tigers will take a much-needed Saturday off on Oct. 28 before returning to action for a November run that has LSU facing Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss and Arkansas in consecutive weeks.



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


For the third straight week, LSU stands atop the national rankings in total defense, allowing only 211 yards per game. The Tigers also remain No. 1 in the nation in pass efficiency defense with an 81.8 rating and they are No. 2 in points allowed with an 8.6 average. In seven games this year, LSU's defense has allowed only 6 touchdowns (3 rushing and 3 passing).



Russell Named SEC Offensive Player of the Week


LSU QB JaMarcus Russell has been named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this year. Russell won the honor on Monday after leading the Tigers to a 49-0 win over Kentucky. Russell completed his first 11 passes on his way to going 15 of 18 for 2226 yards and 2 TDs in victory. He guided the Tigers to TDs on their first four possessions of the game as LSU built a 28-0 halftime lead. Russell connected on scoring passes of 7 and 48 yards to Dwayne Bowe in the first half as he moved into a third place tie in school history for career TD passes with 37. He also became the fifth quarterback in LSU history to throw for 5,000 yards in a career. For the game, Russell led LSU to a season 546 yards of total offense as the Tigers recorded at least 40 points in a game for a school-record tying fifth time this year.



Hester Leads SEC In Touchdowns


With a pair of rushing touchdowns against Kentucky, LSU RB Jacob Hester had moved atop the league standings in touchdowns. For the year, Hester has scored eight touchdowns (6 rushing, 2 receiving). Hester's 48 points is the most of any non-kicker in the SEC this year and his 6.9 points per game also stands as the best average of any non-kicker in the league.



Tigers Have Scored At Least 40 Points Five Times This Year


By racking up 49 points against Kentucky, LSU has now gone over the 40-point mark a school-record tying five times this year. The 2003 team scored 40 points five times in 14 games that year. This year's team is the first team in school history to score 40 or more points during the first seven weeks of a season.



Tigers Have Scored 249 Points In 7 Games


LSU's 249 points through the first seven games is the most ever in modern history for a Tiger team at this point in a season. The only LSU team to score more points during the first seven games of a year came in 1930 when that Tiger team scored 283 points in the first seven contests.



LSU Defense Has Allowed Only 60 Points In 7 Games, Fewest Since 1985


By allowing only 60 points in the first seven games of the season, the LSU defense has surrendered the fewest points by a Tiger team since the 1985 squad. In 1985, the Tigers allowed only 57 points over the first 7 games of the season.



LSU Defense Tabbed "Baddest In the Land" By the Sporting News


LSU's defense has been named the "Baddest in the Land" by the Sporting News in this week's issue. The Sporting News says of the LSU defense, "it starts with the best defensive player in the country, tackle Glenn Dorsey, the leader of a wicked-good front seven. The emergence of shutdown corner Chevis Jackson completes the unit. Other teams on the list include Michigan at No. 2, Texas at No. 3, Florida at No. 4 and Ohio State at No. 5.



LSU's Won 25 Straight Against Unranked Opponents


The Tigers bring a 25-game winning streak against unranked teams into the Fresno State contest. LSU hasn't lost a game to an unranked team since the 2003 when the No. 6 Tigers fell to unranked Florida, 19-7, in Tiger Stadium. LSU has won 18 straight games in Tiger Stadium against unranked foes, a streak that also dates back to the Florida loss in 2003.



LSU's Non-Conference Home Winning Streak At 17 Straight


With the win over Tulane, LSU has now won 17 straight non-conference home games. The Tigers haven't dropped a home non-conference game since falling to UAB, 13-10, on Sept. 23, 2000.



LSU's Won 7 Straight and 15 Of Last 16 Non-Conference Games


With the win over Tulane, LSU has now won 7 straight and 15 of its last 16 non-conference games. LSU was 4-0 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.



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 199-59-3 (.768) at night under the lights compared to a 19-22-3 (.466) mark in Tiger Stadium during the day. Since 2000, LSU is 40-6 overall at home, which includes a 32-4 (.889) mark at night in Tiger Stadium and an 8-2 (.800) 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. 



Tigers Have Been Tough To Beat In Tiger Stadium


LSU goes into the game against Fresno State having won 10 straight and 20 of its last 21 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 18 consecutive games.



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


LSU brings the nation's fifth-best home mark over the last 4 years into the Fresno State contest as the Tigers have put together a 23-2 record in Tiger Stadium since the 2003 season.



Miles' 16 Wins After 20 Games Second-Highest Total In LSU History


LSU coach Les Miles has won 16 of his first 20 games, which ties Mike Archer for the second-most victories during that span in school history. Bernie Moore holds the mark by posting a 17-2-1 mark during his first 20 games as the Tigers head coach.



LSU's Landry And Dorsey On CBS Halfway to All-America Team


CBS has named Tiger DT Glenn Dorsey and FS LaRon Landry to their Halfway  to  All-America Team.  Dorsey and Landry lead an LSU defensive unit that ranks first in the nation in total defense and the Tigers are second nationally in scoring defense. Dorsey, a junior from Gonzales, La., has 31 tackles, seven tackles for losses and a pair of sacks for the 14th-ranked Tigers. Dorsey earned Southeastern Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week twice this year for his performances against Arizona and Auburn. Against Arizona, Dorsey recorded four tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in the 45-3 LSU victory. A week later against Auburn, Dorsey registered a career-high eight tackles, including three for losses and 1.5 sacks in the 7-3 setback. Landry, who has started 42 straight games for the Tigers dating back to his true freshman season in 2003, is second in the team with 35 tackles. He also has two tackles for losses, one interception, three QB hurries and a blocked punt.



LSU's Dorsey Named Mid-Season All-America By


In addition to the midseason honor by CBS, LSU DT Glenn Dorsey has also been cited as a midseason First-Team All-America by Sports Illustrated and



LSU Starting Defense Has Allowed Only 34 Points This Year


While LSU may be allowing 8.6 points per game, the Tiger starting defense is responsible for allowing only 34 of the 60 points scored by the opponents this year. LSU's starting defense yielded field goals against Louisiana-Lafayette and Mississippi State, a touchdown against Auburn and three touchdowns against Florida, one of which came after an LSU turnover at its own 19-yard line.



Quick Starting Tigers


LSU's been good at getting off to quick starts this year as the Tigers have scored on their first possession in five of six games this year. The only game in which LSU didn't score on their opening possession came against Auburn.



Taking Note On The Tigers Since 2000


Here is a look at some notable trends for LSU during the 84 games its played since 2000 … LSU is 54-5 when leading at halftime and 49-4 when leading after three quarters … The Tigers are 59-5 when scoring 20 or more points and 50-2 when scoring at least 25 points in a game … On the other hand, the Tigers are 5-15 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 44-4 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 team rushing yards and the Tigers are 27-1 when having a player rush for 100 yards.



First Half 3-And-Outs For The Opposition


One of the keys to LSU's defensive success has been keeping the Tigers fresh early in the game. First half drives of over three plays are anything but common for the Tiger opposition this year. Through 7 games, LSU has allowed only 20 first half points and of the 43 first half possessions for Tiger opponents, 22 ended after 3 plays or less. The longest first half drive allowed by the Tigers this year is 72 yards (vs. Florida - resulted in TD) and the longest the LSU defense has been on the field in the first half is 8:31 (vs. Auburn). In SEC games against Auburn and Mississippi State, LSU held both of those teams to a combined 25 first quarter yards (minus 1-yard for Auburn and 25 yards for Miss. State).



Miles Is 9-3 In SEC Games


LSU coach Les Miles is now 9-3 in SEC games, which is the best start for a Tiger coach since 1987-88 when Mike Archer won 9 of his first 11 games as the Tiger head coach.



Russell No. 3 In School History In Passing TDs; He's No.5 In Passing Yards


LSU QB JaMarcus Russell has now climbed into the top 5 in LSU history in both TD passes and passing yards. Russell is tied for ranks fourth in school history in TD passes with 37 and he's fifth in passing yards with 5,196.



Bowe Sets Career-High With 3 TD Catches Against Kentucky


Senior WR Dwayne Bowe set a career-high with 3 touchdown receptions against Kentucky. Bowe caught 2 first half TD passes and then added another in the third quarter. For the game, Bowe finished with 6 receptions for 111 yards and 3 scores, including a 48-yarder in the second quarter. Bowe is currently tied for second in the SEC with 6 receiving touchdowns, one behind league leader Dicky Lyons of Kentucky. For the year, Bowe has 33 receptions for 514 yards and 6 scores.



Tigers Have 3 Receivers With Over 1,000 Career Yards


LSU's trio of receivers - Buster Davis, Dwayne Bowe and Early Doucet - all have over 1,000 yards receiving in their career. Doucet went over the 1,000-yard mark against Kentucky with 4 catches for 54 yards. Bowe is tops on the list with 1,927 yards on 122 catches, while Davis has 1,810 yards on 123 receptions. Doucet has 1,040 yards on 71 receptions. This year, the trio has combined for 97 catches for 1,446 yards and 11 touchdowns.



Colt David PAT Streak At 62 Straight


LSU PK Colt David ran his streak of successful PATs to 62 straight by connecting on all four attempts against Kentucky. The 62 straight successful PATs ranks as the third-longest streak in school history, trailing only David Browndyke (109 straight) and Andre' Lafleur (69).



LSU Turnover Streak Ends Against State


LSU's streak of not committing a turnover ended against Mississippi State when QB JaMarcus Russell fumbled late in the second quarter. Prior to the Russell fumble, LSU hadn't committed a turnover since the third quarter of the Arizona game, a streak that covered just over 10 quarters of play. LSU didn't turn the ball over at all in games against Auburn and Tulane, marking the second time in Les Miles era that the Tigers went consecutive games without a turnover. 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.



Russell Has Career Day Against Mississippi State


LSU QB JaMarcus Russell had a career-day against Mississippi State. Russell threw for a career-best 330 yards and tied a career-high with 3 TD passes (all in the first half) against the Bulldogs. In addition, he tied a school-record with 14 consecutive completions in the contest and he tied another school record for completion percentage by connecting on 18 of 20 passes (.900 percent) in the contest. Russell did all of this despite not playing in the fourth quarter of the contest.



Craig Davis Reception Streak At 30 Straight


With 4 catches against Kentucky, senior WR Craig Davis has caught at least one pass in 30 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. This year, Davis ranks first on the team with 33 catches for 479 yards and 1 TD.



Russell-To-Bowe TD Combination Now Second Best Combo In School History


The pitch and catch combination of JaMarcus Russell-to-Dwayne Bowe ran their TD streak to 17 with a pair of scores against Kentucky. The 17 touchdowns between the pair (Russell throwing and Bowe catching) ranks as the second most prolific scoring combo in school history. Russell and Bowe hooked up for 8 TDs in 2005 after combining for 4 scores in 2004. This year, the duo has combined for 5 touchdowns. Tommy Hodson-to-Wendell Davis ranks as the most prolific TD combination in school history as the duo accounted for 21 touchdowns during their careers.



Tyson Jackson Leads The SEC In Sacks


LSU DE Tyson Jackson picked up his league-leading sixth sack of the season on Saturday against Kentucky. Jackson's six sacks have accounted for 30 yards in losses for the opposition. LSU's other DE Chase Pittman is seventh in the league in sacks with 4.5 through the first seven games of the 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 15-4 as LSU's head coach and he's 43-25 overall in 5-plus seasons as a collegiate head coach.



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.



LSU's Allowed Only 6 TDs In Last 36 Quarters


The LSU defense goes into the Fresno State game having allowed only 6 touchdowns over the last 36 quarters of play. The streak dates back to the second half of the SEC Championship Game against Georgia. LSU ran its streak of quarters without allowing a TD to 16 straight before Auburn scored on a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter in week 3. Tulane and Mississippi State are the only other teams to score a TD against the Tigers this year, both of those coming in the fourth quarter against LSU backups. Through 7 games in 2006, LSU has allowed only 20 first half points. Florida became the first team this year to score a touchdown in the first half against LSU.



Tigers Have Outscored Opponents 289-63 Over Last 28 Quarters


Dating back to the Miami (Fla.) game in last year's Peach Bowl, the Tigers have outscored their opposition 289-63. That stretch has had the Tigers scoring over 40 points six times, while holding their opponents to a combined 7 touchdowns (3 by Florida, 2 by Miss. State and 1 by Auburn and Tulane), 4 field goals (by Miami, UL-Lafayette, Arizona and Miss. State) and a safety (by Florida).

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