DEATH VALLEY -- Head football coach Nick Saban begins his second season in Tigertown on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Tiger Stadium when he leads his 14th-ranked Peach Bowl Champions onto the field to take on long-time rival Tulane.
The meeting of the Tigers and Green Wave is the 94th all-time, dating back the LSU's first football game in 1893. The teams played in every football season between 1911 and 1994 -- interrupted only by World War I in 1918 -- before missing their date in 1995. After a 1996 meeting, the teams have not played in four seasons.
LSU leads the all-time lopsided series, 64-22-7, including 13 straight games dating back to 1982.
Stat of the day: No LSU head coach has lost his first game against Tulane since 1948, when Gaynell Tinsley's Tigers fell 46-0 in Baton Rouge. This streak of seven straight coaching staffs includes one tied game (Paul Dietzel, 13-13, in 1955).
LSU has won five straight opening games dating back to a 1996 come-from-behind win over Houston, 35-34. The Tigers have also won six straight home openers dating back to LSU's thrilling, 12-6, victory over Auburn in 1995. Since 1982, LSU is 14-5 in home openers.
The Tigers and Green Wave have only met three times to open the season, all in the 19th century. LSU holds a 2-1 record in those games.
Quarterback Rohan Davey, who led LSU to a 28-14 second-half comeback over Georgia Tech in the 2000 Peach Bowl, will start for the Tigers. In limited duty in 2000, Davey completed 38-of-59 passes for 577 yards and seven touchdowns with only one interception. The senior has become the heart and soul of the 2001 squad, and was named one of three team captains (along with Trev Faulk and Robert Royal).
Tulane (0-1), a member of the Conference USA, is coming off a 70-35 nationally-televised loss to Brigham Young University on Aug. 25 in the Black Coaches Association Classic in Provo, Utah. The Green Wave defense allowed 726 yards, including 437 on the ground. The track meet was 21-21 at the end of the first quarter, before the Cougars scored three unanswered touchdowns to take a 49-28 lead at halftime.
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