2007 BCS Champions

2007 BCS
National Champions

2003 BCS National Champions

2003 BCS
National Champions

1958 National Champions

National Champions

NCAA Baseball Championships:



DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.


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10/12/15 6:05 am CDT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

I’m happy to start this report with some great news on the recruiting front:  Late last night, LSU picked up a big commitment from the state’s top linebacker, Michael Divinity (6-2, 225, John Ehret). After not signing a single linebacker in February, this was the biggest position of need for the 2016 recruiting class, and with Divinity on board the Tigers are now well on track to meeting their needs. Divinity, the No. 5 overall prospect on our list of Top Louisiana Football Prospects for 2016, and an Under Armour All-American selection, chose LSU over Oregon, Texas A&M, Florida State and a long list of other offers. With his pledge, LSU’s 2016 commitment class contains 19 commitments and is No. 2 in the nation, right behind Ohio State, in 247Sports team rankings. If you’ve got a minute to spare on this Monday morning, check out Divinity’s highlight video to see what a great get he is. 

After LSU’s impressive 45-24 win over South Carolina, the Tigers climbed one spot to No 6 in the AP Top-25 and remained at No 5 in the Coaches Poll. LSU’s next opponent, the Florida Gators, climbed to No. 8 in the AP and No. 11 in the Coaches poll after a 21-3 win at Missouri. Other SEC teams in the Top-25 of the two polls include Texas A&M (9/10), Alabama (10/9) and Ole Miss (13/12). For a look at the complete rankings, click here.

It was extremely encouraging to see LSU’s passing game come to life against South Carolina, especially since LSU will be facing the No. 2 rush defense in the SEC this Saturday when they take on the Florida Gators. That game is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. in Tiger Stadium and will be televised by ESPN. According to LSU Athletics Director of Digital Media, Todd Politz, Saturday’s game will mark only the ninth time in school history that two undefeated AP top-10 teams battle it out in Tiger Stadium. In case you’re wondering, LSU has opened as a 7.5-point favorite, according to VegasInsider.

We’ll have much more on the Florida game later this week, but today we’ll proceed with our normal order of business by “rewinding” and discussing a few topics from Saturday’s game that a lot of you asked about. Here we go…

Monday Morning Rewind - South Carolina Edition

Balance, Improvement in Passing Game

The biggest positive from Saturday’s game was the emergence of a potent passing game. Heading into the game, an 18-of-28 passing line for 228 yards and two touchdowns seemed hard to fathom. Through the first four games of the season, LSU had attempted an average of 15.75 passes per game, and 62% of you who voted in my poll Saturday thought Brandon Harris would not eclipse the 19 attempts mark. What LSU did on Saturday by coming out throwing and attempting 23 passes in the first half alone will go a long way in serving notice to future opponents that they had better think twice about loading the box. Equally impressive as the number of passing attempts was the number of Tigers with receptions (7).

There are a lot of things Harris and the wide receivers did well in the win against South Carolina. The fade in the end zone was undoubtedly Harris’ best throw. On his first touchdown pass of the game, Harris dropped back from under center to loft a beautifully timed fade pass to Dupré. Harris has hit that pass time and time again throughout his young career, and if he can keep efficiently throwing it, LSU will give teams fits in the red zone. And while the Tigers carved South Carolina up on the ground, LSU mixed in some passing to throw off the rhythm of the Gamecocks’ defense. One example of this was on a dig-route in the I-formation. South Carolina concentrated on stopping Leonard Fournette by loading the box, while Harris dropped back to pass and hit Dural in the hands as he came back to the ball. Last but not least, Harris showed a lot of poise by leading a quick scoring drive with a little over a minute to play in the first half. We got on him a little bit in last week’s MMR for not checking down in the passing game, but that’s exactly what he did on that drive, and he got his team a field goal despite only having one timeout to drive the field. 

Moore’s Injury

Unfortunately for the Tigers, J. D. Moore suffered an injury to his left knee on the first drive of the game. The good news is that Les Miles doesn’t believe the injury to be serious. Hopefully we’ll get an update on Moore’s injury when Coach Miles addresses the media today for his weekly luncheon. A lot of you commented to me that Leonard Fournette didn’t look as impressive without Moore in the game (I think someone described him as looking downright mortal), and I agree to an extent. It did take LSU a few series to get its rushing attack going in his absence, and that speaks volumes about the chemistry between Moore and Fournette, but obviously it did get going as the Tigers racked up 396 yards on the ground. Two other things to note about Fournette’s less impressive first half numbers (he had 49 yards at halftime) is that South Carolina was selling out against the run, putting as many as 10 men in the box at times, and LSU played a portion of the second quarter without starting left tackle Jerald Hawkins who suffered an apparent knee injury and took a trip to the locker room before returning just before intermission.

With Moore out of action. freshman fullback Bry’Kiethon Mouton saw a lot of action. On the first play of the second drive, Mouton hit linebacker Jonathan Walton and didn't move him at all. Fournette followed and bumped into Mouton before reversing field and suffering a loss. Mouton rebounded from that play and went on to have a very impressive game considering it was his first significant action.

Big Plays Allowed on Defense

A lot of you have inquired about LSU’s defense giving up big plays, so let’s take a look at what happened in Saturday’s game. Most of the big plays on defense resulted in bad match-ups on Pharoh Cooper. Cooper is one of the best wide receivers in the conference, and leaving Dwayne Thomas one-on-one with him in the first quarter created a long reception that set up the field goal on the drive. Jamal Adams was a little late coming over to help Thomas, and a great player made a big play. On the second touchdown of the game by the Gamecocks, a circus catch was made (not much you can do about that as Kevin Toliver had tight coverage) before a 4th-and-8 conversion went for a touchdown. The Gamecocks threw to their tight end against a zone defense that saw a missed tackle by Adams on the tail end. I’m pointing out Adams here, but I am not at all down on him. Adams is one of LSU’s best defensive players, and these miscues don’t usually come often from him. On the third touchdown of the game for South Carolina, Cooper was lined up in the slot with a mismatch against Rickey Jefferson, a safety. It proved to be a huge blunder to have Jefferson holding Cooper without any safety help. Cooper ran a slant, caught a pass and went 43 yards for the score. As implied in our “morning after” report, getting safety Jalen Mills back will be a big help, and that could come as early as this Saturday against Florida.

Special Teams Must Be Fixed 

LSU’s opening kickoff by Trent Domingue gave us a precursor of what was to come, as it bounced out of bounds and give South Carolina great field position on an eventual field goal-ending drive. Cameron Gamble came in to kick the next two kickoffs. The first one was a beauty that landed in the end zone for a touchback, but the next one landed on the 4-yard line and was returned for a touchdown. It appears that poor discipline of staying in the lanes (“lane integrity”) by LSU players allowed a huge hole for South Carolina’s returner. One thing to note, though, as pointed out in Ross Dellenger’s film study, is that the large majority of Tigers on the return team were grouped on the left side of the field, as if the kick was intended to go in that direction. Gambles’ kick was driven right down the center of the field, giving South Carolina’s returner a gaping hole on the TD return. The next three kicks of the game came from Domingue. Two were pooch kicks that gave the Gamecocks great field position, and the final one went to the 3-yard line and was returned to the 25. 

Because of LSU’s kickoff and kick return coverage problems, South Carolina had a short field to work with all day. In fact, none of the Gamecocks’ scoring drives was more than 62 yards. 

If one of LSU’s kickers could kick the ball into the endzone with consistency, that would go a long way toward alleviating the problem, but there’s no excuse for the lapses in coverage we’ve seen with the caliber of athletes LSU has on the coverage team. LSU has got to get its special teams problems fixed, and fast. The Tigers simply can’t afford to give away so many hidden yards against Florida this week, or against any future opponent for that matter.

Today’s bottom line: Sure, LSU still has some work to do, but I’m very pleased with where the Tigers are at this point. What LSU accomplished on Saturday with the passing game was exactly what was needed, and it came at the ideal time with Florida looming large. We’ll have a much better idea of just how special this Tiger team is in five days, and I can hardly wait. It’s a great time to be a Tiger!

In closing, it’s time to share with you the results of our Week 6 Louisiana High School Pickem Contest. Last night we analyzed the picks, crunched the numbers, and found that the winner of this week contest is user Lawrence Ward (L Ward). Mr. Ward correctly picked an incredible 46 out of 50 games (92%!). You might recognize Mr. Ward’s name, as he was a weekly winner in 2013 during the first year of this competition. I’ll add Mr. Wards’ bio to our list of Weekly Winners later today, and I’m shooting to mail out DandyDon.con bumper stickers and koozies to all of this year’s weekly winner later today or tomorrow. Voting for this week’s games is now open and we hope many of you will decide to join in the action. Please note that it’s never too late to join our Pickem Contest as we’ll be announcing each week’s winner.


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10/11/15 5:50 am CDT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

Whoa! How about that Tiger offense as it roared for 624 yards en route to a 45-24 win over South Carolina! The 624 yards marked only the second time under Coach Les Miles that the Tigers gained more than 600 yards of offense in a single game, and was the most against an SEC opponent since the Ole Miss game in 1987. 

Heading into the contest, we wrote that LSU needed to work on the passing game and show that its offense was more than “just” the Leonard Fournette show, and man did it ever.  Brandon Harris had by far his best game as a Tiger, the receivers helped him out with some outstanding catches, and freshman running back Derrius Guice showed why he was such a highly heralded recruit by putting up huge numbers in the second half. On top of that, Fournette continued to demonstrate that he’s the most dominant running back in all of college football, despite playing sparingly in the second half. All in all, it was an outstanding game for LSU’s offense, and one that will give future opponents a lot to think about.   

Defensively, the Tigers dominated in the first half, holding the Gamecocks to less than 100 yards, but seemed to lose some focus in the second half once the Tigers went up by multiple scores. There were two instances of blown coverage by defensive backs late in the game that led to big plays and points for the Gamecocks. The good news is that LSU could have safety Jalen Mills back as early as next week, and I can’t help but believe that the Tigers’ secondary will benefit greatly from his veteran leadership. 

The biggest area of concern, by far, was the play of LSU’s special teams. We’ll cover this topic in more detail tomorrow during our Monday Morning Rewind, but for now I’ll just say that this game would not have ever been close if not for LSU’s atrocious kickoffs and kick coverage. All day long, LSU’s special teams gave South Carolina a short field to work with (there’s those hidden yards I wrote about), and in the middle of the second quarter they gave up a 92-yard touchdown kick return. In the second half, LSU chose to go with squib kicks rather than risk giving up big returns, and if that’s not an indication of serious problems I don’t know what is. Again, we’ll talk more about the special teams issues tomorrow, but for now I want to return to the positives.

Let’s take a look at a few individual stats: 

• Brandon Harris set personal records in attempts, completions, and yards, as he went 18-of-28 for 228 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he made sound decisions, showed poise in the pocket, and managed the game well. If Harris continues to play that way, great things are in store for this Tiger team. 

Note: Yesterday I conducted a poll asking whether Harris would atempt 20 or more passes in the game, and 62% said no. Well, he had 23 in the first half alone. Interestingly, LSU actually threw the ball more times in the first half than they ran it. 

• A total of seven Tigers caught passes in the game, including three wide receivers, two running backs, a fullback and a tight end. Travin Dural led all receivers in yards with four catches for 109 yards and a TD. Malachi Dupre had more receptions than any Tiger with six for 74 yards and a TD. Freshman Tyron Johnson had two catches, and sophomore Trey Quinn had one catch that was negated by an illegal shift penalty. Fournette had three catches, while Guice, DeSean Smith, and JD Moore each had one.   

• As for the running game, LSU racked up 396 yards on the ground while Fournette and Guice became the second duo in LSU football history to each have 150 yards in a game. (The first was Kevin Faulk and Rondell Mealey against Houston on Sept. 7, 1996.) Fournette ran for 158 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while Guice led the team with 161 yards on only 16 carries for an incredible average of 10.1 yards per carry. 

• One more note about Fournette: He became the fastest player in program history to reach 1,000 yards in a season (he’s at 1,022), needing just five games to do so. Charles Alexander held the previous record by reaching 1,003 yards in seven games.

• Of course, when running backs put up the kind of numbers that Fournette and Guice put up, you have to give a lot of credit to the offensive line. Second year offensive line coach Jeff Grimes has done an outstanding job with this unit, and that doesn’t get said enough. 

• Defensively, middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith led the team in tackles with five and played a big part in limiting the Gamecocks to only 74 rushing yards. Lewis Neal had another big night and produced his fourth sack of the season, while Arden Key and  Deion Jones were constantly in the backfield affecting plays. John Battle, one of LSU’s young up-and-coming defensive backs, also deserves props for recording his first career interception off a deflected pass in the second quarter.

Here are LSU’s video highlights, and below is the boxscore.


Stay tuned for much more on the game in tomorrow’s report. In the meantime, go out and wear your purple and gold with pride, not only for the way the 5-0 Tigers played in last night’s win, but for the hospitable way LSU conducted itself throughout the week. It’s a great time to be a Tiger! 

Closing tidbits: 

• Here are a couple of good read to go along with your Sunday morning coffee: 

Odd game day atmosphere reflects LSU’s support of South Carolina flood victims

An unpredictable week ends predictably for increasingly impressive LSU

• All the scores from this weekend’s Louisiana high school football games have been added to our scoreboard. Later today we’ll process the results of this week’s pickem contest so that we can announce this week’s winner tomorrow.


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10/10/15 5:30 am CDT

Good morning, Tiger Fans, it’s Game Day!

At 2:30 today, LSU will look to extend its undefeated season when the Tigers take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN, and I’ll be tweeting occasional comments and stats for those of you who follow @DandyDonLSU on Twitter

In the wake of catastrophic flooding in South Carolina, earlier this week officials decided to move today’s game to Tiger Stadium, and since that time LSU has been going the extra mile to be hospitable to South Carolina and its fans. From travel arrangements to band arrangements, from ticket money to fundraising, LSU has been pulling out all the stops in an effort to make South Carolina comfortable during this very difficult time. (See this article: Geaux Gamecocks: 10 ways LSU is making USC feel at home.) To me, this speaks to what is best about college athletics, and I couldn’t be prouder of my alma mater. Regardless of how today’s game plays out, Tiger fans have a lot to be proud of. With that said, when the Tigers step onto the field today, they need to be focussed on taking care of the business at hand, that is, winning today’s very important football game against a dangerous SEC opponent hungry for its first conference win. 

As promised, here are my weekly keys to an LSU victory:

Step It Up

In the last two weeks against Syracuse and Eastern Michigan, a good argument could be made that LSU played down to its competition. This week, the Tigers enter the game as a 19.5-point favorite against a South Carolina team that is 0-3 in conference play. What the Tigers cannot afford to do is let those numbers go to their heads. South Carolina is a dangerous football team, and if the Tigers don’t bring their A game for four quarters they could see their special season go south in a heartbeat. 

Wreak Havoc on Quarterback(s)

LSU has already recorded 11 sacks this season, and today should be a great opportunity to add to that number. South Carolina’s offensive line is coming off of a weak showing against Missouri, and the Gamecocks will be starting a quarterback, Perry Orth, who has only one collegiate start to his name. This is an ideal time for the Coach O Effect to be in full force.

Don’t Give It Away

LSU should win the game if they don’t give up a lot of hidden yards, and if they win the turnover battle. Hidden yards (those that don’t show up on offensive and defensive stat sheets) are usually given up as a result of special teams play and penalties. LSU has had issues in both of these regards. What I’ll be looking for today is a clean game by the Tigers, and improved kicking, punting and return coverage. The Tigers can’t afford to give a struggling South Carolina offense a short field to work with. 

Rev Up the Passing Game

(Preface: I’ll admit, the Tigers could probably win today’s game without revving up the passing game, assuming LSU plays a clean game and Leonard Fournette continues playing as he has been. But, sooner or later, LSU will have to be much more effective with its passing game to remain undefeated.) Last week, LSU seemed intent on getting the passing game going early on, but after a series of drops and a couple of questionable decisions by Harris, the Tigers’ offense was relegated to the ground game. Today, LSU needs to show that it can move the chains with the passing game. If they can’t do so today against a South Carolina defense that is 12th in the league in pass defense, they will have an especially hard time down the road, starting next week against a Florida Gator defense that has one of the best secondaries in the nation. 

Building off of that last key, I have a poll question for you today: Will Brandon Harris attempt 20 or more passes in today’s game? Just so you know, Harris had 14 attempts against Mississippi State, 19 against Auburn, 16 against Syracuse, and 14 against Eastern Michigan. Please take a moment to share your thoughts…

POLL: Will Brandon Harris attempt 20 or more passes in today’s game against South Carolina?

A couple of closing tidbits:

• Those of you who read these daily reports early in the morning may have noticed that I forgot to post my weekly college football prediction yesterday. I realized the omission a couple of hours after my initial post and added them at 8:30. (See below.)

• Most all of the scores from last night’s Louisiana high school football action (and Thursday’s games) can be found on our statewide prep football scoreboard.


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