Tigers have fared well in recent years away from home
September 24, 2012
LSU hits the road for the first time this season looking to continue the success it had away from home last year.
En route to a perfect 13-0 start, LSU went 7-0 away from Tiger Stadium — winning those seven games by an average of 23.9 points. The Tigers won neutral-site matchups against Oregon (Arlington, Texas) and Georgia (Atlanta) and beat Mississippi State, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Ole Miss on the opponent’s campus.
Five of the teams LSU beat away from Tiger Stadium were ranked at the time of the meeting.
The Tigers visit Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday, their first game away from home since losing 21-0 to Alabama in the BCS title game.
LSU has opened this season with three home wins.
“I think road games are an extension of the personality of the team,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “If there’s a strong personality, those teams that are very, very good teams play well on the road. I think a team with good character and strength just plays well on the road. It’s just how they are.”
ZZ Top could be heard blaring from practice-field speakers as media arrived on campus for Wednesday’s news conference.
“We put some noise out there,” Miles said. “We normally use a selection of music for a couple of periods, but when on the road, we use it for the majority of practice.”
Jordan-Hare is known as one of the nation’s loudest venues. Miles has one win there in three trips; it came in 2008, when his team came from behind for a 26-21 win.
LSU returning to health
Miles announced earlier this week that injured running back Alfred Blue would miss Saturday’s game. But other Tigers who were question marks coming out of last week’s rout of Idaho are in line to return.
Miles said wide receiver James Wright, defensive tackle Josh Downs and safety Craig Loston will all play against Auburn.
“Everybody appears to be healthy minus Blue and guys that we would expect not to play,” Miles said.
Junior left tackle Chris Faulk was lost for the season with a knee injury the week after the season opener. Reserve defensive end Jordan Allen is also out for the year with a knee injury.
Still playing catch-up
Miles said the Tigers were still a bit off schedule after a bomb scare on campus Monday caused them to miss a day of practice. But he said the coaches are working diligently to make sure LSU is prepared.
“I don’t know that we’re caught up,” Miles said. “The good news is we over-coach it. We never get to a game where we don’t think there’s something we don’t need to coach some more. I think that’s exactly how we would always feel.”
Auburn has one of the nation’s top kicker-punter tandems in Cody Parkey and Steven Clark, but its brilliance on special teams doesn’t end there.
The Tigers blocked two Louisiana-Monroe field-goal attempts in a 31-28 win in overtime last week.
Corey Lemonier blocked a 31-yarder in the third quarter to protect a 28-14 lead.
After the Warhawks rallied to force the extra period, Angelo Blackson got a finger on another ULM try to keep the score tied and set the stage for Parkey, who finished the victory with a 35-yard kick on Auburn’s overtime possession.
“They come after kicks,” Miles said. “They press, and you have to recognize that they have a want to get to our specialist.”
Blackson also blocked a field goal Sept. 8 against Mississippi State, and blocked a punt against Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl last year.