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|Ridley TD turned Tide|
There was no other way for LSU sophomore Stevan Ridley to describe this biggest carry of his life.
With LSU trailing Alabama 10-9 late in the third quarter, Tiger senior tailback Charles Scott carried the ball 34 yards to the Alabama 15-yard line, but broke his collarbone on the play.
After a two-yard run by Trindon Holliday, Ridley was sent into the game — his first experience as a running back against a Southeastern Conference opponent.
"My coach (Larry Porter) told me prior to that to stay by him because I might need to go in when we got to the fourth quarter," Ridley said. "I hated to see Charles go down, but you always have to be ready to take advantage of any opportunity. So I was ready for them to call my name."
Following a offsides penalty against Alabama that moved the ball to the 8-yard line, Ridley got the call for a play designed to go off tackle.
But with Alabama defensive tackle Terrance Cody standing in the way, along with other Tide defenders, Ridley stepped back and raced around right end, outrunning Tide defenders to the corner of the end zone to give LSU a 15-10 lead with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter.
"There was nothing up the middle," Ridley said. "So I just bounced it outside. It was an awesome feeling. It's just sad it ended up being in a loss."
Ridley received a hug from LSU coach Les Miles when he made it to the sidelines.
"Coach Miles was just as excited as I was," Ridley said. "He was pretty pumped up about that."
At his Monday press conference, Miles praised Ridley.
"I like Stevan Ridley," Miles said. "I think he makes a really accurate cut. I think he's a physical runner, and I think he is getting better. He's a guy who has continued to work hard. He's coming off injury. He didn't really have the spring. He's a guy that is really just rounding into shape and getting his speed back. I think we're pretty optimistic there, and I'm not ready to say that Keiland Williams won't get some more carries, but I think Stevan has proven that there is some exciting things that he can do."
Ridley said he is expecting to get more carries with Scott out for the season.
"Coach Miles told me I should get a significant amount of carries," Ridley said. "I'm looking forward to them calling my number and trying to make something happen. I've been waiting on being able to carry the ball more. We've got Louisiana Tech this week and then two SEC games. I'm getting some good experience this year and should roll that into next year.
"We still have a lot to play for this year," Ridley added. "Last year the team went down after the loss to Alabama. We don't want that to happen again. Everybody has their heads up and nobody is sulking. We've put that behind us. We can win out and go to a good bowl game. There's still a lot to play for."
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