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LSU May Need To Pass More Vs. Ga.

October 1, 1998

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ LSU has worked hard to vary its offense this season, trying to incorporate more passing into an attack traditionally based on running the ball.

Against No. 12 Georgia on Saturday, the Tigers get to see just how far the passing game has come.

Georgia (3-0) has the nation’s stingiest defense, including the eighth-ranked passing defense. The Bulldogs are ranked seventh against the rush, and with Georgia keying in on LSU running back Kevin Faulk, the Tigers know they will need an effective passing game to generate points.

``That’s a question that obviously I’m not going to answer publicly,″ coach Gerry DiNardo said when asked if LSU would try to throw more. ``Do we challenge them or do we try to surprise them? We have to make a decision and then stay with it.″

No. 6 LSU (3-0) is still known for running the ball and as long as Faulk is around, they’ll keep that orientation. He’s averaging 148.7 yards a game, including 8.7 yards per carry.

But LSU quarterback Herb Tyler could make the Bulldogs regret it if they ignore him. He’s completed 40 of 59 passes for 551 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception.

``Herb is a veteran quarterback who makes good decisions and is effective even in tough situations,″ DiNardo said.

Tyler has combined his running and passing ability to perfection this season. Against Arkansas State, Tyler completed 13 of 25 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for a score.

In LSU’s 31-19 victory over Auburn, Tyler completed 16 of 20 for 174 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a fourth score. In less than three quarters against Idaho, he hit on 11 of 14 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown.

Tyler has won 26 of the 31 games he’s started during his career.

``I think the passing game is a bigger part of our offense now than it used to be,″ receiver Abram Booty said. ``We know we have to be able to move the ball when they key in on Kevin.″

Moving the ball against Georgia has been tough. Scoring has been almost impossible. The Bulldogs have allowed only five points per game through their first three.

``We’re real excited about playing them,″ LSU right guard Ryan Thomassie said. ``It’ll be a good chance for us to show what we can do. It’ll be a good test for us, but we’re up to it.″

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