Matt Viator is in his fifth season at MSU and overall with a record of 35-13 (.729). The Cowboys’ offensive coordinators are Tim Leger and Broderick Fobbs, while the defensive coordinator is Lark Hebert.
Les Miles is in his sixth season at LSU with a record of 57-15 (.792) and 10th overall with a record of 85-36 (.702). The Tigers’ offensive coordinator is Gary Crowton and the defensive coordinator is John Chavis.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN McNEESE STATE HAS THE BALL
QB Jacob Bower (12) has completed 60 of 99 passes for 803 yards and 3 tds while Cody Stroud (18) has hit on 32 of 48 for 287 yards and two TDs. Andre Anderson (22) is expected to start for the Cowboys at tailback on Saturday. He’s run for 201 yards and a 5.3 average and one TD. Corday Clark (89) has caught 15 passes for 147 yards. Cowboy wide receiver Bernardo Henry has caught six passes this season for 160 yards and a 26.7 yard per catch average. Damion Dixon has caught 10 for 194 yards and a 19.4 average.
LSU brings one of the nation’s top defenses into Saturday’s game as the Tigers are fifth nationally in total defense (246.0 ypg) and sixth in rush defense (80.67 ypg). LSU leads the SEC in both of those categories and the Tigers are No. 3 in the league in scoring defense (15.17 ppg) and pass defense (165.33 ypg). Kelvin Sheppard leads the Tigers and ranks third in the SEC with 9.3 tackles per game. Senior DT Drake Nevis leads the team and ranks second in the SEC in both sacks (5.0) and tackles for losses (10.5), while true freshman DB Tyrann Mathieu has 23 tackles, 3.0 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, 4 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and an interception to his credit.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN LSU HAS THE BALL
LB Deron Minor (48) is tops in tackles with 50, Malcolm Bronson (34) has three pass interceptions. Minor has had three games in which he has had double figure tackles this season. Josh Ellison, Terrance Freeman and Geremy Pilate have the most career sacks on the Cowboy team. Ellison now leads with 12 (three this season) after having had one against SFA last week. Freeman has 10.5 while Pilate, returned to action last Saturday after sitting out the NW State game with an injury, has nine.
Stevan Ridley continues to rank among the SEC leaders in rushing with 640 yards and four TDs. Ridley, who leads the SEC in carries with 125, is averaging 106.7 yards a game and 5.1 yards per carry. Ridley’s 640 yards through the first six games of the season are the most by an LSU back since 2005. Jordan Jefferson (2 rushing TDs) and Jarrett Lee (2 passing TDs) became the first LSU quarterbacks since Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux to account for two TDs each in the same game (2007).
Josh Lewis is the top field goal percentage kicker in the Southland Conference. He has made six of seven for an 85.7 percentage. In his career now, Lewis has connected on 14 of 19 for a 73.6 percentage.
Patrick Peterson continues to lead the SEC in punt return average (21.8) and he’s fifth in kickoff returns (27.2). He already has two punt return TDs this season. Josh Jasper is the LSU career leader in field goal percentage having drilled 86.1 percent of his field goals. That percentage also ranks second in SEC history. Jasper is also a perfect 54-of-54 for his career in PATs.
Record: First Meeting
LSU and McNeese State meet for the first time in football … School’s regularly play in both baseball and men’s basketball … Game features the two winningest football programs in Louisiana since the turn of the century as LSU has won 105 games over the last 10-plus seasons and McNeese has 83 victories to its credit during that span … LSU is 6-0 all-time against members of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly 1-AA) with its last game coming against Appalachian State to ope the 2008 season.