LSU Monster Favs
The hurricane season has already affected LSU's first two games. On Saturday, the defending national champions aren't sure where they'll be playing - or if they'll take the field at all.
One week after having their game postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Gustav, the seventh-ranked Tigers may not play again on Saturday with the possibility of Hurricane Ike hitting Louisiana.
The kickoff for LSU's season opener on Aug. 30 was moved up six hours to 10 a.m. due to the state's preparations for Gustav. That early start didn't cause any problems for the Tigers, who beat Appalachian State 41-13 in their first game since defeating Ohio State 38-24 in the national title game in January.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made LSU -41 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 65% of bets for this game have been placed on LSU -41 (View College Football bet percentages).
LSU was aiming to improve to 2-0 last week, but its game against Troy was postponed until Nov. 15 after Gustav damaged Tiger Stadium and much of the Baton Rouge area.
The Tigers are looking into the possibility of playing Saturday's game against North Texas (0-2) in another venue if Ike forces a change, with Texas Stadium in Dallas, Independence Stadium in Shreveport, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and the Superdome in New Orleans being considered.
"Dallas and Shreveport may not be the best places given the direction of the storm," LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said. "The safest place to go right now is Atlanta. Hopefully by Wednesday, we'll know where we'll play. We're just keeping our fingers crossed."
If this game is postponed, LSU would go two weeks without playing before starting SEC play on Sept. 20 at Auburn.
"We understand the extraordinary times we are going through," coach Les Miles said. "Whatever we need to do, we'll do. Our main option is to play this week's game. Our athletic director has that priority in mind.
"I'm sure we have a quality contingency plan for us to play. I hope Ike goes in another direction not around people and fizzles."
The Tigers looked strong in their opener despite playing with a pair of inexperienced quarterbacks, rushing for 266 yards against the Mountaineers. Charles Scott led the way for LSU, running for a career-high 160 yards on 16 carries, including touchdowns of 8 and 29 yards.
Andrew Hatch, who transferred from Harvard in 2007, started at quarterback and was 7-of-14 for 77 yards, including a 17-yard TD pass. He also rushed for 43 yards on seven carries.
Redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee also saw some time under center, completing 6 of 10 passes for 116 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
"It really doesn't matter to us (who plays quarterback)," Scott said. "The (offensive) line is doing great right now and they're only going to get better. Our rushing game is going to be the strength of this team and we're going to get those guys in the pocket comfortable."
Hatch also praised the Tigers' offensive line.
"We're balanced in both throwing and running it, but we're definitely running the ball really well," he said. "It starts with the O-line, the veteran group. They did a great job run blocking, making some nice holes for Charles. And when I had a few carries I got some great blocks."
LSU's offense now gets a chance to face North Texas, which has allowed an average of 513.0 yards in opening the season with a pair of losses. The Mean Green fell 45-6 at Kansas State on Aug. 30 and 56-26 at home to Tulsa last Saturday.
They gained 450 yards against Tulsa, but allowed 420 passing yards and 135 on the ground in falling to 2-12 since the start of last season.
Wide receiver Riley Dodge, son of North Texas coach Todd Dodge, made his collegiate debut last week, ending speculation that he would be redshirted. The former high school quarterback finished with five catches for 25 yards and two carries for 31 yards.
Freshman Lance Dunbar carried 10 times for a game-high 72 yards, while Giovanni Vizza completed 30 of 45 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns for the Mean Green.
LSU has outscored North Texas 108-3 in winning both meetings between the schools, including a 56-3 victory in the last matchup on Oct. 29, 2005.
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