LSU NOTES: Western Kentucky up next for No. 1 Tigers

Miles Goes For Win No. 100 As Top-Ranked LSU Hosts Western Kentucky

LSU coach Les Miles will go after his 100th career win on Saturday as the top-ranked Tigers step out of conference for the final time during the regular season hosting Western Kentucky for Homecoming. Kickoff between the Tigers and the Hilltoppers is scheduled for 6 p.m. from Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Miles is 99-38 in 11 years as a head coach, which includes a 71-17 mark at LSU.

LSU, winners of 10 straight dating back to last year, is ranked No. 1 in all of the major college football polls – BCS, AP, USA Today, and Harris – for the fourth straight week. The Tigers improved to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in SEC action following the 9-6 win over No. 2 Alabama last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Six of LSU’s nine wins have come against teams ranked in the Top 25 at the time of the contest. LSU is one Top 25 win away from tying the school record for victories over a ranked opponent, which was set during the national championship season in 2007.

LSU is playing its sixth straight game as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team – the longest stretch since 1959. LSU is 19-3 all-time in games played as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, which includes a 7-2 mark under Miles. Western Kentucky, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, has won five straight and brings a 5-4 overall mark into the contest. The Hilltoppers are coming off a 10-9 win over Florida International last week. It’s the first-ever meeting between the two teams in football.

At 9-0, LSU is off to its best start since winning its first nine games in 1973. The Tigers haven’t been 10-0 since winning all 11 games during their national championship season in 1958. LSU’s 10-game winning streak ranks as the sixth-longest in school history and it’s the longest for the Tigers since winning 13 consecutive games during the 2006-07 seasons. LSU brings one of the top defenses in the nation into the Western Kentucky game as the Tigers are ranked in the top 10 nationally in four major categories – rush defense (2nd at 78.78), scoring defense (2nd at 10.89, total defense (3rd at 256.22), and pass efficiency defense (4th with 96.73 rating). Offensively, LSU is second in the SEC in scoring with 35.9 points per game as the Tigers have scored 30 or more points in seven of their first nine games.

LSU is averaging 357.3 total yards per game (184.4 rushing, 172.9 passing). QB Jarrett Lee has completed 62.3 percent of his passes (101-of-162) for 1,274 yards, 13TDs and just 3 interceptions. Backup QB Jordan Jefferson has added 154 rushing yards and 2 TDs. He’s also thrown for 190 yards and a pair of scores. A trio of sophomores lead the Tigers in rushing – Spencer Ware (541 yards, 6 TDs), Michael Ford (513 yards, 6 TDs) and Alfred Blue (252 yards, 4 TDs). Rueben Randle (35 catches, 657 yards, 7 TDs) and true freshman WR Odell Beckham Jr. (29 catches, 350 yards, 2 TDs) lead the Tigers in receiving. Defensively, LSU has allowed just four TDs in its six SEC games (1 each to Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Auburn) and the Tigers have held their first six conference opponents to a combined 47 points. S Brandon Taylor leads the Tigers in tackles with 53, while CB Morris Claiborne is tops on the team in interceptions with 4. CB Tyrann Mathieu continues to be LSU’s top all-around defender with 47 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 5 PBUs, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions and 1.5 sacks. Other defensive standouts include DE Sam Montgomery (33 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 6.0 sacks), S Eric Reid (49 tackles, 2 int.), DT Bennie Logan (32 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) and DE Barkevious Mingo (21 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks).

LSU brings the nation’s longest non-conference regular season winning streak into the Western Kentucky game at 36 straight. LSU’s last non-conference regular season loss came at Virginia Tech to open the 2002 season.

• LSU is currently riding a 15-game Tiger Stadium winning streak.

• LSU coach Les Miles is 31-1 in non-conference games with the Tigers, which includes a 17-0 record in Tiger Stadium.

Series Notes: LSU and Western Kentucky meet for the first time in football on Saturday in Tiger Stadium … Western Kentucky is a member of the Sun Belt Conference … The teams have one common opponent this year and that’s Kentucky (LSU won 35-7; Western Kentucky lost 14-3) … LSU is 34-0 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference … LSU is 22-0 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 3-0 vs. Arkansas State and North Texas, and 2-0 vs. Troy, Louisiana-Monroe, and Middle Tennessee … LSU coach Les Miles is 7-0 against the Sun Belt Conference.

Drew Alleman kicked three field goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as top-ranked LSU topped second-ranked Alabama, 9-6, in what was the first regular season meeting between teams ranked Nos. 1-2 in SEC history. Billed as the “Game of the Century” by many, the contest didn’t disappoint as the top two defenses in the SEC engaged in a classic defensive battle. Playing perhaps its best game of the season, the LSU defense allowed just six points to Alabama even though the Crimson Tide penetrated inside the Tiger 35-yard line seven times during the contest.

After a scoreless first quarter that saw the Crimson Tide miss three field goals, Alabama scratched first on a 34-yard field goal with less than four minutes left in the first half. Alleman tied the game at 3-3 at halftime when he banged home a 19-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. Alabama regained the lead at 6-3 following a 46-yard field goal midway through the third quarter. Alleman tied the contest at 6-6 with a 30-yard field goal at the 14:13 mark in the fourth quarter. Eric Reid’s unlikely interception in the endzone at the 11:03 mark in the fourth quarter stopped another Alabama drive and then a 73-yard punt by Brad Wing on LSU’s ensuing possession flipped the field position back to LSU’s favor. The teams traded scoreless possessions in the final nine minutes of the contest before going to overtime. Tied at 6-6. In overtime, LSU’s defense again came up big, holding the Crimson Tide to negative yards and forcing Alabama to try a 52-yard field goal – which they missed.

LSU needed just four offensive plays to setup Alleman’s game-winning kick – a 25-yard that split the uprights giving the Tigers a 9-6 victory. For the game, LSU limited Alabama to 295 total yards and just 96 on the ground. LSU managed 148 rushing yards and 239 total yards with Michael Ford leading the way with 72 yards on 11 carries.

Additional Storylines

• LSU coach Les Miles will go after his 100th overall win on Saturday against Western Kentucky. In 11 years, Miles is 99-38, which includes a 71-17 mark in seven seasons at LSU. Miles was 28-21 in four years at Oklahoma State from 2001-04.

• LSU has allowed just 3 first half touchdowns all season (1 each to Oregon, West Virginia and Tennessee).

• In 36 quarters of action this year, LSU has trailed at the conclusion of just 2 quarters (1st quarter vs. Oregon, 6-3; 3rd quarter vs. Alabama, 6-3).

• LSU’s given up just 47 points in its first six SEC games, the fewest since 1962 when the Tigers allowed 25 points in their six league games.

• LSU has won 17 straight games at night, which includes nine in a row on the road. LSU’s last night game loss came against No. 1-ranked Florida, 13-3, in Tiger Stadium in 2009.

• LSU is 49-4 overall in night games under Les Miles. LSU is 42-3 under Miles in games played on a Saturday night, no matter the location.

• LSU has won 17 straight games when winning the turnover battle. Under Les Miles, LSU is 33-4 when forcing more turnovers than they give up.

• LSU has forced 20 turnovers this year and the Tigers have scored points either on the turnover or on the ensuing drive 12 times (9 TDs, 3 FG).

• LSU QBs Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee are the only quarterbacks in the SEC who have each thrown for 30 TD passes in their career. Lee (31) and Jefferson (30) are both in the top 10 in school history in that category.

A Win Over Western Kentucky Would....

• Make LSU 10-0 for the first time since 1958

• Run LSU’s overall winning streak to 11 straight and its non-conference regular season winning streak to 37 in a row.

• Run LSU’s Tiger Stadium winning streak to 16 straight.

It’s Homecoming On

Saturday

The Tigers bring a 58-25-3 mark in Homecoming games into the Western Kentucky contest. LSU has won 10 straight Homecoming games, including a 51-0 victory over Louisiana-Monroe last year. In 2008, LSU rallied for a 40-31 win over Troy. LSU’s last loss in a Homecoming contest came in 2000 when UAB stunned the Tigers, 13-10. LSU is facing a team from the Sun Belt Conference for Homecoming for the second straight year and for the third time in four seasons.

LSU Football Is

Must See TV

LSU’s game against Alabama drew the second-highest rating for a regular-season football game on CBS in the metered markets since September of 1987, which is as far backs as CBS records go. LSU-Alabama drew an averaging overnight rating/share of 11.9/21, which was up 170% from last year’s LSU-Alabama game. The game was also up 153% from CBS’ primetime game featuring Alabama and Florida earlier this year. The LSU-Alabama game trailed only CBS’ 1989 game between Notre Dame and Miami, which drew at 14.5/26.

Reid and Montgomery Claim SEC Honors For Play Against Alabama

LSU S Eric Reid and DE Sam Montgomery have claimed player of the week honors from the SEC for their performance in the win over Alabama. Reid earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors, while Montgomery was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. Reid hadd 6 tackles, including one for a 6-yard loss, and a key interception in the victory. Reid’s interception came at the LSU 1-yard line in the fourth quarter after Alabama had driven inside the Tiger 30-yard line. Reid also forced a fumble in the victory. Montgomery also had 6 tackles, including a pair of sacks, in the win. His final sack came on third down in overtime, forcing the Crimson Tide to attempt a 52-yard field goal – which they missed. His other sack came in second quarter and contributed to the Crimson Tide being forced to attempt a 49-yard field goal, which was blocked. For the game, Reid and Montgomery led and LSU defense that limited the Crimson Tide to season lows of points (6), rushing yards (96) and total yards (295).

Saturday Night Special – Tigers Are 49-4 In Night Games Under Miles

LSU football loves a night game and with the results that the Tigers have had under Les Miles, it’s hard to argue. The Tigers are 49-4 in night games under Miles compared to a 22-13 mark in games played during the day. LSU is 12-1 in away night games under Miles with the only loss coming at Florida in 2008 by a 51-21 count. LSU is 30-2 in night games in Tiger Stadium under Miles and they are 42-3 in Saturday Night Games during the Miles era no matter the location. The only two home losses at night for the Tigers under Miles have come in 2005 on a Monday night against Tennessee by a 30-27 count in overtime and a 13-3 loss to No. 1-ranked Florida in 2009.

Tigers Hold Top Spot In BCS Standings For Fourth Straight Week

Undefeated LSU held onto the top spot in the BCS Standings for the fourth straight week following the win over No. 2 Alabama. The BCS formula is consisted of three parts – USA Today Coaches poll, Harris Interactive, and computer polls. LSU stands atop the BCS standings this week with a .9931 rating. Oklahoma State is second in the BCS with a .9447 rating, followed by Alabama (.8836), Stanford (.8749), and Boise State (.8473). Other SEC teams in the BCS standings include: Arkansas at No. 8, South Carolina at No. 13, Georgia at No. 15, and Auburn at No. 20.

LSU’s No. 1 In AP Poll For Seventh Straight Week; Longest Streak For Tigers Since 1959

LSU remained No. 1 in the nation for the seventh straight week on Sunday as the Tigers held onto the top spot in the Associated Press poll following their 9-6 overtime win over second-ranked Alabama. LSU has been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll since the day after beating West Virginia on Sept. 24. LSU is also ranked No. 1 in the Harris Interactive Poll for the fifth straight week and they are No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll for the third straight week. LSU will play its sixth straight game as the nation’s top-ranked team on Saturday against Western Kentucky. LSU hasn’t played six straight games as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team since 1959. LSU is ranked No. 1 during the regular season for the first time since 2007. Les Miles has guided LSU to No. 1 rankings during the regular season on three different occasions (twice in 2007and now this year). Miles and Paul Dietzel in 1958 and 1959 are the only two coaches in school history to have teams ranked No. 1 in the nation in two different seasons. LSU first appeared at No. 1 in the AP Poll on Oct. 28, 1958 following a 10-7 win over Florida. LSU remained No. 1 in the AP Poll for the remainder of the year on its way to claiming the national title in 1958.

LSU Is 19-3 In Games Played As

No. 1 Ranked Team

LSU goes into the Western Kentucky game with a 19-3 record in games played as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team. LSU was 5-0 as the No. 1-ranked team in 1958, followed by a 7-1 record at the top spot in 1959. LSU was 2-2 as the No. 1-ranked team in 2007 and they are 5-0 this year. LSU is 7-2 under Les Miles in games as the nation’s top-ranked team.

At 9-0, LSU Off To Best Start Since 1973

With a 9-0 overall record, LSU is off to its best start since 1973 when the Tigers won their first nine games. Alabama handed LSU its first loss in 1973 as the Tigers dropped their final three games of the year to finish at 9-3. LSU is 9-0 for just the fourth time in school history. In addition to 1973 and this year, LSU’s other 9-0 starts came in 1958 when the Tigers won all 11 games and in 1908 when they were 10-0.

LSU’s 6-0 In League Play For First Time Since 1973

LSU’s 5-0 start in SEC action is the first time since 1973 that the Tigers have won their first five league games. LSU opened 5-0 in conference play in 1973 before falling to Alabama. Other 5-0 starts in SEC play for LSU came in 1970, 1961, 1958, 1936 and 1935.

LSU Runs Nation’s Longest Non-Conference Regular-Season Winning Streak To 36 Straight

LSU ran the nation’s longest non-conference regular season winning streak to 36 in a row after the 47-21 win over West Virginia. The Tigers haven’t lost a non-conference regular-season game since falling to Virginia Tech, 26-8, in the 2002 season opener in Blacksburg, Va. Wisconsin is second on the list with 31 straight non-conference regular-season wins. Les Miles has accounted for 26 of the 36 wins during the streak. The 36-game non-conference regular season win streak ties Miami from 1985-88 for the second-longest such winning streak in the FBS era (since 1978) and is just three wins shy of tying Kansas State from 1993-2003 for the longest streak (39). The West Virginia win marked the sixth ranked team LSU has defeated during the streak. Kansas State defeated just one ranked team during its run, and Miami defeated 12 teams ranked in the AP poll during its streak.

LSU’s Won First Eight Games By Double-Digits – A First In School History

LSU’s streak of wins by double-figures to start a season came to an end against Alabama. Still, the eight wins to open the year by double-figures is a school record. Dating back to last year, LSU had won nine games by double-figures, which tied the school record set in 1936. Prior to this year, LSU’s longest streak to open a season with double-digit victories was five, which has been done three times in the SEC era (1933-presnet): 1958, 1959, and 2007. LSU won the national title in both 1958 and 2007.

Tigers Bowl Eligible For Record 12th Straight Year

The win over Florida on Oct. 8 gave the Tigers their sixth win this year, thus making LSU bowl eligible for a school-record 12th straight season. Since the start of the 2000 season, LSU has played in the BCS National Championship twice (2003, 2007), Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (2000, 2005, 2008) , Sugar Bowl (2001, 2003, 2006), Cotton Bowl (2002, 2010)) and Capital One Bowl (2004, 2009) in consecutive years.

LSU’s Honey Badger – Tyrann Mathieu – Making Plays All Over Field

LSU sophomore CB Tyrann Mathieu, dubbed the Honey Badger by the national media, continues to impress with his uncanny ability to come up with big play after big play. Mathieu did it again against Florida, intercepting a pass in the endzone for his third straight game with a takeaway (the streak ended against Tennessee). Against Kentucky, Mathieu recovered a fumble that he forced, and then returned it 23 yards for a touchdown. It’s was the second time this year that Mathieu returned a fumble that he forced for a touchdown. Now just 20 games into his career, Mathieu has established the LSU career record for forced fumbles with nine, breaking the previous mark of seven held by Ali Highsmith. Mathieu has been responsible for 10 turnovers (4 interceptions, 6 fumble recoveries) and he’s also forced another 9 fumbles. In addition to his turnover creating ability, Mathieu has established himself as an outstanding defender, ranking second on team with 47 tackles this year. In 21 career games, Mathieu has 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and 11 pass breakups.

LSU Defense Has Held Opponents Without TDs In 28-Of-36 Quarters; LSU Has Scored TDs in 25-of-36 Qtrs

LSU goes into the Western Kentucky game having held its opponents without a touchdown in 28 of 36 quarters this year. LSU hasn’t allowed a first quarter TD all year as the Tigers have limited their opponent to just four first quarter field goals through nine games. LSU went nine straight quarters without allowing a touchdown in wins over Northwestern State, Mississippi State and West Virginia. The Mountaineers snapped the streak with a second quarter TD in week 4. On the flip side, the Tigers have scored TDs in 25 of 36 quarters this year on their way to averaging 35 points per game. LSU saw its streak of consecutive quarters with a TD snapped at 11 against Florida when the Tigers only had a field goal in the third quarter. The Tigers had scored in 31 consecutive quarters before going scoreless in the first quarter against Tennessee.

LSU Leads SEC, Ranked No. 2 In Nation In Turnover Margin; LSU’s 5 Turnovers Are Fewest In Nation

One reason for LSU’s success through the first eight games of the season has been its ability to take care of the football as the Tigers have turned the ball over just five times (2 fumbles, 3 interceptions) all year. LSU leads the SEC and ranks No. 2 in the nation in turnover margin at plus-1.67 per game. Overall, LSU is plus-15 in the turnover margin category as the Tigers have forced 20 turnovers (7 fumbles, 13 interceptions), while giving the ball up only five times. LSU’s five turnovers is the fewest in the nation, ahead of Toledo (6) and Wisconsin (6).

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