- Gary Laney, Reporter, GeauxTigerNation
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Maybe the lesson learned this week for LSU is this: Don't schedule North Texas.
LSU will play the Eagles for the fifth time in school history Saturday if Baton Rouge emerges OK from the effects of Hurricane Isaac, which is blowing through Baton Rouge with prolonged tropical storm force Wednesday.
This is all too familiar for LSU and North Texas.
In 2005, LSU's season opener against North Texas was postponed because of Hurricane Katrina and was instead played Oct. 29 (LSU won, 56-3). In 2008, Hurricane Gustav forced LSU to push up the start of its season opener against Appalachian State to a morning start, then postpone its second game against Troy. LSU's first game to go on as originally scheduled was against North Texas in the season's third week (LSU won, 41-3).
"I don't think North Texas has anything to do with it," said LSU coach Les Miles, who was the Tigers' coach in the previous two North Texas games. "But it is an unusual coincidence."
One-sided series: The Miles-coached teams aren't the only LSU teams that have had their way with North Texas.
LSU leads the series with the Sun Belt Conference opponent 4-0 and has outscored the Mean Green 198-13 in those four games.
Secret scout for North Texas: Miles might get tips on how to attack North Texas from Tigers head basketball coach Johnny Jones, who was head coach at North Texas before he got the LSU job during the off-season.
"We had a four-day clinic [with Jones] and after those four days we knew how to beat the press and we understand a trap-and-one and a box-and-four," Miles joked. "But I don't think he did us much help in football."
Jones brought an Eagles team to Baton Rouge that surprised the Tigers in a 75-55 win over Dec. 22, 2010. Jones, a former LSU player, was hired at LSU after Trent Johnson left for TCU.
Rivers standing tall No. 2: When LSU's depth chart came out Monday, it was notable that Stephen Rivers, the redshirt freshman younger brother of Phillip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers, maintained the No. 2 spot at quarterback over Penn State transfer Rob Bolden, who is still learning the LSU offense.
What was more notable is Rivers was listed at 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, an inch taller and 13 pounds heavier than what he was listed as at the start of camp.
At his height, he takes over for Arizona State's Brock Osweiler as college football's tall quarterback. The 6-foot-8 Osweiler, who passed for 4,000 yards last season for the Sun Devils, was a second-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in the NFL draft.
Miles said both Rivers and Bolden are in position to see playing time.
"Stephen Rivers is certainly No. 2 and I think Rob Bolden is competing extremely well," Miles said. "I think he's a guy that will get in the game and will have an opportunity to play if needed."