Les Miles was able to avoid a certain type of loss which was pinned on just about every LSU football coach in the last 50 years.
AP Photo/Rusty Costanza
Under Miles, the Tigers were not defeated by a team not currently in one of the Power Five conferences or by Notre Dame. Since 1967, the only other LSU coach not to lose to a non-power conference team was Mike Archer.
However, Miles came very close to getting upset by one of those mid-major schools. LSU trailed Troy, which comes to Tiger Stadium on Saturday (6 p.m. Central/ESPNU), by 28 points with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter in 2008.
Over a 15-minute span, LSU scored 37 unanswered points to grab a 40-31 victory. Troy, which has won three out of its first four games, will attempt to hand Tigers coach Ed Orgeron one of those deflating setbacks this week.
“Troy is a dangerous team,” senior H-Back John David Moore said. “We can’t take our eyes off them and look down the road. We are treating them as the biggest team on our schedule.”
The last team which is not in a power conference to defeat LSU was UAB in 2000 – the first season in which Nick Saban was coach. The Blazers edged the Tigers 13-10.
Three LSU coaches lost one of these games in their final season in charge of the program. In 1999, Gerry DiNardo was beaten by Houston 20-7. DiNardo was fired before the next game.
In 1994, Curley Hallman was defeated by USM 20-18. Before the next game, it was announced that Hallman would be out at the end of the season.
In 1979, Charlie McClendon lost to Tulane 24-13 in the regular-season finale. It had been announced before the season that this year was going to be McClendon’s last as coach.
LSU has lost ten games to teams not presently in power conferences in the last 50 years. Tulane was responsible for four defeats – 31-28 in 1982, 48-7 in 1981, 24-13 in 1979 and 14-0 in 1973. Jerry Stovall was the coach in 1981 and 1982, while McClendon was the coach in 1973 and 1979.
The other three defeats came against Colorado State (17-14) in 1992, Miami Ohio (21-12) in 1986 and Rice (17-7) in 1980. Hallman was the coach against Colorado State, Bill Arnsparger was the coach against Miami Ohio and Stovall was the coach against Rice.
Fast facts about LSU
1. LSU has never lost a game against a current member of the Sun Belt Conference. The Tigers have won all 35 games against teams presently in the Sun Belt – with 22 of the victories coming against Louisiana-Lafayette. LSU’s last game against a Sun Belt school took place in 2014 when it defeated Louisiana-Monroe 31-0.
2. With a victory against Troy, the Tigers would have a 50-game home winning streak in non-conference games. The only major college team with such a streak is Wisconsin which won 50 games in a row from 1897-1909.
3. Saturday’s game is homecoming for LSU this year. The Tigers have won 16 consecutive homecoming games with their last defeat coming against UAB (13-10) in 2000.
4. H-Back Tory Carter was the seventh true freshman to start a game last week against Syracuse. Seven true freshmen are the most to start a game in a season since Miles became coach in 2005. LSU also started seven true freshmen in 2015. The true freshmen who have started a game this season are Carter, outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson, guard Saahdiq Charles, safety Grant Delpit, guard Ed Ingram, inside linebacker Tyler Taylor and nickel back Kary Vincent.
5. Darrel Williams became the 47th LSU back to rush for at least 1,000 yards in his career. Williams, who had 92 yards against Syracuse, has rushed for 1,082 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career. Williams is 70 yards behind Chuck Johns, who is next on the Tigers’ all-time list.
6. Outside linebacker Arden Key did not have a sack against Syracuse. Key remains 11th on the school’s all-time rankings with 17½ sacks. Key trails James Gillyard and Michael Brooks, who finished with 18 sacks.
Fast facts about Troy
1. The Trojans have a 2-21 record against current members of the Southeastern Conference. Troy’s two victories came against Mississippi State and Missouri when it was in the Big 12 Conference. The Trojans have a 1-20 record against ranked teams with the victory coming against Missouri (24-14) in 2004.
2. The game in Tiger Stadium will be the Trojans’ third road game of the season. Troy lost at Boise 24-13 and won at New Mexico State 27-24.
3. Troy’s defense has made great strides under coordinator Vic Koenning. In 2014 – the year before Koenning was hired, the Trojans gave up 36 points and 454 yards per game. Those numbers dropped to 28 points and 391 yards per game in Koenning’s first season. In 2016, Troy allowed 22 points and 367 yards per game. So far this season, opponents are averaging 18 points and 318 yards per game against the Trojans.
4. Troy head coach Neal Brown also always put together very good offenses. In 88 games as an offensive coordinator at Texas Tech and Kentucky, Brown’s team was never held scoreless. The Trojans have not been shut out in Brown’s 29 games as head coach.
5. Quarterback Brandon Silvers has completed 65 percent of his career pass attempts for nearly 8,500 yards and 56 touchdowns with 24 interceptions. On Troy’s all-time rankings, Silvers is second in completions, completion percentage and passing yards, He is third in touchdown passes.
6. Running back Jordan Chunn has rushed for almost 2,650 yards and 42 touchdowns in his career. Chunn is first in Troy history in rushing touchdowns and fourth in rushing yardage. He needs seven rushing touchdowns to be No. 1 in the history of the Sun Belt in this category.
LSU failed to control the game for 60 minutes against Syracuse last Saturday. The Tigers will get another chance to show its dominance against a lesser opponent in Troy. The Trojans are similar to the Orange in their playing style with an up-tempo offense. Like Syracuse, Troy has been very good at stopping the run this season. LSU could be without both running back Derrius Guice and defensive end Rashard Lawrence – possibly its two best players. The Tigers will do a better job being in control from start to finish this week.
Score: LSU 35, Troy 16
Here are the statistical comparisons between LSU and Troy.
LSU points per game: 28.5
Troy points allowed per game: 18.0
LSU rushing yards per game: 200.5
Troy rushing yards allowed per game: 95.5
LSU passing yards per game: 203.8
Troy passing yards allowed per game: 222.2
LSU pass completion rate: 58 percent
Troy pass completion rate allowed: 59 percent
LSU total yards per game: 404.2
Troy total yards allowed per game: 317.8
LSU turnovers per game: 0.3
Troy turnovers forced per game: 1.3
LSU sacks allowed per game: 1.5
Troy sacks per game: 2.3
LSU third-down conversion rate: 42 percent
Troy third-down conversion rate allowed: 45 percent
Troy points per game: 24.0
LSU points allowed per game: 18.2
Troy rushing yards per game: 175.5
LSU rushing yards allowed per game: 106.0
Troy passing yards per game: 273.2
LSU passing yards allowed per game: 191.0
Troy pass completion rate: 65 percent
LSU pass completion rate allowed: 57 percent
Troy total yards per game: 448.8
LSU total yards allowed per game: 297.0
Troy turnovers per game: 1.3
LSU turnovers forced per game: 1.0
Troy sacks allowed per game: 1.5
LSU sacks per game: 3.0
Troy third-down conversion rate: 39 percent
LSU third-down conversion rate allowed: 36 percent
Here are the individual statistical leaders for LSU and Troy.
LSU: Derrius Guice – 65 carries, 314 yards, 5 touchdowns (questionable due to an injury)
Troy: Jordan Chunn – 61 carries, 299 yards, 5 touchdowns
LSU: Danny Etling: 77 attempts, 45 completions, 58 percent, 723 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Troy: Brandon Silvers: 154 attempts, 102 completions, 66 percent, 1,084 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
LSU: DJ Chark: 12 catches, 233 yards
Troy: Deondre Douglas: 19 catches, 233 yards, 1 touchdown
LSU: Devin White – 38
Troy: Cedarius Rookard – 22
LSU: Corey Thompson – 5
Troy: Sam Lebbie – 3½
LSU: Corey Thompson – 4
Troy: Zo Bridges – 2
LSU: Donnie Alexander, Christian LaCouture, Corey Thompson – 2
Troy: Sam Lebbie, Baron Poole – 2
LSU: Greedy Williams – 3
Troy: Kris Weatherspoon – 2
LSU: Greedy Williams – 5
Troy: Tyquae Russell – 4
LSU: Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 6 kickoff returns, 125 yards
Troy: Marcus Jones – 8 kickoff returns, 208 yards; 6 punt returns, 78 yards
LSU: Zach Von Rosenberg – 3 punts, 43.7-yard average
Troy: Tyler Sumpter – 16 punts, 44.4-yard average
LSU: Jack Gonsoulin – 2-of-4 on field goal, 11-of-11 on extra points
Troy: Bratcher Underwood – 3-of-5 on field goals, 9-of-11 on extra points