2007 BCS Champions

2007 BCS
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2003 BCS
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National Champions

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


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10/4/15 6:00 am CDT

Good morning. Tiger Fans,

In a game that left me feeling much like I did after last week’s game, the Tigers defeated Eastern Michigan 44-22 and improved to 4-0 on the season. For the second week in a row, LSU turned in a lackluster performance against a heavy underdog, but still managed to win a game that was never really in question, thanks to the strong running of Leonard Fournette. It’s always great to get a win, but what’s disappointing is that the game was supposed to be one in which LSU would clean up a lot of mistakes made last week while improving the passing game. Unfortunately, none of that happened. Just like last week, LSU struggled with miscues on special teams, penalties, dropped passes and less than stellar defense. It is worth noting, however, that LSU substituted heavily throughout the game, starting on EMU’s second drive, although I realize that’s little consolation. 

Early on, LSU appeared intent on getting the passing game going as they came out throwing the ball, but a combination of dropped passes, inaccurate throws and weak pass protection kept the Tigers’ offense firmly on the ground. The game was Brandon Harris’ weakest of the season, but he sure didn’t get any help from his receivers. Harris ended the night with a very pedestrian stat-line of 4-of-15 for 80 yards and one interception. No receiver had more than one reception, and the Tigers’ top-two receivers, Travin Dural and Malachi Dupré, each had drops. I think it’s high time for LSU to work on its short to intermediate passing game rather than limiting its passing attack to mostly deep routes, and it’s time to give guys like Trey Quinn and DJ Chark a chance to show what they can do… but that’s a topic for another report.

While LSU’s overall performance left me doubting whether this Tiger team is as good as I thought it was, Leonard Fournette’s performance only reinforced my belief that he’s the best player in college football.  Fournette rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns, making him the first player in SEC history to rush for more than 200 yards in three-straight games. Just like last week, Fournette would have likely broken LSU’s all-time single game rushing record if he had been given carries on LSU’s last drive, but breaking records was not the intention of last night’s game. The intention was to improve as a team, and for that reason I was glad to see Coach Miles play Darrell Williams, Derrius Guice and Nick Brosette late in the game. 

The bottom line: LSU has the talent to be very special, but they haven’t played like a championship team lately. There’s a part of me that believes this team has played down to its competition the last two weeks but will play much better when the stakes are higher. I sure hope that’s the case, as LSU only has one more chance to improve before taking on an undefeated Florida team that really put it on Ole Miss last night. What’s interesting is that four top-10 teams lost yesterday, so LSU could actually see itself climb in the polls when they’re released later today. One more thing: Hats off to the feisty Eastern Michigan Eagles for their fearless play.

Here’s what Coach Les Miles had to say in his post-game press conference:

Opening Statement…

“I just want to say congratulations to Eastern Michigan. I watched the Michigan State and Eastern Michigan game a year ago. If you watched that game, Michigan State was certainly a highly ranked team. So we knew we were playing a team that was capable, could move the football and had players. I’m glad that we responded the way we did. We are certainly not perfect. We had our first turnover of the year, but the offense took the first two possessions right down the field to score. There are ways to manage the second possession better. We got three. We were in position to drive it out and get it back in our own territory. We turned it over. Then we come right back to get three and score again in the opening drive. There were some things that were very positive. I wish that we wouldn’t have dropped so many balls. We will work on that again and reaffirm that desire to throw and catch. We rushed just under 400 yards, 399. We threw for 80 yards. We would have thrown for 200 or maybe 150 if we had caught balls. It’s nice to have a running back that sets an all-time SEC record. He’s the first back to rush for 200 yards in three consecutive games. That’s Leonard Fournette. It’s nice to put the other backs in and see that they are talented guys too. We are really looking forward to sinking our teeth into an SEC opponent. They are an opponent that we will have to play well against on the road at South Carolina.”

On Leonard Fournette’s 75 yard touchdown to open the second half…

“Leonard is liable to do something like that at any time. There is not a time when you hand him the ball that he doesn’t have an opportunity to hit a homerun. I anticipate those kind of things will happen.”

On LSU’s penalties tonight against Eastern Michigan…

“I think the things that bother me are very fixable. The good news is that we came out of this game very healthy. I still don’t like the penalties. They are more threatening than they have been. It will be interesting to see what these look like. This is the second week in a row that we have had a helmet come off and our guy continued to play. The problem is the helmet is ripped off our guy’s head. He is in a block with a guy who took his helmet off, and that guy is going full ride. He can’t disengage. We will have to get him acquired to that. We were offsides defensively a couple times. Arden Key and Kendell Beckwith were two of those, which we can’t have those.”

Here are video highlights of last night’s game, and below is the boxscore.

LSU EMU boxscore

Tune in tomorrow for much more on the game.

Closing tidbits:

• Here’s a good read to go along with your Sunday morning coffee: Leonard Fournette again throws flailing Tigers a victory preserver: Ron Higgins

• 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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10/3/15 6:00 am CDT

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

On a cool, crisp fall evening, the Tigers will look to extend their 50-game non-conference regular season win streak and clean up a few mistakes from last week when they take on Eastern Michigan in Tiger Stadium. The game, which will be the Tigers’ first home night contest of the season (the McNeese cancellation doesn’t count), is set to kickoff at 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU. I invite you to follow DandyDonLSU on Twitter as I’ll be tweeting a few comments and stats throughout the game.

On most game days I give you my keys to an LSU victory, but with LSU being a 44-point favorite in this game I will instead give you my keys to a successful showing. Here we go…

Keys to a Successful LSU Showing Against Eastern Michigan

Reduce Penalties
The Tigers have committed 28 penalties through three games this season, and their average of 86 penalty yards per game is the 7th most among FBS schools. LSU could probably overcome a lot of penalties in today’s game, but that will not be the case against future opponents.There’s no better time than today to focus on communication issues and work out the kinks.  

Pressure the Quarterback
As Mike Detillier pointed out in yesterday’s Q&A, pressure breaks the pipes in football, and for the Tigers to really make the most of this season they need to develop a big-time pass rusher. LSU has several candidates who have shown great potential, but none more-so than true freshman Arden Key. The only thing holding Key back is experience, and the more reps he gets the better he’ll be. Here’s hoping he gets a lot of reps today. I’m also hoping to see Isaiah Washington as a pass rusher today, assuming he’s able to play. Washington injured his wrist in the preseason and hasn’t yet had an opportunity to show what he can do.

Get Guys Involved
In addition to Washington, I’d like to see LSU play several guys who haven’t seen a lot of playing time thus far - guys like wide receivers DJ Chark and Trey Quinn, tight end DeSean Smith, running backs Derrius Guice and Nick Brossette, defensive tackle Quintin Thomas and cornerback Ed Paris. 

Put the Special Back in Special Teams
The Tigers have given up too many hidden yards this season by not kicking the ball deep and allowing big returns on kickoffs. In fact, nearly half (6-of-13) of all kickoffs returned against the Tigers have gone for 25 yards or more, including a 40-yard return and a 37-yard return. If the Tigers score as often as I think they will today, they should have many opportunities to improve in this area. And while I don’t expect LSU to do a whole lot of punting in this game, I would like to see Jamie Keehn improve his consistency.  

Improve the Passing Game
Last, but far from least, I hope to see Brandon Harris have a breakout game passing the ball. As I have written several times, Harris has played very well so for this season and has done everything asked of him. The only problem is that LSU hasn’t asked him to do a whole heck of a lot in the passing game. LSU is averaging only 15.7 pass attempts per game, which is the fewest in the SEC. That’s understandable considering that LSU has the best running back in the country, but at some point in the season LSU will need Harris to win a game for them with his arm. Tonight’s game offers the most risk-free opportunity for Harris to get the reps he and his receivers need. 

In recruiting news, LSU will be entertaining at least 15 recruits this weekend, including several players already committed to LSU and a few big targets for 2016 and 2017. The visitor list, as per this report by 247Sports, is highlighted by a couple of big-time defensive linemen for 2017.  One is Marvin Wilson (6-4, 316, Episcopal High, Bellaire), the top-rated defensive tackle in the country, and the other is defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson (6-3, 205), the teammate of LSU 2016 safety commit Eric Monroe at Northshore High in Houston. The two biggest uncommitted 2016 targets visiting this weekend are linebacker Marvin Terry (6-1, 216) of South Oak Cliff High in Dallas, and offensive lineman Collin Fountain (6-2.5, 313) of  Barbe High in Lake Charles. 

In baseball news, sophomore Bryce Jordan suffered a torn meniscus on Wednesday and will miss the remainder of fall practice. Jordan was off to a great start this fall and was one of two leading contenders for the first base position, according to this article by the Advocate. Jordan will have surgery Monday and is expected to be fully recovered by the spring. Still, his loss this fall will make Coach Mainieri’s task of replacing eight position players from last year’s team a little more daunting.   

A few closing tidbits:

• For those of you planning on attending today’s game, here are the day’s Times of Interest. Also, Louisiana’s Office of Tourism website, LouisianaTravel.com, is encouraging fans to arrive early and make a day of it by suggesting these 5 Ways to Spend the Day Around LSU's Tiger Stadium

• All of the scores from last night’s Louisiana high school football action can be found on our statewide prep football scoreboard.

• Oh, and don’t forget to follow DandyDonLSU on Twitter for comments and stats during the big game. Have a great day, Tiger Fans!


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10/2/15 5:35 am CDT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

As promised, today I’ve posted Part 2 of my Q&A with Mike Detillier, which is on the topic of LSU’s defense and special teams. In it, I get Mike’s thoughts on LSU’s new defensive coaches, the defense’s second half performances, depth along the defensive line and much more. Mike even shares his thoughts on the SEC West in general and LSU’s grueling November schedule. Check it out and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. And if you missed yesterday’s first installment (on offense), you can find links to both parts below.

Part 1 of 2: Mike Detillier’s Thoughts on LSU’s Offense

Part 2 of 2: Mike Detillier’s Thoughts on LSU’s Defense and Special Teams

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get pumped for tomorrow’s game against Eastern Michigan which kicks off at 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU. I know, the competition isn’t all that, but how can you not be excited about another opportunity to see this undefeated Tiger team on a cool crisp Fall day like the one forecast for tomorrow? If you’re making plans to head out to Tiger Stadium, you might want to check out these Times of Interest for Tomorrow’s Game.

As we do each week during the season, today we’ll preview the two teams in terms of offense, defense, special teams and intangibles. Your comments and feedback are welcomed.

LSU offense vs. Eastern Michigan defense
The matchup of LSU's offense going against Eastern Michigan's defense might be the biggest mismatch in all of football in 2015. Why? Well, Eastern Michigan is last in the nation in rush defense, allowing 373 yards per game, and LSU has a pretty special running back that you might have heard about. With the way Leonard Fournette has been running the football, don't be surprised if he breaks LSU’s single-game rushing record of 250 yards (70 percent of you believe he will, according to our recent poll), and don't be surprised if he does it fairly early. Of course, as I’ve said before, I’m much  less concerned about Fournette setting a record than I am about LSU playing a good clean game and getting in some much needed work in the passing game. EMU’s pass defense is actually very good, at least on paper, as the Eagles rank 7th in the nation in terms of fewest passing yards allowed per game. Through four games this season, they’ve allowed an average of only 127 yards per game through the air. 
Big Advantage LSU

LSU defense vs. Eastern Michigan offense
The Eagles have soared on offense to the tune of 34 points per game. But don’t let the numbers fool you, as this average was accumulated against weak competition. With that said, the Eagles do have a few playmakers. Senior running back Darius Jackson is undoubtedly the best player on their team. Once Jackson has the ball in his hands and reaches the second level, his acceleration is impressive. This season, he already has more than 400 yards rushing and more than 150 receiving with eight total touchdowns. Jackson could very well impact the game, especially if the Eagles are able to get him the ball out of the backfield. The Tigers’ rush defense has looked superb this season, but opponents have had success throwing the ball, especially late in the second half. Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback has proved to be an efficient passer, completing 60 percent of his passes so far this season, but the sophomore quarterback has already thrown four interceptions. Bringing pressure and making Roback rush his throws could lead to some big defensive plays for the Tigers. 
Advantage LSU  

Special Teams 
Many Tiger fans will be closely watching this phase of the game after last week's disappointing special teams performance against Syracuse. Eastern Michigan lacks a gifted returner like Syracuse's Brisley Estime, who helped create many advantages in field position for the Orange last week. In the game against Syracuse, Tre'Davious White reminded fans of how dangerous he is in the return game by returning a punt for a touchdown, but other than that, LSU’s special teams were far from special, especially in the first half. Because of this, I suspect this phase of the game was drilled hard throughout practice this week and the Tigers will be eager to show improvement. As you noticed in the statistical chart I posted on Wednesday, EMU has the advantage over LSU in average yards per punt and in yards per kick return, but that’s not enough to give them the edge in this comparison.
Advantage LSU  

Eastern Michigan has nothing to lose, entering this game as a 45-point underdog. That could provide a psychological advantage of sorts, but the pure athleticism of LSU will be too much for the Eagles to overcome. The question is whether or not LSU will allow Eastern Michigan to hang around, as penalties seem to be the only thing slowing down LSU's powerful rushing attack. LSU has committed an average of 86 penalty yards per game this season, which has been a thorn in the Tigers' paw, to say the least. This contest serves as a perfect opportunity for LSU to iron out all the kinks. From coverage on defense to playing sound special teams to cutting down on penalties, a clean game is exactly what LSU needs. Although Eastern Michigan is an inferior opponent, I expect LSU to be extremely eager to show that they can play more soundly than they did last week, and to be pumped to play what what will be, for all intents and purposes, their first night game in Tiger Stadium this season. 
Big Advantage LSU  

That’s it for today, folks. Get out there and enjoy this beautiful weather. It’s a great time to be a Tiger!


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