By Lindsay Rabalais
LSU continues to hold the nation’s longest non-conference regular season winning streak. Saturday night’s victory over New Mexico State marked the Tigers’ 49th victory over a non-conference regular season opponent.
However, the Tigers failed to shut out the Aggies.
LSU dominated its other unranked non-conference home opponents this season, Sam Houston State and Louisiana- Monroe. The Tigers blanked Sam Houston State 56-0 and ULM 31-0.
New Mexico State scored a touchdown in the second quarter and avoided becoming another shut-out casualty.
The Pressure’s On
The LSU students usually wear their hearts on their sleeves, and Saturday’s game was no exception.
After a disappointing performance from quarterback Anthony Jennings early in the game, the student section made their preference clearly know. They chanted, “We want Harris!” in reference to quarterback Brandon Harris.
Miles put Harris in the game in the second quarter, and the freshman from Bossier City had an explosive performance for the remainder of the game.
When asked how he thought the student section’s chanting affected Jennings, Miles said, “Anyone should know that quarterback is a lightning rod for most of college America.”
Miles said he has not spoken with Jennings, but he will make sure to speak with him soon about his performance and his confidence level.
“Anthony Jennings is going to have to get better, and we are going to insist on it,” Miles said. “I hope he has not lost his confidence.”
Thomas’ knee injury
Cornerback Dwayne Thomas sustained a knee injury during the second quarter.
He was later seen icing his knee on the sidelines. He did not play for the rest of the game.
Head Coach Les Miles did not know the extent of Thomas’s injury.
The Tiger faithful were naturally upset to see Thomas get injured. Former LSU standout T-Bob Hebert tweeted, “I hope Dwayne Thomas is ok … he has been the most underrated part of this #LSU secondary.”
Mike stays home
LSU’s mascot, Mike VI, declined his standing invitation to the pregame festivities. This is the fourth consecutive game Mike has missed; he has not been to a game all season.
It is LSU tradition for Mike to ride around the field in a trailer before the game. However, it is Mike’s call whether he will get into the trailer, and his handlers from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine do not use force or sedatives to convince him otherwise.
Mike IV came to LSU in 2007. Since then, he has attended 32 of the 43 home football games, according to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Last season he attended three home games.
Even when Mike doesn’t make it to the game, he maintains a strong social media presence. Before the game, his account tweeted that he would be in his habitat to receive visitors.
Aggies near and far
There are 1,066 miles between Tiger Stadium and New Mexico State University, but many Aggies are practically in LSU’s backyard.
Chuck and Carleen Trujillo traveled from Houston to watch their son, offensive lineman Alexander Trujillo, play in Saturday’s game. Carleen gushed about the Southern hospitality her family has found in Baton Rouge: “everyone has been so nice!”
The Harrington family also journeyed from Houston; their son and brother is Dalton Herrington, an Aggie defensive back.
Another Texan family in crimson and white came from Southlake, Texas. John Copeland, Doris Copeland and Byron Copeland, along with Chris Ramsey, came to watch another Copeland man, linebacker JB Copeland.
Some Aggies fans traveled much further to get to Tiger Stadium. The Kenney family flew from Chandler, Arizona. Their son, Andrew Kenney, plays long snapper for New Mexico State.
New Mexico State University is in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The city’s population is 101, 047, meaning the entire city could fit inside Tiger Stadium.