LSU Tigers: North Texas

Miles likes the 'Shake 'n Bake' approach

September, 2, 2012
9/02/12
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- After all the hype about new quarterback Zach Mettenberger's debut, LSU still looked like a Les Miles football team during Saturday's season-opening 41-14 thumping of North Texas.

[+] EnlargeKenny Hilliard
Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesLSU RB Kenny Hilliard rushed for two touchdowns against North Texas.
The Tigers piled up 315 rushing yards to spearhead a 508-yard attack (more than any game last season), leaning on the tandem of the big, physical Kenny Hilliard (141 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns) and the faster and somewhat leaner Alfred Blue (123 yards on 16 carries) to pound its Sun Belt Conference foe. They were, as they like the call themselves, "Thunder and Lightning" for the Tigers.

Well, unless you you like Miles' "Talladega Nights" movie reference more.

"I kind of like the Will Farrell movie, the NASCAR guy," he said with a smile.

You mean Shake and Bake?

"Yeah, that's it, Shake and Bake," he said, leaning back with a smile.

While it was hard at times to figure out who was shaking and who was baking -- the bigger Hillard looked absolutely speedy as he busted off runs of 60 and 38 yards while Blue had one explosive carry of 37 yards but also had a lot of physical, inside carries -- it was clear that the approach fans saw Saturday was familiar with all the usual Miles plays.

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GeauxTigerNation writers Gary Laney and David Helman get you ready for the season with a daily breakdown throught August of what LSU is facing in the fall, from its opponents, to its road trips to who it's recruiting. Today, Gary Laney has a Q&A with Brett Vito of the Denton, Texas Record-Chronicle, who covers LSU's first opponent, North Texas. For more, see the GTN blog:

Q: After losing a 4,000-yard career rusher in Lance Dunbar, what's the offensive identity going to be for the Mean Green? Will they throw it around more?

I have a hard time believing that UNT won’t continue to lean on its running game. The strength of UNT’s team offensively is a really good offensive line and running the ball is in (head coach) Dan McCarney’s DNA. Offensive coordinator Mike Canales has been known to throw the ball around a bit, but I just don’t see the days of UNT running the ball at people going away. The question is who will be the next in the great line of UNT running backs that dates to the early 2000s with national rushing champions Patrick Cobbs and Jamario Thomas and then Lance Dunbar. UNT does not have a proven running back like any of those guys, but does have enough competent guys back there to carry the ball.

Countdown to kickoff: Saturday nights 

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
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GeauxTigerNation writers Gary Laney and David Helman get you ready for the season with a daily breakdown through August of what LSU is facing in the fall, from its opponents, to its road trips to who it's recruiting. In today's opening installment, Gary Laney looks at the return of something LSU fans cherish: Saturday nights in Death Valley:

[+] EnlargeTiger Stadium
Sean Gardner/Getty ImagesTiger Stadium is widely known as one of the best night-game atmospheres.
It's right there on page 26 of LSU's football media guide.

Per tradition, as the afternoon light fades in Tiger Stadium and LSU emerges from the locker room to take the field before the start of a home football game, public address announcer Dan Borne tells the crowd, "Ladies and gentlemen, it's Saturday night in Death Valley, and here come your Fighting Tigers of LSU!"

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