Stomping Mad

Baton Rouge, LA - It's been a trying few weeks for quarterback Jarrett Lee and LSU, but a rescheduled non-conference game could be what they need to regroup.

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After an emotional loss to the nation's top-ranked team, the No. 19 Tigers look to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time in nearly five years when they host Troy on Saturday.

Oddsmakers from have LSU –19 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on LSU –19 (View College Football bet percentages).

This matchup was originally scheduled for Sept. 6, but Hurricane Gustav forced a postponement. The makeup date might be coming at the perfect time for an LSU (6-3) team which has dropped three of its last five games, including a 27-21 overtime loss to No. 1 Alabama and former coach Nick Saban last Saturday.

The Tigers' other two losses, to Florida and Georgia, were by a combined 44 points.

Charles Scott rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns against the Crimson Tide, but Lee threw four interceptions, including one on the third play of overtime. The redshirt freshman finished 13-for-34 for 181 yards and one touchdown.

"There are a lot of mistakes that you just can't make at this level of ball," Lee said. "It's something that for sure I need to work on."

Lee, who took over the full-time starting role after a leg injury sidelined Andrew Hatch, is among the nation's leaders in interceptions with 14. He's thrown eight in the last three games.

"What you hope is that there's a light that comes on and, instead of on and off, it stays on," LSU coach Les Miles said. "He grabbed the ball on the last play on offense and was trying to win the game. I want him to have that, but I want the light that comes on and gives review of the field and takes away the enthusiasm of that feeling and gives him a more methodical, mechanical and intellectual way to look at the situation."

Miles added that the Tigers may be asking too much from Lee, who had split time with Hatch earlier in the season, and that freshman Jordan Jefferson could get some playing time this weekend to allow Lee to clear his head. Jefferson has appeared in three games this season and has attempted one pass.

"We are still at our best when (Lee) is throwing the ball to our playmakers, the (Brandon) LeFells and (Demetrius) Byrds, etc," Miles said. "Maybe he's young and maybe we need to get him off the field a little bit."

With Alabama winning last Saturday's contest, the Tide clinched the Southeastern Conference's West Division. The Tigers had played in the SEC title game in three of the previous five seasons, including last year when they beat Tennessee 21-14 en route to the National Championship.

"You have to bounce back from losses like this," Lee said. "We are going to bounce back because we have a lot of football still left to play."

The Tigers have won 24 straight non-conference games in Tiger Stadium since a 13-10 loss to UAB in 2000, and 17 consecutive non-conference games overall.

Troy (6-2), meanwhile, is still competing for the Sun Belt conference title, sitting one-half game behind first-place Louisiana-Lafayette. The Trojans are coming off their fourth win in five games, a 17-7 victory over Western Kentucky last Saturday. Junior quarterback Levi Brown was 30-for-46 for 298 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Trojans, who outgained the Hilltoppers 429-216.

"It was one of those games where you felt like you were just on the verge of extending yourself and getting it over early," Troy coach Larry Blakeney said. "But it's a win, and a win is a win."

Troy is 1-14 against ranked opponents since joining Division I-A in 2001. The lone victory came at home over then-No. 19 Missouri on Sept. 9, 2004. The Trojans have dropped seven straight such games since then, including a 28-10 defeat at then-No. 13 Ohio State on Sept. 20, and a 24-20 loss at then-No. 18 LSU on Oct. 23, 2004 - the only previous meeting between the schools.

LSU is trying to avoid its first consecutive losses since it dropped the final game of its 2002 regular season, then fell to Texas in the Cotton Bowl.

Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
TROY is 1-0 against the spread versus LSU since 1992
LSU is 1-0 straight up against TROY since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period
All games played at LSU since 1992
TROY is 1-0 against the spread versus LSU since 1992
LSU is 1-0 straight up against TROY since 1992
Games played at LSU over the last 3 seasons.
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.
Key Player Injuries
(!) [QB] Jamie Hampton out for the season - Knee - 10/12/08
[Backup QB] Tanner Jones is out for the rest of the season. - Knee - 10/28
[RB] Chris Anderson out for the season. - Eligibility - 09/22/08
[WR] Jerrel Jernigan is downgraded to doubtful - Knee - 11/03/08
[DE] Kenny Mainor out for the season - Knee - 09/22/08
[LB] Bear Woods is upgraded to probable - Foot - 11/07/08
[CB] Chris Bowens is doubtful - Foot - 11/07/08
[LB] Donnell Golden is doubtful - Personal - 11/07/08
[QB] Andrew Hatch is downgraded to doubtful - Leg - 11/03/08
(!) [RB] Charles Scott left last game, probable. - Ankle - 11/02/08
[TE] Richard Dickson injured last game, probable - Undisclosed - 11/02/08
[C] T-Bob Hebert is out for the season. - Knee - 10/23/08
[FS] Curtis Taylor injured last game %27?%27 - Shoulder - 11/03/08

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Posted: 11/11/08 4:55 PM

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