Football to Host Chattanooga in Home Opener
Sr. Assoc. Athletic Director/SID
BATON ROUGE -- Last week, LSU opened its first full season under head coach Ed Orgeron with a dominating 27-0 victory over BYU in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff in New Orleans. On Saturday, Orgeron leads the Tigers into Tiger Stadium for the first time as LSU’s permanent head coach as the 12th-ranked Tigers host Chattanooga at 6:30 p.m.
It’s only the second meeting between LSU and Chattanooga in football and the first since a 26-19 Tiger victory in Tiger Stadium in 1954. LSU brings a 1-0 mark into the contest, while the Mocs are 0-1 after opening the season two weeks ago with a 27-13 loss to FCS Top 10-ranked Jacksonville State.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available and can be purchased online at www.LSUtix.net or in the person at the LSU Athletic Ticket Office starting at noon CT Saturday.
The SEC Network will televise the game with Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers and Cole Cubelic on the call. The game will also be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network with the Voice of the Tigers Chris Blair calling the action along with Doug Moreau and Gordy Rush. The LSU broadcast of the game can be heard on the internet free of charge at www.LSUsports.net/live.
LSU brings the nation’s longest current non-conference home field winning streak into the contest at 47 straight victories. LSU hasn’t lost a non-conference home game since falling to UAB in September of 2000.
“The guys are focused and ready to go,” Orgeron said after Thursday’s practice. “I think they are ready to take care of the task at hand. We are excited about playing our first game in Tiger Stadium. There’s going to be a lot of new face that are going to be in the stadium for the first time with 22 new freshmen and four new coaches.
“It’s also the first time that I will be here as the full-time head coach of LSU. This is a special night for the players and the fans and we expect our team to play very well.”
Last week, LSU was nearly flawless on defense, limiting BYU to 97 yards of total offense and just six first downs. The Cougars never crossed midfield against LSU as the Tigers registered three sack and held BYU to minus-5 rushing yards, the fewest by an opponents since Ole Miss (-50 yards) in 1982.
Offensively, senior quarterback Danny Etling directed a Tiger unit that racked up 479 total yards and held the ball for nearly 42 minutes in the contest. Derrius Guice led the Tiger rushing attack with 122 yards and a pair of TDs on 27 carries, while senior Darrel Williams added 92 yards and a score.
Etling, who improved to 8-3 as LSU’s starting quarterback, connected on 14-of-17 passes for 171 yards.
A week ago, 17 true freshmen saw action for the Tigers and that number is expected to grow this week as wide receiver JaCoby Stevens will likely see action against Chattanooga. Of the 17 true freshmen that played last week, four started. In all, LSU used eight first-time starters against BYU.
The number of first time starters will grow by at least one on Saturday as redshirt freshman Glen Logan is expected to start at defensive end in place of the injured Rashard Lawrence. True freshmen Neil Farrell Jr. and Justin Thomas will backup Logan on the defensive line.
On playing for the first time in Tiger Stadium, Orgeron said he’s told that group to have fun and enjoy it.
“Enjoy every minute of it and focus on the task at hand,” Orgeron said when asked about his advice for the first-timers in Tiger Stadium. “I am glad they got all of that playing time in the Superdome. I know it is going to be an emotional night. I know some guys really go through a lot of emotions right before they run out the tunnel. They will be fine. We will calm them down, the coaches will watch them. You hear stories of guys doing certain things before they go out there. It’s really a fun time and I want them to enjoy it.”
Against Chattanooga, the Tigers will face a Mocs team that has advanced to at least the second round of the FCS Playoffs each of the past three years. They also feature a lineup that is dotted with FBS transfers.
“I played in that league,” Orgeron said of playing in the Southland Conference, which is a FCS league. “There are some good players in that league. That is a tough, competitive conference. I coached at McNeese State. I have coached at Nichols State. There is no difference when you go to work. The way you coach to win. You are working hard, the players are practicing hard. I have a lot of respect for that league.
“For them to play a team like LSU is good for them. It is good for the team, the coaching staff. I know they are going to be fired up and give it their best shot and we expect their best shot. It is good for football.”
The Chattanooga game will also serve as LSU’s final tune-up before opening Southeastern Conference action next week against Mississippi State in Starkville.
“Well it’s good for us,” Orgeron said of the non-conference games. “We play in the SEC West. We need to prepare ourselves. The better teams you play; you find more out about your team. We found out about our team last week. We’re going to get tested, it’s coming soon.”
- LSU has had a 100-yard rusher in 11 straight non-conference games and the Tigers are 9-2 in those contests.
- LSU RB Derrius Guice is just 55 yards shy of reaching 2,000 rushing yards for his career. RB Darrel Williams needs 77 yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark for his career.
- LSU’s defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in eight straight quarters dating back to last year.
- LSU is 7-2 since Orgeron took over following the Auburn loss last year. All seven of LSU’s wins under Orgeron have come by at least 15 points.
- NT Greg Gilmore and OT KJ Malone have started 13 straight games (all 12 last year, 1 this year), which is the longest active streak among any current LSU player.