Numbers to ponder as big game gets closer

If you were lucky enough to secure tickets to No. 4 LSU’s opener against No. 3 Oregon on Saturday night, you may very well be on the road to Arlington, Texas, and looking for an easy way to kill time.

Some numbers to crunch as the Cowboys Classic draws near:

16 - Years since LSU lost at No. 3 Texas A&M in the first game of the Gerry DiNardo era. Oregon is the highest-ranked opponent for the Tigers in a season opener since the 1995 Aggies.

9 - Seasons since LSU played the role of underdog in a season opener. Virginia Tech, favored by a touchdown, scored a 26-8 victory over the Tigers to start the 2002 season. The oddsmakers like Oregon by 3-1/2 in this one.

2 - Previous matchups of top-five foes on a neutral field to open the season. The last such meeting came when No. 4 Miami beat No. 1 Auburn at Giants Stadium in a 1984 opener.

16 - Games LSU coach Les Miles has won, in 19 tries, when given two weeks or more to prepare. The Mad Hatter is 5-1 in bowl games and 6-0 in season openers.

65 - Games in the Miles era in which LSU has rushed for more than 100 yards. The Tigers have won 58.

39 - Games in the Miles era in which LSU’s opponent has rushed for fewer than 100 yards. The Tigers have won 36.

34 - Games in the Miles era in which LSU has rushed for 100 yards AND its opponent has rushed for fewer than 100. The Tigers have won all 34.

4 - Punts returned by Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris for touchdowns last year.

0 - Snaps Harris is expected to play Saturday. Coach Chip Kelly suspended the All-American cornerback/return man in June after he was clocked driving 118 mph on an Oregon interstate.

238 - Days since Jordan Jefferson turned in a career performance at Cowboys Stadium to lead LSU past Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.

8 - Days before Saturday’s opener Jefferson was arrested for his alleged role in an off-campus bar fight and suspended indefinitely from the LSU football team.

2,040 - Distance, in miles, Oregon fans must travel from Eugene for Saturday’s game.

15,000 - Tickets Oregon distributed to season-ticket holders for the opener.

465 - Distance, in miles, LSU fans will travel from Baton Rouge to watch the game.

37,000 - Tickets LSU distributed to season-ticket holders, the most tickets the school has ever sold for a regular-season away game.

80 - Distance, in miles, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, where LSU hopes to finish its season with a return to the BCS championship game.

10 - Teams that have reached a BCS title game with one loss or more. The other 16 got through the regular season unscathed.

0 - Teams that have reached a BCS title game after losing their season opener.