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blacksaint 12-03-2007 10:40 PM

Five things to know about LSU
Monday, December 03, 2007

1. Tigers defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey probably is the best defensive player in college football, but he hasn't been the same since his right knee was taken out by an Auburn cut block on Oct. 20. He didn't play in the second half of Saturday's SEC title game against Tennessee because of a back injury. In LSU's first five games, the Tigers gave up just over six points per game. In their past eight games, they surrendered 23 points per game in regulation, so the Tigers haven't been the defensive monsters they were perceived as early in the year. Much of that has been playing tougher competition. A bit of that has been a hobbled Dorsey. But 36 days without a game should help him resemble himself, and LSU coach Les Miles said he'll be ready to go.

2. During a season in which the title hopes of Oklahoma (Sam Bradford), Oregon (Dennis Dixon) and West Virginia (Pat White) were derailed by major or minor injuries to their quarterbacks, LSU managed to beat Tennessee with backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux on Saturday. Starting quarterback Matt Flynn hurt his throwing shoulder against Arkansas, but Miles said he could have played Saturday and he'll be ready for Jan. 7. Flynn is not a guy who's going to burn the Buckeyes with his arm, though. He has 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this year and has completed just 55 percent of his passes. The completion percentage would rank 11th in the Big Ten.

3. LSU kept Miles from going to Michigan, but defensive coordinator Bo Pelini has taken the head coaching job at Nebraska. But Miles said Sunday night that Pelini will stick around to lead the LSU defense against the Buckeyes.

"Our players enjoy him, and he is part of this team," Miles said. "So we'll look forward to his last coaching for us being in this game."

4. The Tigers have forced 33 turnovers, tied for fourth in the country and 15 more than Ohio State. LSU's plus-18 turnover margin ranks fifth while Ohio State's minus-1 turnover margin is tied for 64th.

5. LSU has won two national titles, each ending in New Orleans. The Tigers won the 1958 title under coach Paul Dietzel, finishing an 11-0 season with a win over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. In 2003, Nick Saban led LSU to a 13-1 season that finished with a win over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, though Southern Cal claimed the Associated Press's version of the national title that year.

- Doug Lesmerises Everything Cleveland

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