Feb. 3, 2006
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State head coach Pat Hill continues his theme of playing "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere," as he will take his Bulldogs into "Death Valley" this fall to play LSU. Thomas Boeh, Director of Athletics, announced the one-game agreement today. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.
The Bulldogs will play LSU on Oct. 21, 2006, at Tiger Stadium in a game that will be televised live on ESPN. The game time has tentatively been set at 5 p.m. PT.
It continues a trend under Hill in which the Bulldogs have scheduled games with premiere non-conference opponents. The 2006 non-conference schedule is now set and includes one other road game, at Washington (Sept. 16), and two home games, vs. Oregon (Sept. 9) and Colorado State (Sept. 30). Both of Fresno State's non-conference home opponents played in bowl games last season and the Ducks finished 10-2 and ranked No. 10 in the nation. The WAC portion of the Bulldog schedule will be released later this month.
In this decade, Fresno State has played non-conference games at the following nationally ranked opponents: USC, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kansas State, Oregon (twice), Wisconsin (twice), UCLA, Ohio State and Colorado.
"From top to bottom, this is the toughest non-conference schedule we've ever had," said Hill. "I expect two of our non-conference opponents, Oregon and LSU, to both be ranked in the top 10 of the preseason polls this fall."
The Dogs have played just two SEC teams previously, at Auburn in 1996 and at Tennessee in 2003.
The Tigers won the 2003 national championship with a 21-14 win over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. LSU is coming off an 11-2 record in an impressive 40-3 win over Miami (Fla.) in the Peach Bowl. LSU was ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press poll under first year coach Les Miles. Since 2000, LSU has won two SEC championships, produced 12 first-team All-Americans and won four bowl games with victories over Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma, Illinois and Georgia Tech.
The Tigers won the 2005 SEC West title and advanced to the SEC Championship game, where they lost to Georgia. They return several starters from a defense that ranked No. 2 in the SEC in total defense. The Tigers' offense will be led by returning quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who threw for over 2,400 yards and 15 touchdowns last year.
LSU plays in historic Tiger Stadium (capacity 92,400), where it has drawn 29 crowds of better than 90,000 fans. It has been the home of the Tigers since 1924 and LSU has won 77 percent of all night games in the stadium, including winning 23 of its last 26 games.
"We couldn't pass up an opportunity to play a program like LSU," said Hill. "They have so much history and tradition and respect in the SEC, and as a program won a national title a couple years ago and finished fifth last season. They have been one of the premiere programs in all of college football of this decade. We are looking forward to the trip to Death Valley, where it is difficult to win. We are looking forward to that challenge."
2006 Fresno State Non-Conference Schedule
Sept. 9 vs. Oregon (Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, Calif.)
Sept. 16 at Washington (Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wash.)
Sept. 30 vs. Colorado State (Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, Calif.)
Oct. 21 at LSU (Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.)
* - 2006 WAC Schedule will be announced later this month.
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