Monday, 18 October 2010 16:19

LSU #7 In BCS, 7-0 Tigers Meet #4 Auburn, Beat McNeese St.

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LSU ranks No. 7 in the BCS standings announced on Sunday night. Ahead in the first BCS standings are 1)Oklahoma, 2) Oregon, 3) Boise State, 4, Auburn. 5) TCU, 6) LSU, 7) Michigan State, 8) Alabama, 9) Utah, 10) Ohio State.

LSU (7-0), 4-0 SEC) enters a matchup with unbeaten Auburn On Saturday at The Plains.  LSU also moved up to No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, the Associated Press' Top 25 and the Harris Interactive Poll.

The AP Top 25 poll: 1) I\Oklahoma, 2) Oregon, 3) Boise State, 4) Auburn,  5) TCU, 6) LSU, 7) Michigan State, 8) Alabama, 9) Utah, 10) Wisconsin.

The USA Today Coaches Poll is the same except it has Ohio State No. 10 and Wisconsin No. 11.

The Golden Band from Tigerland added the rap hit "All I Do Is Win" to its Tiger Stadium repertoire on Saturday night, which was fitting for the still-undefeated and ninth-ranked Tigers.  Now, LSU fans hope the tune keeps playing as the Tigers face powerful #4 Auburn in a battle of the giants.

Though not anywhere near a classic, the Tigers improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1973 with a 32-10 victory over McNeese State in the first meeting ever between the two schools. As a result, the Tigers set up a Top 10 matchup up with now ranked No. 4-ranked Auburn next Saturday on The Plains (2:30 p.m. CBS). Auburn beat Arkansas 65-43 on Saturday and fans are wondering if ESPN will be bringing its College Game Day program to Auburn for Saturday's game. It's definitely a possibility.

On a day when No. 1 Ohio State, No. 5 Nebraska and No. 10 South Carolina each lost, all the Tigers did was win -- again. Auburn did, too.

LSU (7-0, 4-0 SEC) overcame two first-half turnovers that led to all the Cowboys' points, while using a conservative offense to grind out a victory over the Football Championship Subdivision school. McNeese fell to 2-4.

Tigers running backs Steven Ridley and redshirt freshman Michal Ford each scored twice, the first time multiple Tigers have scored multiple touchdowns rushing since 2007 (vs, Tulane). The two touchdown effort was also the first for both Tigers, as Ford led the way with 86 yards and Ridley added 46 after playing into the third quarter.

Spencer Ware and Russell Shepard added 31 and 25 yards, LSU ran 41 times for 179 yards.

LSU coach Les Miles was disappointed, but not surprised. He didn't need any luck to win this one.

"I don't think we played with a lot of emotion," was Miles take on the game. "If you look in college football, you can see that there's some other teams that played emotional games this week and didn't quit do their best this week," referring to loses on Saturday by Florida and South Carolina. "Maybe the timing was right for for us to play McNeese and play as poorly as we did and win."

Tiger fans booed more than once.

"If you're going to be a great team stuff like that  tonight can't happen,'' said Tigers quarterback Jarrett Lee. "You have to be focused in each game and on every opponent you play. We prepared hard and looked forward to this game. McNeese is an in-state game and they came in here and got us after us pretty well, but we came away with a win...Now, on to Auburn."

Lee and starter Jordan Jefferson combined for only 103 yards passing, with Lee leading all four touchdown drives.

"We've got to throw the football better. It's just that simple," said Miles, making a comment he has made after every game this season. "We've got to get into rhythm better there. I don't think it made any difference Whit quarterback was in there."

"I thought the kids played really hard and the defense was fantastic," said Cowboys coach Matt Viator, "What I'm really proud of is the effort at this time of year with all the injuries. They played inspired.

"We talked about representing McNeese and themselves in a first-class way. Number two was to have fun. And the third thing was to act and play like you're supposed to be on the field. They did."

LSU pulled ahead, but couldn't pull away.

The yardage battle was was nearly even until the Tigers' drive to end the game gave the Tigers a 282-219 advantage.

Miles praised the quarterback and running back of McNeese, both playing as relief starters. Making his first career start, redshirt freshman Cody Stroud was 15-for-32 for 118 yards with a three-yard touchdown pass to Damion Dixon in the first quarter, The touchdown was set up by a Jefferson fumble at the 5. Stroud outpassed both Tigers quarterbacks, who threw for a combined 103 yards. Andre Anderson. a transfer from Michigan State, rushed for 79 yards on 23 carries for the Cowboys.

LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson had a return of a high, short kickoff which set up LSU's first touchdown. He also had a 34-yard punt return.

"We actually tried to kick it way from Peterson tonight," said Viator. "We missed one time, but then another time he just ran over the top of somebody and just took off.

"When you play LSU and you play against these guys, the thing that is really had to beat is their defense and their special teams. That is what they've been winning with all year. They're very good on defense and their special teams are very good."

The first BCS standings of the season will be released on Sunday night, starting at 7:15 on ESPN.

Mike VI, LSU's Bengal tiger mascot is getting used to the stadium noise, made his customary trip around Tiger Stadium before Saturday's game after refusing to get in his rolling cage before the Tigers' last home game against Tennessee.

During warmups, Mike's cage is stationed near the tunnel and visiting teams have to walk by him to get to the playing field. A sign on the cage reads: "Welcome to Death Valley. Please Don't Feed the Cat."

by Ed Staton

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