Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
LSU will try to regain some votes in the USA Today Top 25 poll when it hosts Towson on Saturday, the first meeting between the teams both nicknamed Tigers. LSU fell to No. 3 in the poll following its less-than-inspiring 12-10 victory at Auburn last week while Oregon took the No. 2 spot with a 49-0 win over then-No. 21 Arizona. LSU shouldn’t have any trouble with Towson – or getting back into national championship position as long as it keeps winning. If LSU can get past tough Southeastern Conference tests at No. 14 Florida, against No. 8 South Carolina and at Texas A&M, it will take a week off before its showdown with No. 1 Alabama on Nov. 3 at Tiger Stadium.
ABOUT TOWSON (2-1): The Tigers, ranked No. 12 in the FCS poll and defending Colonial Athletic Association champion, routed St. Francis (Pa.) 46-17 last week. This will be Towson’s sixth game against an FBS team (0-5), but first against a ranked one. It lost to Kent State 41-21 on Aug. 30. Towson’s rushing attack gained 509 yards in the last two games, including a 20-17 win over William & Mary. Sophomore running back Terrance West leads the way with 251 yards and five touchdowns. Towson also possesses a special teams threat in sophomore Derrick Joseph, whose 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown fell one yard short of the school record set by Dave Meggett in 1988. Joseph’s other kickoff return went for 49 yards.
ABOUT LSU (4-0): The Tigers last week began life for a while without starting tailback Alfred Blue, who is expected to miss four to six weeks with a knee injury suffered in a 63-14 victory over Idaho on Sept. 15. They gained 182 yards on the ground against Auburn, with junior Spencer Ware (16 carries, 90 yards) getting the bulk of the work. Junior Michael Ford (8-41, TD) and sophomore Kenny Hilliard (10-40) also contributed and must continue to do so until Blue returns. The Tigers’ defense is in usual form – they are fourth in the nation in yards allowed (199.5) after yielding 183 last week. They are also third against the run (56.8). Linebacker Kevin Minter leads the way with 25 tackles. This marks LSU’s final non-conference game.
1. LSU has won 40 straight regular-season non-conference games, 20 overall contests in a row at Tiger Stadium and 17 straight regular season games overall. All three streaks are the longest in the nation.
2. Towson was 1-10 in 2010 before finishing 9-3 last season, which ended with a 40-38 loss to Lehigh in the second round of the FCS playoffs.