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LSU-North Texas numbers: Seven up

8/30/2012

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The No. 7 is missing from the LSU roster.

It was left vacant by the untimely departure of Tyrann Mathieu from LSU's team for violation of the school's substance abuse policy. Nobody else has claimed it, so even on a team with 120 players, nobody will wear what's supposed to be a lucky number.

It still will play a role when the Tigers and Eagles play. The most relevant numbers associated with the game all involve lucky No. 7:

7-0: That's LSU's record in season openers under head coach Les Miles. And before you notch it up to playing gimmes, consider that his Tigers have beaten Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, Mississippi State and Arizona State in that stretch.

7: The years, to the day, between Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac making landfall in New Orleans.

Both impacted LSU season openers against North Texas. Katrina caused the 2005 game to be moved to Oct. 29 (LSU won, 56-3). This time, the game will either be moved or played while Baton Rouge picks up the pieces left by Isaac.

17: LSU's winning streak at Tiger Stadium, the longest home winning streak in the nation.

It's a win streak that dates back to 2009, when the Tim Tebow-led Florida Gators, the nation's No. 1 team at the time, beat the Tigers, 13-3 at Tiger Stadium.

Since then, LSU has beaten all comers. Like the season-opener streak, the Tigers haven't taken the easy route to this streak. Add up the wins against ranked opponents during the streak and you get, you guessed it, seven.

In 2010, the Tigers beat No. 22 West Virginia and No. 5 Alabama. In 2011, they beat No. 25 Mississippi State, No. 17 Florida, No. 19 Auburn, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Arkansas.

37: LSU's non-conference, regular-season win streak.

The Tigers have not lost a non-conference game in the regular season since the Nick Saban era, when the Tigers lost to West Virginia.

Since then, LSU has carried the SEC banner well in these games, like last season when it beat Oregon in Dallas in the season's first big inter-conference showdown. Sure, the Tigers have had their share of Sun Belt Conference opponents in the stretch too, but one has to be impressed with a team that can defeat two eventual BCS conference champions, Oregon and West Virginia, away from home in the same season like LSU did last year.

Still, this is the cushiest of the streaks. It includes six wins over FCS opponents and 12 against the Sun Belt Conference and six against ranked opponents.