Looking ahead

There are a lot of uncertainties facing the LSU football team right now as many of the players, coaches and their families deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, while at the same time keeping a watchful eye on Ike.

It will likely be a few days before an official announcement is made on whether or not the Tigers will play in Tiger Stadium next Saturday but one of the few certainties LSU can count on right now is that the next opponent on the schedule is the North Texas Mean Green.

While the Tigers had an unexpected bye on Saturday, the Mean Green dropped to 0-2 on the season after a 56-26 loss to Tulsa in their home opener.


The North Texas defense gave up 555 yards of total offense and the secondary was shredded for 418 passing yards.


The game was never in doubt as Tulsa jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter and by the intermission the scoreboard read 42-10 in favor of the Golden Hurricanes.


The Mean Green defense has now yielded 101 points in two games against Kansas State and Tulsa, while the offense has struggled to put up only 32.


Giovanni Vizza put up good numbers against Tulsa by going 30 for 45 through the air for 247 yards and two scores. He was harassed all day by the Tulsa pressure and was sacked four times and knocked down several more.


If second-year head coach Todd Dodge is looking for some glimmer of hope then he can turn to his running game that netted 203 yards but would have been higher taking into account the yards that were lost from his quarterback being sacked.


Finding bright spots may be tough for North Texas fans at this point and even tougher for defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach, who is in his second stint with the Mean Green after serving in that same capacity from 1998-2002.


DeLoach’s troops have had their problems in the early going and are allowing 513 yards a game and have forced only one turnover in two outings.


It will be interesting to see how the Tigers handle all of the disruption and chaos they have dealt with over the past 11 days and there doesn’t appear to be any break in sight with Hurricane Ike out in the tropics.


As of Sunday the plan is to still play in Tiger Stadium provided that Ike takes a detour away from the region and that the stadium is repaired in a timely manner.


There are contingency plans in place with the Superdome being one and Texas Stadium being another but as of Sunday morning those are strictly backup plans.


Les Miles and the LSU program need to get back to business and the state of Louisiana needs something to boost its spirits.


All parties can get what they need next Saturday by the Tigers and Mean Green squaring off in Tiger Stadium.


But just as the entire region has been forced to do for the last 11 days, the wait is on to see what the future brings.

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