NOTEBOOK: LSU vs. South Carolina

Second-ranked LSU will put its 15-game home field winning streak on the line on Saturday when the Tigers host 12th-ranked South Carolina in Tiger Stadium

Kickoff for the contest is set for 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised to a national audience by CBS, the first appearance on the network for the Tigers this year.


LSU brings a 3-0 overall mark into the game following its 44-0 win over Middle Tennessee last week. South Carolina is also 3-0 following its 38-3 victory over South Carolina State. In addition to its 15-game winning streak in Tiger Stadium, the Tigers have won 10 consecutive contests dating back to last year. The 10-game overall winning streak is the longest for LSU since winning 10 consecutive games during the 2003-04 seasons.


LSU hasn't won 11 straight games since 1971-72. The school record for consecutive victories is 19 set during the 1957-59 seasons. Saturday's contest against South Carolina will be the first for LSU against the Gamecocks since a 33-7 Tigers' win in Columbia in 2003. South Carolina hasn't been to Tiger Stadium since a 38-14 defeat in 2002. The Tigers bring the nation's No. 1 rated defense into the contest along with an offense that has scored over 40 points in all three games this year. The Tiger defense ranks No. 1 in the nation in three categories - scoring (2.33 points per game), total yards (128.33 yards per game) and pass efficiency (54.3 rating). In addition, the Tigers are No. 2 nationally in pass defense (98.33 yards per game), No. 3 in rushing defense (30.0 yards per game), and No. 4 in sacks (4.3 per game).


Offensively, the Tigers are averaging 45.7 points per game and 483.3 yards per contest. Dating back to last season, LSU has scored 40 or more points in four straight games. Only one other time in school history have the Tigers reached the 40-point mark in four straight games and that came in 1911. Individually, quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux have paced the Tiger offense, combining to complete 57 of 82 passes for 757 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception. Jacob Hester leads the Tigers in rushing with 206 yards and 1 TD, while Keiland Williams has a team-best 4 touchdowns to go with 174 yards on the ground. Early Doucet, despite missing the Middle Tennessee contest, leads the Tigers with 15 catches for 153 yards and 2 scores. Brandon LaFell is second on the squad with 11 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown.


The Tiger defense is led by All-America DT Glenn Dorsey who has 14 tackles, 3.5 TFL and 2 sacks. LB Ali Highsmith leads the team with 21 tackles to go with 4 QB hurries. SS Craig Steltz leads the nation in interceptions with 4 to his credit to go along with 11 tackles, 3 TFL, and 1 sack.




Defense Dominates, Perrilloux Steps In To Lead Tigers Past Middle Tennessee, 44-0


LSU's defense put together another dominating performance and backup Ryan Perrilloux stepped in for an injured Matt Flynn at quarterback to lead the Tigers to a 44-0 win over Middle Tennessee. In his first collegiate start, Perrilloux connected on 20-of-25 passes for 298 yards and 3 TDs to pace an LSU offense that accounted for 505 yards against the Blue Raiders.


The Tiger defense did its apart as well, limiting Middle Tennessee to only 9 first downs, 9 rushing yards and just 90 yards of offense in pitching its second shutout this year. The game was never in doubt as the Tigers opened with 10 first quarter points and then stretched the lead to 17-0 early in the second quarter when Perrilloux connected with Demetrius Byrd on a 67-yard TD. The Tigers led 24-0 at halftime following a pair of Colt David field goals during the final three minutes of the first half.


LSU scored three times in the third quarter - the first on an 18-yard TD pass from Perrilloux to Brandon LaFell. Perrilloux hit Terrance Toliver with a 15-yard TD pass less than two minutes later and then Richard Murphy capped the scoring for Tigers with an 8-yard run with 1:28 to play. Jacob Hester led the Tigers in rushing with 57 yards on 10 carries, while Perrilloux added 37 yards on eight attempts.


Jared Mitchell, in his first collegiate start, led the Tigers in receiving with six catches for 82 yards. Defensively, LB Ali Highsmith had 7 tackles, while DB Danny McCray had 4 tackles, 2 sacks and a fumble recovery in the win.




Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2:30 p.m. CDT


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


Television: CBS (live) - cable ch. 5 in Baton Rouge, CST (delay) - cable ch. 37 in Baton Rouge


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


The Series: LSU leads 14-2-1


Series Notes:       LSU and South Carolina meet for the 18th time with the Tigers holding a 14-2-1 series advantage … LSU has played South Carolina fewer times than any other SEC team … The next closest in terms of series length is the 26 games that LSU has played Georgia … This year's contest will be only the fifth time the teams have played since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1992 … LSU is 2-1-1 vs. South Carolina since they joined the league … It will also mark just the second time in the series that both teams go into the game ranked … In 1987, #7 LSU posted a 30-13 win over #8 South Carolina in the Gator Bowl in what is the only postseason meeting between the teams … LSU is 9-1 all-time vs. South Carolina in Tiger Stadium … South Carolina's only win in Tiger Stadium came in 1994 by an 18-17 margin.






Record 3-0 (1-0 SEC)


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


Last Game: Sept. 15 in Baton Rouge; def. Middle Tennessee, 44-0


Coach: Les Miles


Career Record: 53-25/seventh year


LSU Record: 25-4/third year; vs. South Carolina            0-0




South Carolina


Record 3-0 (1-0 SEC)


Ranking: No. 12 Associated Press; No. t14 USA Today/Coaches


Last Game: Sept. 15 in Columbia, S.C.; def. South Carolina State, 38-3


Coach: Steve Spurrier


Career Record: 160-50-2/18th year


USC Record: 18-10/third year; vs. LSU: 11-1




Tigers Return To Conference Play Hosting South Carolina


After a two-week layoff from Southeastern Conference action, the Tigers play their third straight home game, but first against an conference foe, hosting 12th-ranked South Carolina at 2:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised to a national audience on CBS. LSU brings a 3-0 overall mark into the contest following last week's 44-0 victory over Middle Tennessee. South Carolina is also 3-0 after its 38-3 victory over South Carolina State. The game will be the first between the teams since the 2003 season when LSU, behind a pair of true freshman running backs, posted a 33-7 win over the Gamecocks in Columbia.




In The Polls


LSU remained No. 2 in both national polls this week following its 44-0 win over Middle Tennessee. LSU has now been ranked 71 consecutive weeks in the USA Today Coaches Poll and for 70 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.




Tigers Welcome CBS Back To Tiger Stadium After One-Year Hiatus


CBS returns to Tiger Stadium this week after taking a one-year hiatus from the venue in 2006. Last year, LSU played four games on CBS with all four of those contests coming on the road. The last time the Tigers played a CBS game in Tiger Stadium came against Arkansas on Nov. 25, 2005. LSU is 24-19-1 all-time in games played on CBS, which includes a 5-3 mark under Les Miles.




Observations And Did You Knows About This Year's LSU Football Team


LSU has allowed only one trip into the redzone this year, which came in week 2 by Virginia Tech ... LSU is 18-of-18 in redzone opportunities this year, while the opposition is just 1-for-1 in those chances … In 37 possessions by its opponents, LSU has held the opposition to less than 10 total yards in 25 of those 37 possessions ... LSU opponents have also gone 3-and-out in 18 of its 37 possessions ... The longest drive against LSU this year is 65 yards, which came in week 2 in the third quarter by Virginia Tech ... The longest first half drive allowed by LSU this season was a 9-play, 34-yard possession by Mississippi State … LSU has held opponents to only 29 first downs and just 385 total yards, which is the fewest allowed by the Tigers over the first 3 games of a season in school history.   




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     20           UAB (2000)


Consecutive Home Wins                                15           Tennessee (2005)


Consecutive Non-Conference Wins               11           Iowa (2005 Capital One Bowl)


Consecutive Overall Wins                              10           Florida (2006)


Consecutive SEC Home Wins                        7              Tennessee (2005)


Consecutive SEC Wins                                   6              Florida (2006)


Consecutive Wins Over Top 25 Teams           4              Florida (2006)




Tigers Stretch Overall Winning Streak To 10 Straight


LSU ran its overall winning streak to 10 straight games with its 44-0 win over Middle Tennessee. . 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 10-game winning streak ties with Florida as the nation's second-longest current streak. Wisconsin has won 12 straight for the longest current streak. The 10-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. LSU hasn't won 11 straight games since the 1971-72 seasons. The school-record for consecutive wins is 19, which was set during 1957-59.




LSU's Been Dominating In First Quarters Under Miles In Tiger Stadium


LSU continued what has become a dominating first quarter trend last week as the Tigers held Middle Tennessee scoreless during the first 15 minutes of action in the 44-0 victory. In the 16 home games the Tigers have played under Les Miles, only one team (Alabama in 2006) has scored points on LSU in the first quarter. In all, LSU has outscored its opposition 167-7 in the first quarter of its 16 home games under Miles since the start of the 2005 season.




LSU "D" Pitches Shutout; Tigers Have Held Opponents Scoreless In 13 of Last 14 Quarters


For the second time in three games, LSU's defense pitched a shutout, holding Middle Tennessee scoreless in the 44-0 victory on Saturday. LSU opened the year with a 45-0 road win over Mississippi State. It's the first time since 2000 that the Tigers have recorded at least two shutouts in the same season. That year, LSU held Western Carolina (58-0) and Kentucky (34-0) scoreless. Dating back to last season's Sugar Bowl, LSU has now held opponents scoreless in 13 of its last 14 quarters. The only points scored on LSU since halftime of the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame came by Virginia Tech in the third quarter of week 2.




LSU's Defense Has Only Allowed 1 Redzone Opportunity This Year


In three games and 12 quarters of football this year, LSU's defense has allowed only one team (Va. Tech) to penetrate into the redzone. The Hokies scored a touchdown on that possession for the only points allowed by the Tigers this year. A quick look at the SEC stats show that remarkably the Tigers rank last in the league in red zone defense (it's based on percentage). However, taking a further look to explore those numbers show that the next closest team to LSU in terms of redzone penetration are South Carolina and Georgia, each with eight.




LSU's Allowed Only 7 Points This Year; Fewest Over 1st  3 Games Of Season Since '59


Through 3 games, the Tiger defense has held opponents to only 7 points. The 7 points allowed over the first 3 games is the fewest by an LSU team since 1959 when the Tigers held their first 3 opponents to only 3 points. That year, Rice kicked a field goal in the first game and LSU followed that with shutouts against TCU and Baylor.




On Flip Side, Offense Has Scored 40 Points In 4 Straight Games To Join 1911 Team


Not to be outdone by the Tiger defense, the LSU offense has been just as productive in its own right, scoring at least 40 points in four straight games dating back to last year. The 40 points in four straight games is something that has only been accomplished one other time in school history, that coming in 1911.




Yards Have Been Hard To Come By; Fewest Yards Allowed Thru 3 Games In School History


In a age of football when offenses pile up the yards, LSU's defense has gone old school, allowing only 128.3 yards per game over the first three contests of the year. The 128.3 yards per game ranks No. 1 in the nation. Of the 128.3 yards allowed, 30 of those have come on the ground. In all, LSU has held its first three opponents to a total of 385 yards. The 385 yards over the first three games of the season is the fewest ever allowed by an LSU football team over that span (records go back to 1940). Prior to this year's mark of 385 total yards through 3 games, the next closest was the 407 yards given up by the 1959 squad. The 1959 team allowed only 3 touchdowns and just 29 points all season. 




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 203-59-3 (.772) 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 15-Game Home Winning Streak Into South Carolina


LSU brings a 15-game winning streak in contests played in Tiger Stadium into Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee. The 15-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 15-game winning streak at home, LSU has also won 25 of its last 26 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 23 consecutive Saturday night games. The 15 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 25-4 At LSU; Best Start For A Coach In LSU History


With a 3-0 mark this year, LSU coach Les Miles ran his record with the Tigers to 25-4 overall. The 25 wins in his first 29 games is the most of any coach in school history during that span. Bernie Moore ranks second with 24 wins during his first 28 games.   




Miles Is 14-3 In SEC Games


LSU coach Les Miles goes into the South Carolina game with a 14-3 mark in SEC games. Miles was 7-1 in 2005 in conference games followed by a 6-2 record a year ago. Miles is 7-2 in SEC road games and 7-1 in league games played in Tiger Stadium.




Miles Runs Record To 5-3 Against Top 10 Teams As LSU's Coach; He's 9-4 In Top 25 Games


With LSU's 48-7 win over then-No. 9 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. Miles is also 9-4 in games against Top 25 teams as LSU's head coach, which includes victories over four straight ranked opponents dating back to last season. 




LSU Defense Ranked 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 three games, the Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring (2.33 points per game), total defense (128.33 yards per game), and pass efficiency defense (54.30 rating). LSU is also in the top 10 in the nation in pass defense (N o. 2 at 98.33 yards per game), rushing defense (No. 3 at 30.0 yards per game), sacks (No. 4 at 4.33 per game), and turnover margin (No. 5 at +2.33 per game).




Perrilloux Shines In First Start


LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux stepped in for an injured Matt Flynn and directed the Tigers to a 44-0 victory over Middle Tennessee last week. The start was the first of Perrilloux's career. For the game, he connected on 20-of-25 passes for 298 yards and 3 scores.




Not Bad For A Non-Starter, McCray Leads SEC In Sacks


LSU DB Danny McCray goes into the South Carolina game leading the SEC in sacks with 3 to his credit this season. Not bad for a player who sees most of his action in LSU's sub-packages. McCray is coming off perhaps his best game as a Tiger, registering 4 tackles, 2 sacks and recovering a fumble in LSU's 44-0 win over Middle Tennessee. For the season, McCray has 14 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery and a PBU.




Steltz Continues To Lead Nation In Interceptions With 4


LSU senior safety Craig Steltz, despite not picking off a pass against Middle Tennessee, continues to lead the nation in interceptions with four over the first three games of the season. Steltz opened the year by tying an LSU record with three interceptions against Mississippi State. He followed that a week later with an interception against Virginia Tech. For his career, Steltz has nine interceptions, which he has returned for 244 yards (or an average of 27.1 yards per interception).




LSU Offense Finally Commits A Turnover


LSU's streak of quarters without a turnover came to an end against Middle Tennessee when Ryan Perrilloux was intercepted in the second quarter against the Blue Raiders. Prior to that interception, LSU had gone 10 straight quarters without a turnover.




Double Trouble At Quarterback


Through 3 games, LSU QBs Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux have both shown their ability to lead the Tigers. Flynn, who is 3-0 as LSU's starting quarterback, started the first two games before giving way to Perrilloux because of an injury in week 3. In 2 games, Flynn has been responsible for 3 TDs (2 passing, 1 rushing), while Perrilloux has accounted for 7 TDs (6 passing, 1 rushing).  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. Perrilloux has gone 27 of 33 for 403 yards, 6 TDs and 1 interception. As a duo, Flynn and Perrilloux have combined to connect on 57 of 82 passes for 757 yards, 8 TDs and 1 interception. They have also combined for 124 rushing yards and 2 TDs.




Hester Does It All For Tigers


LSU senior RB Jacob Hester does it all for the Tigers. In two games this year, Hester has played a variety of positions for the Tigers. He's started both games at tailback, but he's also seen action at fullback as well as on LSU's punt, punt return, and PAT/field goal teams. Through two weeks of action, Hester has seen action in a total of 115 plays from scrimmage.




Sharing The Wealth On Offense


LSU's offense has been sharing the wealth in the first three games of the season. Ten different players have scored at least one touchdown and five have crossed the goal line at least twice. In addition to the scoring balance, the Tigers have had a different receiver lead the team in each of the first three games. Early Doucet's 9 catches for 78 yards led LSU in the win over Mississippi State, Brandon LaFell's 7 receptions for 125 yards led the way in the win over Virginia Tech and Jared Mitchell's six catches for 82 yard led the Tigers in the win over Middle Tennessee.




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 11 catches for 187 yards and a score.




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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