BATON ROUGE The LSU football team is coming off one of its worst three week stretches in the 115-year history of the program as far as points allowed.
The Tigers, who lost 51-21 at Florida on Oct. 11 and 52-38 to Georgia at home on Saturday, have never given up 50 or more points in the same season in the history of the school, which began playing organized football in 1893.
Half a hundred had been allowed just four times before this season with all of those losses 56-13 at Florida in 1996, 58-3 to Florida at home in 1993, 55-31 at Mississippi State in 1980 and 51-0 at SMU in 1922.
The 120 points allowed by LSU in its last three games, including a 24-17 win at South Carolina, are the most by LSU in a three-game stretch since 1948 when the Tigers gave up 131 in a 34-7 loss at No. 3 North Carolina, a 49-19 loss to Ole Miss at home and a 48-7 loss at Vanderbilt.
LSU finished 3-7 in 1948 with a 1-5 record in the Southeastern Conference under first-year coach Gaynell Tinsley. Tinsley turned it around in 1949 with an 8-3 record and a 4-2 SEC mark.
The defending national champions also find themselves No. 68 in the nation in scoring defense with 26 points allowed a game after finishing No. 17 in the nation a year ago with 19.9 allowed a game. LSU is also No. 61 in pass defense with 206 yards allowed a game after finishing No. 9 in the nation a year ago with 182.7 yards allowed a game. In turnover margin, LSU is 94th out of 119 teams with 12 turnovers committed and seven gained. LSU finished second in the nation in turnover margin in 2007 with 36 gained and 16 lost.
Florida, the 2006 national champions, had similar problems in 2007. The Gators finished 9-4 and allowed 40 points or more twice in losses. Florida also finished No. 98 in the nation in pass defense with 258 yards allowed a game.
No. 15 LSU (5-2, 3-2 SEC) hosts Tulane (2-5, 1-3 Conference USA) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Lost statistic: LSU’s 497 total yards against Georgia Saturday were its most in a game since getting 595 in a 58-10 win over Louisiana Tech last season.
LSU’s 188 rushing yards came against what was the SEC’s No. 1 rushing defense and the nation’s No. 3 rush defense. Georiga had been allowing only 61 yards a game on the ground.
Monroe News Star