Coach: Nick Saban
18-7-0, 2 years
2001 Record: 10-3
at Tennessee LOST 18-26
at Kentucky WON 29-25
at Mississippi State WON 42-0
at Alabama WON 35-21
Tennessee @Atlanta, GA WON 31-20
Illinois WON 47-34

2001 Final Rankings
AP-7,   Coaches-8, BCS 13

Assuming LaBrandon Toefield heals in time for this season, LSU has a serious weapon in the running game.
2002 Outlook

Boy, LSU sure did close out the 2001 season strong, winning six games straight, eight of their last nine, the SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl. The 2002 version is star-studded but thin at a few spots. The big question mark will be who spells Rohan Davey at quarterback. That may have been answered when ex-professional baseball pitcher Matt Mauck decided to try his hand at Baton Rouge football. Last season's freshman came in and rattled Tennessee with his running style and ability, which allowed his team to win the conference title game. The offensive backfield is super deep. Defensively, you have to start at linebacker where Bradie James and Jeremy Lawrence return for their senior season. The secondary will need to locate new safeties and may be the biggest concern during the off-season. But the talk is true, Nick Saban is an excellent coach and LSU would find it in their best interest to keep this guy around. The Bayou Bengal future is very promising with amazing recruiting classes starting to roll in. The Tigers will find out right of the bat in 2002 if the success is to continue with a trip to tough Blacksburg. This may be one of the biggest tests of the season because when you look at the schedule, the first handful of games are winnable, and could get the Tigers on the right train rolling towards defending their SEC crown. LSU lacks leadership; head coach Nick Saban has said it over and over. Once league play begins, some had better be found. Regardless, this is still the team to beat in the West Division.

Projected 2002 record: 9-5

The Tigers made it through most of the spring without any serious injuries until QB Marcus Randall suffered a knee injury in the spring game. The injury required surgery, and he most likely will not be ready when preseason practice starts. That means sophomore Matt Mauck will be the starter. "I think Marcus Randall, regardless of what his injury is, will be ready for fall at some time," Saban said. "We're hopeful that he's going to be able to participate. If not, obviously we won't have the depth we need in that position." While Bradie James did miss the final week of spring practice because of a contused kidney, he is expected to make a full recovery and participate in summer conditioning.
QB - 2.5 DL - 3
RB - 4 LB - 3.5
WR - 4.5 DB - 3
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Matt Mauck, 18-41-2, 224 Yards, 0 TD's

Rushing: LaBrandon Toefield, 230 att., 992 yds., 19 TD's

Receiving: Michael Clayton, 47 rec., 754 yds., 6 TD's

Scoring: LaBrandon Toefield, 19 TD's, 114 pts.

Punting: Donnie Jones, 47 punts, 43.7 avg.

Kicking: John Corbello, 14-23 FG, 41-44 PAT, 83 pts.

Tackles: Bradie James, 113 tot., 78 solo

Sacks: Bradie James, 3 sacks

Interceptions: Damien James, 5 for 80 yds.

Kickoff returns: Domanick Davis, 22 ret., 19.9 avg.

Punt returns: Domanick Davis, 12 ret., 13.8 avg.


OFFENSE: Rohan Davey-QB, Robert Royal-TE, Joe Domingeaux-TE, Dwayne Pierce-OG, Jason Baggett-OT, Josh Reed-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Kyle Kipps-DE, Muskingum Barnes-DT, Jarvis Green-DE, Lionel Thomas-SS, Ryan Clark-FS, Trev Faulk-MLB (NFL)

The heat is on to locate a starting quarterback to replace big Rohan Davey. The obvious fill in while looking on paper seems to be sophomore Matt Mauck. Fans may recall how Mauck came in for an injured Davey in the SEC Championship Game versus Tennessee, who by the way was fighting for a chance to play for all the marbles out in Pasadena last fall, and pulled out all of the running stops to defeat the Vols. In accordance, he was given MVP honors for his accomplishments that December day. Mauck joined the Tigers a year ago after playing baseball in the Chicago Cubs organization for three years after being a sixth-round draft pick in 1997. Battling for starting duties at QB will also be young Marcus Randall. The situation became quite competitive through out the spring. The final decision on a starter may have been made when Randall went down in the spring game with your more than common knee injuries. Coaches do anticipate him being back for the fall campaign. Apparent is how much less throwing talent there is from what LSU worked with over the last few seasons. Both have good arms, but the decision-making skills will require some more repetitions. Assuming LaBrandon Toefield heals in time for this season, LSU has a serious weapon in the running game waiting, which should take a ton of pressure off of the passing game. Keep an eye on the speedster Joseph Addai, one of coach Nick Saban's prized recruits from the phenomenal class of two seasons ago. Early comparisons of Kevin Faulk have been heard around the Baton Rouge campus. The receivers have a great group of play makers beginning with the big two: Michael Clayton and Jerel Myers. Gone are days of highlight reels displaying Josh Reed breaking games open as he opted for early exit to the NFL. The depth still far from bare. Tiger faithful are hopeful that the front line will be much improved with three starters returning to the lineup. Don't expect huge gains to be made, but this unit is capable of opening enough room for the big guns to zip through. The tight end position will downgrade as talent goes. Both of the top players at the spot have exited, although the consensus was that the position underachieved last season even though Robert Royal now will have his name called on Sundays.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Matt Mauck-So Marcus Randall-So / Rick Clausen-Fr
FB Solomon Lee-Sr Kevin Steilz-Fr
TB LaBrandon Toefield-Jr Domanick Davis-Sr
WR Jerel Myers-Sr Reggie Robinson-Sr
WR Michael Clayton-So Shyrone Carey-So
TE Eric Edwards-Jr David Jones-Fr
OT Rodney Reed-Jr Andrew Whitworth-Fr
OG Stephen Peterman-Jr Rudy Niswanger-Fr
C Ben Wilkerson-So Rob Sale-Sr
OG Rob Sale-Sr John Young-Sr
OT Brad Smalling-Sr Kade Comeaux-So
K John Corbello-Sr ..



Images of LSU's secondary last year are burned into the memories of Tigers fans. Burned is the operative word, as the Tigers could never seem to shake the propensity to give up big plays, from the opener through the Sugar Bowl. This upcoming season, the Tigers have more guys that possess better ball skills. Coaches have commented that the defensive back unit made the most improvement during the off-season. How much better could be the tale of the tape come fall. The linebackers may be the thinnest area on the team depth-wise. Two of the starters, Bradie James and Jeremy Lawrence, are as steady as they come in the SEC. The largest nominations for any LSU player in terms of All American status will come in the form of James. Already on a few short lists of top players, Bradie decided to return for his senior year and was practicing well after moving over to the weak side spot vacated by Trev Faulk, until he surrendered an injured kidney in a scrimmage. Looks like the leader of the defense should be fine, but his leadership his crucial. Overall, LSU finished ranked 10th in the SEC last year in total defense. Should those totals hold up again in 2002, a repeat as the conference champion just is not going to happen.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Kenderick Allen-Sr Marcus Spears-So
DT Byron Dawson-Sr Torran Williams-Jr
DT Chad Lavalais-Jr ..
DE Bryce Wyatt-Jr Marquise Hill-So
LB Jeremy Lawrence-Sr Dave Peterson-Sr
LB Lionel Turner-So Adrian Mayes-Jr
LB Bradie James-Sr Jason LeDoux-Jr
CB Travis Daniels-So Ronnie Prude-So
CB Demetrius Hookfin-Sr Randall Gay-Jr
SS Norman LeJeune-Sr Travis Moses-Jr
FS Damien James-Sr Jack Hunt-Jr
P Donnie Jones-Jr ..
LSU Saturday night!
Photo compliments of the
Louisiana State University Official Athletic Site