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Story Archives: Les gets last laugh
|Les gets last laugh|
I thought it was kind of humorous when Alabama kicker Cade Foster kicked off at the start of the second quarter and kicked it out of bounds, giving LSU the ball at the Tiger 40-yard line.
Humorous because Nick Saban did not throw his headset, Saban did not get in Foster's face, Saban actually had very little reaction.
And no wonder. LSU's offense had been non-existent despite great field position — again!
I was ready to blow a fuse after the first two series.
You stop Alabama to start the game on three plays and after a 28-yard punt take over the Alabama 43 following a nine-yard return by Patrick Peterson.
What follows is a 3-yard run by Stevan Ridley, 3-yard run by Ridley, then they call a pass from Ridley, but Terrance Toliver was covered and Ridley smartly tucked it and lost four yards.
That would have been a great call on first down, but why do you call it on third down? Ridley played quarterback at Trinity and can throw the football. LSU ended up punting and this time Kelvin Sheppard intercepted a Greg McElroy pass after a great play by Tyrann Mathieu to cause the deflection.
So LSU has it at the Alabama 35 and here goes Spencer Ware for no gain, Russell Shepard for three yards and a five-yard pass from Jordan Jefferson to Richard Murphy.
Josh Jasper hits the field goal to put LSU up 3-0.
That's great, except the opportunity to be up 14-0 or 10-0 was blown in a big way.
And, meanwhile, LSU continues to run the option with Jefferson that goes no where.
Only LSU's outstanding play on defense keeps those missed opportunities from backfiring.
So the Tigers go into the dressing room trailing 7-3 and Les Miles makes the statement that LSU is right where they want to be. Are you sure he was just eating the grass?
But apparently, Miles didn't go into the dressing room. He must have went into Clark Kent's telephone booth.
Because what came out in the second half was a different LSU offense.
The Tigers finally opened it up and Jefferson was looking like the quarterback who was MVP of the 2008 Chick-Fil-A Bowl when they turned him loose.
Jefferson is going to make bad plays. But when you restrain him to a conservative offense, there's no way he's going to make great plays.
The second half, LSU let Jefferson and Jarrett Lee make some big plays by throwing conservative out the window — well, for a little bit anyway.
And kudos to the offensive line and Josh Dworacyzk who came back from a terrible game against Auburn and was dominant. Now he just needs to keep his emotions in check.
And what a great job by Eric Reid and Greg Shaw, filling in after injuries forced Brandon Taylor and Alex Hurst out of the game.
But it ain't over. Tough games remain at home against Ole Miss and at Arkansas.
Houston Nutt has had LSU's number over the past several years and this will be a big test for the Tigers.
LSU will face one of the top quarterbacks in the land at Arkansas and the Tigers need to come out and use the same type of philosophy they had in the second half against Alabama.
I hope LSU learns its lesson playing two Louisiana schools in one year.
I agree to needing some type of so-called breather in the heart of the SEC schedule. You just can't play quality opponents every week in the SEC and expect to escape unscathed.
But playing McNeese State and Louisiana-Monroe has really hurt the Tigers as far as strength of schedule.
But there's still a chance for playing for at least one title, and that's more than I counted on after the win over Tennessee to start off October.
Stranger things have happened. Just look back to Miles' first national title when LSU had two losses.
But it's got to be tough to eat that artificial turf in the Georgia Dome. Then again, I'm not putting anything past Miles.
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