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10-24-2004, 05:35 AM
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Troy made the quarterback change Saturday that it hinted at last week, starting true freshman D.T. McDowell ahead of senior Aaron Leak.

McDowell completed his first pass attempt and made a nice run on Troy's first drive, but the Trojans struggled for the rest of the half.

McDowell, who is from Stone Mountain, Ga., handed off on the first two plays.

On the third, McDowell rolled out and completed a pass to Sean Dawkins for a 17-yard gain. One play later, McDowell scrambled to the left and gained 15 yards.

Besides those two plays, the Trojans totaled 5 yards for the first half.

McDowell was 7 of 14 for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Leak has completed 47 percent of his passes this season for six touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was 6-of-19 for 73 yards in a 13-9 loss last week at Arkansas State.

Nutter last frosh starter: Brock Nutter was the last freshman to start at quarterback for the Trojans.
Nutter played in 11 games as a freshman in 1998 and threw for 1,435 yards and eight touchdowns.

Nutter started for four years and holds school records in yards, attempts and completions. He also started a school-record 44 straight games from 1998-2002.

Lesley returns: Tight end Jordan Lesley started Saturday night's game, marking his return from an appendectomy two weeks ago.
A hit at South Carolina caused the senior to have surgery Sept. 28. He missed two games.

Betterson getting close: Troy running back DeWhitt Betterson is 131 yards shy of the school's career rushing record.
Betterson finished with 49 yards on 18 carries, giving him with Ted Horstead ahead of him at 2,926. Horstead played from 1983-86.

"I know that as long as I stay healthy, I should break the record," Betterson said early this week. "It's not something I'm going to kill myself over.

"I know it's attainable and I know what I need to get there."

Betterson, who started the year in seventh place on the list, and the Trojans have four games left in the season.

Larry-ingitis: Troy tight end Joe Munson has been muzzled and won't be allowed to grant interviews soon.
Troy coach Larry Blakeney has muted Munson after Munson's comments Monday. Munson criticized Troy's coaches' decisions and Arkansas State, which beat the Trojans last week.

Munson called Arkansas State "a garbage team" and also questioned his team's play-calling.

"A lot of players don't understand what's going on with the coaches," he said.
Mike a native Alabamian: LSU mascot Mike the Tiger celebrated his 15th birthday last week, a birth that came in Alabama.
Mike V is a native Alabamian who was born Oct. 18, 1989 at the Animal House Zoological Park in Moulton.

Mike was first named Booger by Dr. Thomas and Caroline Atchison, but renamed when the couple donated the cub to LSU.

"He's a big cat," Troy fan Perry Parsons of Hayden said before Saturday's game after his 2-year-old son Tyler took a wide-jawed look.

"LSU has a tiger and Florida State has a Seminole Indian and a horse. We need a Trojan and a horse."

Parsons is the uncle of Troy linebacker Robby Farmer.

Troy's guarantee: The game contract between LSU and Troy calls for the Tigers to pay the Trojans $450,000 for Saturday's game.