POSTED: Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 10:59am
UPDATED: Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 10:59am
BATON ROUGE, La (LSU Athletics) -- LSU takes a break from conference play on Saturday as the ninth-ranked Tigers host McNeese State in a game that features the two winningest programs in the state of Louisiana over the past 10 years.
Saturday's game will mark the first meeting between the Tigers and the Cowboys in football. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised to a regional audience on Fox Sports Net.
LSU, which is coming off a 33-29 win over Florida, is 6-0 overall and ranked No. 9 in the nation. LSU brings the nation's longest regular-season non-conference winning streak into the contest at 31 straight. LSU hasn't lost a non-conference regular-season game since falling to Virginia Tech, 26-8, to open the 2002 season.
McNeese State, members of the Southland Conference and the Football Championship Subdivision, is 2-3 overall after dropping a last-minute 32-27 decision to Stephen F. Austin last week.
LSU goes into the game having won a Southeastern Conference-best 105 games since the start of the 2000 season. McNeese has 84 victories to its credit over that span, the second-highest total in the state of Louisiana and the most in its league.
"I recognize that McNeese State is a very talented team and a team that has been coached well by Matt Viator," LSU coach Les Miles said. "Historically they have had quality football teams. I know they will play their best and the state will turn out for this game.
"We've had a good week of practice and the team has taken to the game plan pretty well. They've practiced very hard and are looking to improve. They're ambitious about their goals. We still have some work to do. Thursday is a polish day, but so far so good."
Miles said the Tigers will continue to use a two-quarterback system against McNeese State with Jordan Jefferson getting his seventh start this year. Jefferson, who ranks second among active quarterbacks in the SEC with 15 victories, scored two rushing touchdowns in last week's win over Florida.
Lee, who has rotated with Jefferson at the position in the past two games, had his best effort of the year last week against Florida, completing 9-of-11 passes for 124 yards and two TDs, including the game-winner with six seconds left.
"We'll start with (Jordan) Jefferson, and (Jarrett) Lee will play," Miles said of the quarterbacks. "I think one thing that Lee does (coming off the bench) is he studies what is going on. Even though he is not taking the snaps, he understands what's being done and how it's being attacked. He understands what the defense is doing, and I think that helps him when he comes into the game and he's informed."
Since going to the quarterback rotation two games ago, LSU's had its two best offensive games of the year with 434 total yards against Tennessee and then 385 total yards last week against Florida.
LSU will practice again on Thursday followed by a walk-through on Friday afternoon.