BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -Using history as a guide, the highlight of Louisiana-Lafayette's visit to No. 9 LSU could be the all-day tailgating extravaganza before Saturday night's game.
Boudin, jambalaya, alligator sausage and shrimp etouffee are bound to be on this decidedly Cajun menu. However, a game with a wafer-thin margin of victory would be an unexpected final course.
Louisiana-Lafayette is off to a 2-0 start, highlighted by last weekend's 17-15 home victory over Kansas State. Yet that would pale in comparison to a Ragin' Cajuns upset of LSU. The Tigers are 21-0 in the series.
avorites, but Louisiana-Lafayette coach Ricky Bustle asserted that his 2009 squad is the best he's brought to Tiger Stadium.
``We're a better football team now. This team has a lot of passion and a lot of heart,'' Bustle said. ``We're taking a more solid team over there and we're looking forward to it. This team is going to be confident. ... They believe in each other.''
LSU also has won its first two games, but has yet to turn a performance sharp enough to make them look ready for their toughest rivals in the Southeastern Conference.
In their season-opener at Washington, the Tigers found themselves in a tight game with a Huskies team that hadn't won in more than year before pulling away late in a 31-23 victory.
Last weekend, Vanderbilt was driving for a potential game-tying score when Commodores receiver Alex Washington bobbled a first-down catch at the LSU 15-yard line and defensive back Brandon Taylor intercepted it. LSU then drove for one more touchdown in a 23-9 win.
``We have to continue to improve because the team that we play this weekend is a very dangerous one ... and as you know, we'll play some very quality football teams as we go forward,'' LSU head coach Les Miles said. ``Each weekend we have to play for victory, and there has to be improvement across the board. I like the position that we're in. We have work to do, but are in position to have a great fall.''
s entered this season with huge holes to fill. Last season, quarterback Michael Desormeaux, running back Tyrell Fenroy and wide receiver Jason Chery combined to lead the most explosive offense Louisiana-Lafayette ever had.
Sophomore Chris Masson took over at quarterback this fall and threw for 283 yards against Southern and 185 yards against Kansas State.
Running back Undrea Sails, a junior college transfer playing behind a veteran offensive line, has rushed for 192 yards in his first two games as a starter, including a 13-yard touchdown against the Wildcats.
``They are probably a better offensive team than the team we just played,'' Miles said.
Certainly, LSU will pose the Cajuns' toughest test yet.
``This is one of the games on the schedule that I was really looking forward to,'' Masson said. ``If everyone does their job and does what they're supposed to do then there's no reason we can't compete. That's all you can ask for, really. I know (LSU defenders) are fast and disciplined. I'm sure they're going to bring it.''
Offensively, LSU may look to throw downfield more to deep threats like Brandon LeFell and Terrance Toliver. Jordan Jefferson was unable to do so against Vanderbilt. The sophomore quarterback completed 20 passes in his fourth career start, but for only 138 yards.
The reserve quarterback averaged 9 yards on three carries last weekend. He also had a reception, but fumbled after the catch.
``What Russell Shepard did in the game, certainly with his vision, let you know that he's very talented and can do some of those things,'' Miles said. ``It's certainly a goal of ours to get him on the field and get him more touches.''
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