NOTEBOOK: LSU set to host MTSU

LSU is coming off one of the biggest - if not the biggest - victory in school history. here are the major storylines heading into this weekend's contest with Middle Tennessee State.

LSU Goes After 15th Straight Home Win On Saturday Against Middle Tennessee

 

LSU will look to build on last week's 48-7 win over then-No. 9 ranked Virginia Tech on Saturday when the second-ranked Tigers host Middle Tennessee in a non-conference matchup in Tiger Stadium. Kickoff for the contest is set for 7 p.m. in a sold out Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised on LSU's pay-per-view network, TigerVision. LSU brings a 2-0 mark into the game following last week's dismantling of Virginia Tech.

 

Dating back to last season, LSU has won nine straight games, outscoring its opponents 331 to 111 over that span. LSU has outscored its first two opponents, 93-7, this year. Middle Tennessee is 0-2 overall despite possessing an offense that is averaging 28 points and nearly 400 yards per game. The Blue Raiders are coming off a 58-42 loss to No. 8 Louisville last Thursday. The Tigers bring one of the nation's stingiest defenses into the contest as LSU is allowing 3.5 points and 147.5 yards per contest, both of which rank No. 3 in the nation. In eight quarters of action in 2007, the Tigers have only allowed on TD, that coming in the third quarter last week against the Hokies.

 

The Tigers rank first in the nation in pass efficiency defense (43.51 rating), No. 7 in pass defense (107.0 yards per game) and No. 11 in rushing defense (40.5 yards per game). Offensively, the Tigers have been efficient, scoring 46.5 points per game to go with 472.5 yards per game. LSU has yet to commit a turnover on offense, while racking up eight on the defensive end.

 

LSU also brings a 14-game Tiger Stadium winning streak into the Middle Tennessee contest. The 14-game streak ranks as the third-longest streak in Tiger Stadium history and it's the longest since the Tigers won 15 consecutive games at home from 1971-73. The school record for consecutive wins in Tiger Stadium is 17, which was set from 1935-37.

 

Individually, QB Matt Flynn has been nearly flawless; connecting on 29 of 46 passes for 345 yards and 2 TDs. Flynn has also rushed for 54 yards and a score. RB Jacob Hester leads the Tigers in rushing with 149 yards and 1 TD, while RB Keiland Williams has 144 yards and 4 scores for the Tigers. WR Early Doucet has caught 15 passes for 153 yards and 2 scores, while WR Brandon LaFell is LSU's other top target, hauling in eight balls for 140 yards and a score.

 

Defensively, LB Ali Highsmith is tops on the team with 14 tackles, while DT Glenn Dorsey has 11 tackles, 2 TFL, and a sack. S Craig Steltz leads the nation in interceptions with four to his credit.

 

 

 

Tigers Click On All Cylinders In 48-7 Win Over No. 9 Virginia Tech

 

LSU scored on four of its first five possessions and the Tiger defense didn't allow Virginia Tech to cross midfield until the third quarter in a 48-7 victory over the ninth-ranked Hokies in Tiger Stadium. In a game that saw LSU dominate in all phases, the Tigers raced out to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back in a contest that was billed as a defensive battle.

 

LSU set the tone early, taking the opening kickoff and going 87 yards on 10 plays, capped with a 3-yard run by Jacob Hester to take a 7-0 lead. After a three-and-out by the Hokies, LSU went 85 yards on eight plays on its next possession, capped with a 7-yard TD run by Matt Flynn to stretch the margin to 14-0. LSU blew the game open early in the third quarter when Keiland Williams used a spectacular 67-yard run to give the Tigers a 24-0 lead. The Hokies scored their only points in the contest late in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 27-7.

 

However, it took the Tigers only three minutes to add another score, this time Ryan Perrilloux connected with Early Doucet on a 34-yard TD pass. LSU added a pair of fourth quarter TDs for the final margin. For the game, LSU racked up 598 yards of offense (297 rush, 301 pass), while limiting the Hokies to just 149 yards (71 rush, 78 pass). Williams led the Tigers with 126 yards and 2 TDs on 7 carries, while Hester added 81 yards and 1 score on 12 rushes. Flynn and Perrilloux combined to complete 22 of 32 passes for 301 yards and a pair of scores. Brandon LaFell led all receivers with 7 catches for 125 yards and a score.

 

 

 

Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. CDT

 

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

 

Television:  TigerVision (pay-per-view) – live; Cox Sports Television (delay) - cable ch. 37 in Baton Rouge

 

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

 

The Series: LSU leads 1-0

 

 

 

Series Notes: LSU and Middle Tennessee meet for the second time when the Blue Raiders travel to Tiger Stadium on Saturday night … LSU posted a 30-14 win over Middle Tennessee during the 2001 season in the only other meeting between the teams … LSU is 30-0 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference (21-0 vs. UL-Lafayette, 3-0 vs. North Texas, 3-0 vs. Arkansas State, 1-0 vs. Middle Tennessee, 1-0 vs. Troy State, 1-0 vs. UL-Monroe) … Middle Tennessee is 3-25 against the SEC with all three of its wins coming against Vanderbilt … Former LSU assistant basketball coach Kermit Davis is the head men's basketball coach at Middle Tennessee.

 

 

 

LSU

 

Record: 2-0 (1-0 SEC)

 

Ranking: No. 2 Associated Press; No. 2 USA Today/Coaches

 

Last Game: Sept. 8 in Baton Rouge, La.; def No. 9 Virginia Tech 48-7

 

Coach: Les Miles

 

Career Record: 53-25/seventh year

 

LSU Record: 24-4/third year

 

Vs. MTSU, 0-0

 

 

 

Middle Tennessee

 

Record: 0-2 (0-1 Sun Belt)

 

Ranking: NR Associated Press; NR USA Today/Coaches

 

Last Game: Sept. 6 in Louisville, Ky., lost to #8 Louisville, 58-42

 

Coach: Rock Stockstill

 

Career Record: 7-8/2nd year 

 

MTSU Record: 7-8/2nd year 

 

Vs. LSU: 0-0

 

 

 

Tigers Host Middle Tennessee In Non-Conference Contest

 

LSU plays its second straight home game this week when the second-ranked Tigers welcome Middle Tennessee of the Sun Belt Conference to Tiger Stadium. Kickoff for the Tigers and the Blue Raiders is set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised on LSU's pay-per-view network, TigerVision. LSU, winners of nine straight dating back to last season, is 2-0 following last week's 48-7 win over No. 9 Virginia Tech. Middle Tennessee is 0-2 overall after falling to No. 8 Louisville by a 58-42 margin last Thursday.

 

 

 

In The Polls

 

LSU remained No. 2 in both national polls this week following its 48-7 win over then-No. 9 Virginia Tech. LSU has now been ranked 70 consecutive weeks in the USA Today Coaches Poll and for 69 straight weeks in AP poll. The last time LSU failed to make the top 25 in either poll came following the Tigers loss to Texas in the 2003 Cotton Bowl to conclude the 2002 season.

 

 

 

Middle Tennessee Contest Could Double As Homecoming For The Blue Raiders

 

LSU's homecoming game won't come until later in the year against Louisiana Tech, but this weekend's contest against Middle Tennessee will serve as a homecoming of sorts for several members of the MTSU athletic department. Four former members of the LSU athletic department are now playing major roles for the Blue Raiders. Former LSU assistant basketball coach Kermit Davis is the head basketball coach for the Blue Raiders; former LSU basketball trainer Drew Shea holds the same title at Middle Tennessee; former LSU business manager Michael Szul is an associate AD for the Blue Raiders; and Jim Rost, who spent four years as an associate director in LSU academic center for student-athletes, serves as the director of Middle Tennessee's academic center. 

 

 

 

How About LSU's Middle Tennessee Ties

 

LSU's special teams coordinator/linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto served on the Blue Raiders staff in 2003-04. Peveto served as MTSU's defensive coordinator in 2004 after coaching the secondary in 2003. In addition, LSU administrative interns Glen Elarbee and Brendan Farrell have served on Middle Tennessee's staff. Elarbee actually played for the Blue Raiders from 1999-02, and then later coached there. Farrell coached on the defensive side of the ball for the Blue Raiders in 2004-05.

 

 

 

Tennessee Tigers

 

LSU has one player on its roster who calls Tennessee home and that's freshman kicker Josh Jasper. Jasper is a native of Memphis.

 

 

 

A Quick Look At LSU's Current Streaks

 

Here's a quick look at LSU's current winning streaks. For more on these streaks see additional game notes listed below:

 

Streak – Number – Last Loss

 

Consecutive Non-Conference Home Wins – 19 – UAB (2000)

 

Consecutive Home Wins – 14 – Tennessee (2005)

 

Consecutive Non-Conference Wins – 10 – Iowa (2005 Capital One Bowl)

 

Consecutive Overall Wins – 9 – Florida (2006)

 

 

 

Tigers Stretch Overall Winning Streak To 9 Straight

 

LSU ran its overall winning streak to nine straight games with its 48-7 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday. LSU won its final seven games a year ago, which included victories over No. 5 Arkansas, No. 8 Tennessee and  No. 11 Notre Dame. LSU hasn't lost a game since a 23-10 setback to Florida on Oct. 7 in Gainesville. The 9-game winning streak ties with Florida as the nation's second-longest current streak. Wisconsin has won 11 straight for the longest current streak. The 9-game streak is also the longest for LSU since winning 10 straight during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. LSU won its final 8 games in 2003 and its first 2 contests in 2004 before falling to Auburn, 10-9, on Sept. 18.

 

 

 

Tigers Win Rare Top 10 Non-Conference Matchup In Tiger Stadium

 

Last week's LSU-Virginia Tech contest marked only the third time in the history of Tiger Stadium that a pair of top 10 teams squared off in a non-conference contest. Prior to last Saturday, the last time it happened came in 1987 when No. 4 LSU and No. 7 Ohio State battled to a 13-13 tie.

 

Top 10 Non-Conference Matchups In Tiger Stadium History

 

Date                       Teams                                   Results

 

Sept. 26, 1959      No. 1 LSU vs. No. 9 TCU LSU won, 10-0

 

Sept. 26, 1987      No. 4 LSU vs. No. 7 Ohio State      Tied, 13-13

 

Sept. 8, 2007        No. 2 LSU vs. No. 9 Va. Tech         LSU won, 48-7

 

 

 

This Day vs. Night Thing In Tiger Stadium

 

The facts indicate that LSU plays better at night in Tiger Stadium than they do during the day. The numbers show that since 1960, LSU is 202-59-3 (.771) at night under the lights compared to a 19-22-3 (.466) mark in Tiger Stadium during the day. Since 2000, LSU is 44-6 overall at home, which includes a 36-4 (.900) 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. 

 

 

 

LSU Brings 14-Game Home Winning Streak Into Middle Tennessee Contest

 

LSU brings a 14-game winning streak in contests played in Tiger Stadium into Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee. The 14-game home winning streak ranks as the nation's fourth-longest current streak, along with Ohio State. Southern Cal is riding a streak of 34 straight home victories to rank first. In addition to its 14-game winning streak at home, LSU has also won 24 of its last 25 games in Tiger Stadium. LSU's last loss at home came against Tennessee on Sept. 26, 2005, 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 22 consecutive Saturday night games. The 14 straight wins in Tiger Stadium is the longest streak for LSU since winning 15 consecutive games at home from 1971-73. The school record for consecutive wins in Tiger Stadium is 17 from 1935-37. 

 

 

 

Miles Now 24-4 At LSU; Best Start For A Coach In LSU History

 

With a 2-0 mark this year, LSU coach Les Miles ran his record with the Tigers to 24-4 overall. The 24 wins in his first 28 games is the most of any coach in school history during that span. Bernie Moore ranks second with 23 wins during his first 28 games. Charles McClendon ranks third with 21 wins during his first 28 games. 

 

 

 

Miles Runs Record To 5-3 Against Top 10 Teams As LSU's Coach

 

With LSU's 48-7 win over Virginia Tech, Les Miles ran his record against teams ranked in the top 10 to 5-3 during his two-plus years with the Tigers. In his head coaching career, Miles has a 7-7 mark against Top 10 teams. At Oklahoma State, Miles beat Oklahoma twice when they were in the top 10. Miles' Top 10 wins at LSU have come against No. 3 Alabama and No. 9 Miami in 2005; No. 5 Arkansas and No. 8 Tennessee in 2006; and Virginia Tech this year.

 

 

 

Tigers Have Also Won 19 Straight At Home Against Non-SEC Teams

 

In addition to its 14-game overall home winning streak, the Tigers have also won 19 straight games in Tiger Stadium against non-SEC teams. The last time LSU dropped a non-conference home game came in a 13-10 setback to UAB on Sept. 23, 2000.

 

 

 

LSU's Overall Non-Conference Win Streak At 10

 

Overall, the Tigers have won 10 straight non-conference games, including five wins a year ago, which was capped with a  41-14 victory over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. Under Les Miles, the Tigers are 10-0 in non-SEC games. Of those 10 non-conference games under Miles, the Tigers have outscored their opponents, 421 to 77. Included in LSU's 10 non-SEC wins under Miles, four have come against ranked teams (def. No. 15 Arizona State, 35-31, def. #10 Miami, 40-3, def. #11 Notre Dame, 41-14, def. #9 Virginia Tech, 48-7). LSU's last non-conference loss came against then-No. 11 Iowa, 30-25, in the 2005 Capital One Bowl.

 

 

 

LSU Defense Back Among Nation's Elite

 

For the third straight season, LSU has put a defense on the field that ranks among the nation's best. Through two games, the Tigers have allowed just 3.5 points per game and only 147.5 yards of offense per contest. LSU is currently No. 3 in the nation in scoring defense and total defense. The Tigers lead the country in pass efficiency defense with a 43.51 rating and they are No. 11 nationally in rushing defense, yielding just 40.5 yards per game.

 

 

 

Tigers Are 2nd In Nation In Turnover Margin; Steltz Leads Nations In Interceptions

 

After going another contest without committing a turnover, LSU has increased its turnover margin to plus-8 (or 4.0 per game). LSU opened the season by forcing seven turnovers (6 interceptions, 1 fumble) against Mississippi State and then followed that by forcing another turnover in the win over Virginia Tech. Of LSU's eight turnovers, seven have been interceptions. Craig Steltz leads the Tigers and ranks first in the nation in interceptions with four this year.

 

 

 

LSU's Gone Without A Turnover In Two Straight Games

 

LSU again without a turnover against Virginia Tech marking the second straight game that the Tigers didn't commit a turnover. Dating back to last season, LSU has now gone nine straight quarters without a turnover. The last time LSU went back-to-back games without a turnover came a year ago in wins over Kentucky and Fresno State.

 

 

 

Double Trouble At Quarterback

 

Through two games, LSU QBs Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux have both shown their ability to lead the Tigers. Flynn, who is now 3-0 as LSU's starting quarterback, has started both games this year and has been responsible for 3 TDs (2 passing, 1 rushing), while Perrilloux has accounted for 4 TDs (3 passing, 1 rushing) in a backup role. In two games, Flynn has connected on 29 of 46 passes for 345 yards, 2 TDs and no interceptions. Flynn has also rushed for 54 yards and a score for the Tigers. As a duo, Flynn and Perrilloux have combined to connect on 36 of 54 passes for 450 yards, 5 TDs and no interceptions. They have also combined for 77 rushing yards and 2 TDs.

 

 

 

LaFell Enjoys Breakout Game Against Virginia Tech

 

LSU sophomore WR Brandon LaFell had his coming out party against Virginia Tech, setting career highs for receptions (7) and yards (125). LaFell hauled in a 56 yard TD to held set up LSU's second touchdown of the game. For the year, LaFell ranks second on the team with 8 catches for 140 yards and a score.

 

 

 

Williams Makes SportsCenter Highlight Reel

 

LSU RB Keiland Williams made ESPN SportsCenter's highlight reel on Saturday with his 67-yard TD run against Virginia Tech. During the run, Williams leaped over fullback Shawn Jordan, who had fallen to ground, and then raced the remaining 50-plus yards to the endzone for the touchdown. The run was the highlight of Williams' career-night, one that saw him carry seven times for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Williams has now scored at least 2 TDs in three straight games and he's scored at least one TD in the last six games in which he's played dating back to last season.

 

 

 

Tiger Offense Has Good Balance Under Flynn

 

In a word LSU's offense can be called balanced. Through two games, the Tigers are averaging 472.5 yards per game (247.5 rushing, 225 passing). The Tigers have scored seven rushing TDs and added another five scores through the air.

 

 

 

LSU Running Backs Take Care Of The Football

 

LSU's running back-by-committee approach has been good at more than just rushing yards and TDs. The group has also done a tremendous job of taking care of the football. Of LSU's four running backs - Jacob Hester, Keiland Williams, Charles Scott and Richard Murphy - only Hester has lost a fumble on a rushing attempt. Hester's lost fumble on a rush came against Georgia in what was the first game of his career in 2004. Since then, Hester has gone 152 carries from the running back position without a fumble.


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