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September 15, 2012

LSU-Idaho pregame notebook

For just the second time since 1933, LSU has the opportunity to score at least 40 points in the first three games of a season. The only other time the Tigers broke the 40-point mark in their first three games was 2007 (45 against Mississippi State, 48 against Virginia Tech and 44 against Middle Tennessee).

LSU has played Idaho one other time - in 1998 when the Tigers picked up a 53-20 victory. Kevin Faulk rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass that night against the Vandals.

LSU can set two major winning-streak records Saturday. The Tigers are going for their 40th straight regular-season, non-conference victory. LSU shares the current FBS record with Kansas State. The Tigers are seeking their 20th consecutive home victory. LSU also won 19 straight home games from 2005-07.

The Tigers can extend four other winning streaks - 35 home non-conference victories, 23 September victories, 14 victories against unranked teams and 12 home night-game victories. LSU's last loss to a non-Southeastern Conference opponent in Tiger Stadium came against Alabama-Birmingham in 2000.

Of the teams currently in the WAC, only Louisiana Tech has defeated LSU. The Tigers lost 6-0 to Louisiana Tech in 1904. LSU has a 23-1 record against teams presently in the WAC. All but five of the victories have come against Louisiana Tech.

The Tigers will wrap up their first season-opening three-game homestand in 13 years Saturday. In 1999, LSU began the year with victories against San Jose State and North Texas and a loss to Auburn at Tiger Stadium.

The last time LSU started a season with three consecutive home victories occurred 39 seasons ago. In 1973, the Tigers beat Colorado, Texas A&M and Rice at home to open the year.

LSU leads the SEC in rushing defense (51.0 yards per game), total defense (201.0 yards per game) and first downs allowed (10.5 per game).

Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard are second and third, respectively, in rushing in the SEC. Blue is averaging 112.0 yards per game, while Hilliard is accounting for 93.5 yards per game. Florida's Mike Gillislee is first with an average of 115.5 yards per game.

Hilliard is tied for the conference lead in scoring with 24 points. Hilliard, Gillislee and Georgia' Todd Gurley have each scored four touchdowns. Drew Alleman is the SEC leader in kick-scoring with 22 points. He needs one field goal to tie Mark Lumpkin for tenth on the all-time LSU career list.

Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo are in the top five among active SEC players in career sacks and tackles-for-loss. Montgomery is fourth in sacks (12) and fifth in tackles-for-loss (21). Mingo is fifth in sacks (10) and third in tackles-for-loss (21).

Idaho will make two trips to Louisiana this season. The Vandals will play Louisiana Tech in a WAC game in Ruston on Oct. 20. Idaho has a 4-6 all-time record in games played in Louisiana.

Quarterback Dominique Blackman had one of the best debuts for an Idaho quarterback last week against Bowling Green. He threw for 352 yards - second in school history to the 542 yards accumulated by Ryan Fien against Wyoming in 1996.

Blackman completed 81.1 percent of his passes (30-of-37). The only higher percentage for a first-time Vandals starter was 81.8 percent by Scott Linehan against Portland State in 1984. Blackman's 30 completions are second to Fien's 36 (58 attempts).

Junior college transfer Jahrie Level had ten receptions against Bowling Green, the most by an Idaho receiver in three seasons. Max Komar caught ten passes against Nevada in 2009.

The Vandals have had two straight 100-yard receiving games - Level with 119 last week against Bowling Green and Najee Lovett with 110 yards in the season-opener against Eastern Washington. Idaho had no receiver with 100 yards in a game last season.

Senior Justin Veltung needs 58 yards to be the leader in kickoff returns in Idaho history. Veltung has 1,668 yards - second to Kama Bailey, who finished his eligibility last season. Senior punter Bobby Cowan has the highest career average for the Vandals at 44.9 yards per kick.

Senior Trey Farquhar is one of two active kickers in the country with five field goals of at least 50 yards. In his career, Farquhar has made field goals of 50 (twice), 52, 54 and 55 yards. LSU will face the other kicker next month - Florida's Caleb Sturgis.

Saturday's game will be televised on TigerVision. The broadcast crew will be Doug Greengard (play-by-play) and Rene Nadeau (analyst). LSU has won 19 consecutive games on TigerVision with the last defeat coming at Ole Miss in 1998. LSU's last home defeat on TigerVision came against Kentucky in 1992.

TEAM STATISTICS

LSU rushing yards per game: 279.0
Idaho opponents rushing yards per game: 126.0

LSU passing yards per game: 193.5
Idaho opponents passing yards per game: 271.5

LSU completion percentage: 68.9
Idaho opponents completion percentage: 54.4

LSU points per game: 41.0
Idaho opponents points per game: 20.5

LSU third-down conversion percentage: 53.8
Idaho opponents third-down conversion percentage: 46.7

LSU fourth-down conversion percentage: 0.0
Idaho opponents fourth-down conversion percentage: 0.0

LSU sacks allowed: 2
Idaho opponents sacks allowed: 3

LSU turnovers: 2
Idaho opponents turnovers: 3

LSU opponents rushing yards per game: 51.0
Idaho rushing yards per game: 47.0

LSU opponents passing yards per game: 150.0
Idaho passing yards per game: 260.5

LSU opponents completion percentage: 43.9
Idaho completion percentage: 66.7

LSU opponents points per game: 8.5
Idaho points per game: 8.0

LSU opponents third-down conversion percentage: 29.0
Idaho third-down conversion percentage: 24.0

LSU opponents fourth-down conversion percentage: 33.3
Idaho fourth-down conversion percentage: 66.7

LSU opponents sacks allowed: 4
Idaho sacks allowed: 6

LSU opponents turnovers: 3
Idaho turnovers: 4


INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

LSU top rusher: Alfred Blue - 30 carries, 224 yards, 1 touchdown
Idaho top rusher: Ryan Bass - 23 carries, 76 yards, 0 touchdowns

LSU top passer: Zach Mettenberger - 44 attempts, 31 completions, 387 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Idaho top passer: Dominique Blackman - 37 attempts, 30 completions, 352 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception

LSU top receiver: Jarvis Landry - 9 catches, 102 yards, 0 touchdowns
Idaho top receiver: Najee Lovett - 10 catches, 128 yards, 0 touchdowns; Jahrie Level - 10 catches, 119 yards, 0 touchdowns

LSU top kick returner: Odell Beckham - 6 punt returns, 79 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 kickoff return, 80 yards
Idaho top kick returner: Justin Veltung - 3 kickoff returns, 63 yards

LSU top kick-scorer: Drew Alleman - 4-of-5 on field goals; 10-of-10 on extra points
Idaho top kick-scorer: Trey Farquhar - 3-of-4 on field goals; 1-of-1 on extra points

LSU top punter: Brad Wing - 3 punts, 54.3-yard average
Idaho top punter: Bobby Cowan - 13 punts, 39.8-yard average

LSU tackles leader: Kevin Minter - 15 tackles
Idaho tackles leader: Gary Walker - 17 tackles

LSU interceptions leader: Jalen Mills - 1 interception; Eric Reid - 1 interception
Idaho interceptions leader: Solomon Dixon - 1 interception; Homer Mauga - 1 interception

LSU sacks leader: Chancey Aghayere - 1 sack; Micah Eugene - 1 sack; Lavar Edwards - 1 sack; Sam Montgomery - 1 sack
Idaho sacks leader: Maxx Forde - 2 sacks


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