August 12, 2008

2008: Grading the non-conference schedules

(http://www.sportsline.com/collegefootball/story/10921040)

We've created a vicious cycle in college football. Sure we all love the fact that just about every game is on TV nowadays. And because coaches and athletic directors want their teams to look good on TV, so they schedule a lot of limp fish opponents. Because wins beget bowl games. Bowl games begets job security. Job security begets more money. Thus, more money is insured by wins. You spin me right round baby right round, like a record.

No longer do college football teams across the country take chances. Or, well, rarely do they. Have you noticed how boring Septembers have become, except for the occasional Appy State upset of Michigan or Ohio State showdown with Texas?

Continue reading "2008: Grading the non-conference schedules" »

January 09, 2008

BCS Championship game: In Pictures

In a season that seemed to make little sense, it seemed only fitting that a two-loss team would win the national championship. Hell, why not? Just like everything else in this four-month stretch of pigskin madness, we weren't supposed to make sense of it. But in the end, it all added up for LSU.

Here's a photo montage of the 38-24 victory over Ohio State that gave the Tigers another national title flag to run up the flag pole.

BCS-SuperDome.jpg
(Though showing its age a little bit, the Grand Ole Lady on the River was all gussied up to host another big game in the Big Easy.)

BCS-S'Dome.jpg
(You sure you want first row, 50-yard line seats? One of the big complaints I've always had of the Superdome's layout is the fact that the stands are so far away from the field. For tonight's game, there were rows of temporary seats laid down on the floor for a bunch of bands and officials to sit in. Given that the teams will be standing in front of them, it made these seats useless to watch the game in.)

BCS-BrutusLSUfan.jpg
(Brutus the Buckeye gets a photo op with a purple-clad LSU fan. He's got all the luck I tell ya'.)

BCS-ArchieMan.jpg
(Archie Manning stalks the sidelines before the game. And it also appears as if he has grown a second head on his shoulders. Eerie.)

BCS-OSUpreGame.jpg
(The Buckeyes gather in the end zone after their pre-game warm-ups. Their helmets resembling a bunch of giant bouncing bee-bees.)

BCS-GGirlsBand.jpg
(What would an LSU game be without the Golden Girls doing their thing? They always enhance the atmosphere of game day for Tiger fans.)

BCS-BeanieWells.jpg
(Beanie Wells gets some props as he walks to the sidelines after busting a long touchdown run and giving OSU a quick 7-0 lead. Craig Steltz busted a read on the play and that allowed Wells to run 60-plus yards for first points of the game.)

BCS-OSUcheerDance.jpg
(The Buckeye cheerleaders pair up and do some kind of booty bumping thing after a touchdown. Later on in their lives, we're going to show their children video clips of this.)

BCS-OSUblocking.jpg
(Early in the game the Buckeye O-line gave Todd Boeckman good protection, helping lead OSU to a 10-0 lead after just nine offensive plays.)

BCS-RoughPunter.jpg
(One of the biggest Buckeye faux pas in the game came when Austin Spitler roughed LSU punter Patrick Fisher. This allowed LSU to maintain its opening drive of the second half, essentially putting the game away a few plays later with a TD pass from Matt Flynn to Early Doucet, giving LSU a 31-10 lead.)

BCS-LSUline.jpg
(In the end, the LSU O-line deserved to celebrate, being the main difference in the game, knocking back the talented Buckeye D-line for most of the game.)

BCS-ShelleySmith.jpg
(ESPN's Shelley Smith is in the starting blocks, about to rush the field for interviews after the final gun goes off. Hi Shelley.)

BCS-SamNadar.jpg
(Long time LSU assistant coach/recruiting coordinator/administrator Sam Nadar gets a photo op with a few fans holding one of those pre-printed "LSU wins" newspapers.)

BCS-LaurinaitisMad.jpg
(After I took this picture of James Laurinaitis I realized "Oops, he doesn't look like he wants his picture taken." Luckily I got away without him putting me in some kind of wrestling submission hold.)

BCS-CarnellStewart.jpg
(Apparenlty LSU hoss lineman Carnell Stewart decided to field post-game questions by literally sitting on the field.)

BCS-HighsmithBeard.jpg
(You gotta dig Ali HIghsmith's post-season beard. It's as if Barry White himself came back and put on an LSU uniform.)

BCS-MilesJacket.jpg
(Have you guys noticed how the coach that wins the title game is instantly outfitted with a black leather jacket with the school name embossed on it? Urban Meyer wore one last year on the post-game podium as well. Is this in their contract or something? Because it sure wasn't cold enough for a heavy leather jacket after the game was over.)

BCS-ConfettiShower.jpg
(Yes, the horribly contrived confetti shower begins automatically once the trophy is given to the head coach. Won't someone please make this stop?)

BCS-TresselMad.jpg
(Not surprisingly, Coach Tressel wasn't in the mood to answer more questions about his team coming up short on the game's biggest stage.)

DeadSchembechlers.jpg
(The biggest disappointment of the the whole BCS title game experience was the fact that the OSU punk band The Bastard Sons of Woody Hayes - formerly known as the Dead Schembechlers - didn't make the trip down to New Orleans and play at Tipitina's. I dig those guys.)

January 08, 2008

BCS Championship Game: LSU 38 - OSU 24.

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- In a season that made no sense, it makes a lot of sense that 12-2 LSU climbs back to be the kings of the college football world after tonight's 38-24 win over Ohio State.

They weren't the best team all season, they didn't dominate anyone past week two, they may not have even been the best two-loss team. But just like they did all season long, they won when they had to. And tonight they won impressively with a total team effort. No stars. No dominant stats. Just a team victory through and through.

FinalLSUtd.jpg
(Richard Dickson, seemingly open all night, scored the final touchdown for LSU on a 15-yard catch with 3:53 left.)

HurtKicker.jpg
(LSU's only point of embarrassment came when its kicker - Sean Gaudet - attempted to make a tackle on the final kickoff and got injured. Nothing's worse than a kicker that gets hurt on one of his only five plays of the night.)

LSUn'paper.jpg
(LSU players - like this clean-uniformed scrub - started displaying "LSU No. 1" newspapers as the clock wound down. I always thought this was one of the more contrived things about championship games.)

Dorsey.jpg
(Glen Dorsey gets a post-game interview from another blonde bombshell sideline reporter.)

FlynnCrystal.jpg
(Matt Flynn, the Offensive Player of the Game, displays the fruits of championship crystal.)

Jean-Francois.jpg
(D-Tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, who didn't play this season until the SEC Championship game, got voted the Defensive Player of the Game.)

Highsmith:Laurinaitis.jpg
(The two leading tacklers of the game, LSU's Ali Highsmith and OSU's James Laurinaitis, gave each other props in the post-game melee. Because LSU's total team effort, I actually thought that Laurinaitis should've been named the Defensive Player of the Game with his 18 tackles... which seemed more like 30 to me.)

BCS Championship Game: It's LSU!

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- The Tigers hold off Ohio State and complete the win for their second BCS championship in five years with the 38-24 win.

Congrats Tigers.

More to follow.

January 07, 2008

BCS Championship Game: Highsmith Hijacking

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- On 4th and 8, Todd Boeckman got this rude awakening from LSU's Ali Highsmith:
LSUinyourface.jpg
(Ali Highsmith says "hi" to Boeckman to provide the biggest play of the game so far)

With just over nine minutes remaining, OSU better come up with some big time magic.

LSU has just stayed within itself and relied on its defense, which has made some big plays to make the difference in this game.

I'm about to go down for what should be a purple and gold celebration... unless that magic thing works out for the Bucks.

BCS Championship Game: LSU takes lead into 4th

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- LSU should be careful. Despite my previous post, this game is NOT over.

And I'll give block of granite James Laurinaitis a whole mess of credit. Right before Malcom Jenkins' interception, when Fox was taking another 10-minute commercial block, he went up to each and every defender, patted them on the helmet and tried to light a fire under their ass:

Laurnaitis.jpg
(Laurinaitis has been all over the field tonight, including in his teammates heads)

Next play, boom! Jenkins pick leads to Brian Robiskie's 4-yard touchdown catch.

It's now 31-17, but OSU just stopped the Tigers again and have a chance to make this a game again.

BCS Championship Game: OSU decides to shoot its foot again

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Ballgame?

Well mark this play down for sure, OSU's Austin Spitler committed the mortal sin of roughing the kicker after the Buckeyes had stoned LSU on its first drive of the second half:
PuntPenalty.jpg
(This roughing of LSU's Patrick Fisher may have been the turning point)

After that, another personal foul penalty moved LSU into scoring range and Early Doucet caught a 4-yard pass from Matt Flynn to put LSU up 31-10.

At the half you could just FEEL the wind coming out of the Buckeye fans that were walking around the concourse with frustrated looks on their faces. I had a feeling if LSU scored on its opening possession of the second half, it could be all over. Well, here we are...

(oh, sorry for no halftime updates. See the Superdome only has a few outlets to charge your computer and mine was nearly on the blink. So I plugged it into a bathroom outlet during the break. No, I'm not kidding)

BCS Championship Game: LSU lookin' good, OSU not so.

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Another pick, another touchdown for LSU. The purple and gold are now up 24-10 with just under a minute to go before halftime.

This time it was Jacob Hester cramming himself across the goal line, as you can see from this pile of humanity and LSU's players celebrations:
LSUtd1.jpg
(it wasn't pretty, but Hester TDs never are)

OSU seems to be the one shooting themselves in the foot now with dumb penalties and a pair of crushing interceptions. Look for Bo Pelini to pin his D-boys ears back and get after Boeckman big time now.

BCS Championship Game: Jean-Francois blocks, LaFell converts

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- The Tigers didn't need any help that time.

After Ricky Jean-Francois blocked Ryan Pretorious' 38-yard field goal attempt, LSU drove the length of the field to take a 17-10 lead. Ole "Mo" is wearing Tiger white now.

The Drive:
10 plays, 66 yards
10-yard pass from Flynn to Brandon LaFell

Since the first two drives, LSU has figured out the Buckeye D and moved seamlessly down the field to take the 7-point lead. And LaFell, who has had a case of butter-fingers this season, held on to the pass this time.

BCS Championship Game: Okay, that was easy too

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Slicker than a mayonaisse sandwich, LSU goes 84 yards to the tying score, a 14-yard touchdown from Matt Flynn to Richard Dickson. Tigers made it look easy. OSU helped them out with a pair of 15-yard penalties.

Usually it has been LSU guilty of penalties left and right as the Tigers are the second-most penalized team in Division I.

Whole new ballgame now. The early jitters for LSU appear to be over.

BCS Championship Game: End of one, 10-3 OSU

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- It's the end of one. Surprised?

I have to admit, I'm not too shocked yet. Judging by how the Big 10 has done vs. the SEC in bowl games so far, Wisconsin nearly beating Tennessee and Michigan beating Florida, this is only a mild surprise.

Strange stat. That fumbled punt return by LSU is the 17th fumble the Tigers have committed this year, but have still only lost three all season. Three! Wow.

The matchup with Laurinaitis and Hester has been a beauty so far. And it seems like Laurinaitis has been in on every tackle for the Bucks. LSU has been a little predictabale with Hester so far. Then again, it hasn't hurt them either.

total yards:
OSU- 127
LSU- 57

BCS Championship Game: Okay, that's 10 points in 9 plays

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Ryan Pretorious puts OSU up 10-0 with just under six minutes gone in the game. The Bucks have run a total of nine offensive plays so far.

PretoriousKick.jpg

And give an "atta-boy" to OSU kick-off man Aaron Pettrey who has kept Trindon Holliday and Keiland Williams from returning any kickoffs. That's a valuable weapon.

BCS Championship Game: Beanie Bounds, OSU up quick

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Okay, that was fast.

BeanieTD.jpg
(Beanie Wells getting congratulated in the end zone)

... then again, I remember seeing Ted Ginn score fast on Florida last year too. So let's not jump to conclusions here.

(then again, part II... OSU didn't stop Florida on a three-and-out last year immediately afterward either)

BCS Championship Game: The best national anthem performance since Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- I'm sure you at home saw it, but the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed the national anthem tonight.
PreservationHallBand.jpg

That's pretty cool.

And didn't the singer look like Dickie Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones?

BCS Championship Game: Two best traditions in college football.

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- The two best band traditions in the country... easily. The script "Ohio": (though they should have done one big Ohio instead of two small ones.)
OhioScript.jpg

... and the hotness that is the LSU Golden Girls:
3LSUgoldengirls.jpg

By the way, they just introduced the president of the BSC and the president of Allstate Insurance. (Inject sound effect of crickets chirping here).

Then they introduced the president of Ohio State and the president of LSU to thunderous applause.

Considering Katrina's plentiful victims, you can understand the silence for Allstate. And considering the plentiful victims of college football's post-season, ditto for the pres of the BCS.

15 minutes before kickoff.

BCS Championship Game: Already loud, 60 minutes before kickoff

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Just as Ohio State was gathering at midfield and jumping up and down like a bunch of silver bee-bees:
OSUpregame.jpg

... LSU's remaining linemen and linebackers came storming out of the tunnel. So both fan bases were going nuts and the sound level was at near Who-concert loud. And that was with half the crowd still being patted down outside.

(Oh, in case I didn't tell you, yes, you had to be patted down by security to get into the Superdome. And no, my security guard wasn't a beautiful girl patting me down)

BCS Championship Game: 10 Reasons Fox Shouldn't Broadcast Bowl Games

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Here's 10 reasons why Fox shouldn't be broadcasting bowl games... or college football in general:

1- Who are all these NFL guys trying to talk college football?
In the BCS Selection Show we were subjected to Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and Fox talking head Chris Rose. These guys know nothing about college ball... at least not during the course of THIS season.
2- Fox is sensationalist journalism.
Did you notice that the announcement show started at 10 before the hour, but the actual unveiling of the title game opponents didn't happen until over 35 minutes later.
3- Watching Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson playing journalist and conducting interviews is just plain painful.
4- This network obviously isn't used to working college games. That's why we got phrases like Jimmy Johnson saying "you have to think these two are probably two of the best in the country" and whoever was announcing the Sugar Bowl blurted this gem: "First down Gators" when Georgia was about to snap the ball vs. Hawaii.
5- "The Bowl Bash on Fox"? That kind of name for the BCS bowls is soooooo freakin' high school sounding.
6- They are pulling that damn pro football thing where after a touchdown, there are a block of four commercials, then they come back for kickoff, then there is another block of four commercials. Make it stop!
7- Speaking of long commercial breaks, what's the average length of these damn BCS games, 4 hours, 15 minutes or so?
8- Waaaaaaay too many FOX programming promos. I can only see the trailer to Prison Break so many times.
9- The Sugar Bowl halftime feature about the 1951 Univ. of San Francisco team was the worst I've ever seen. They never gave the teams won-loss mark, the teams they beat and - most egregiously - they didn't name the bowl that wouldn't allow the team to play in their game unless they kept their two black players at home. HORRRRRRIBLE!!
10- Chris Meyers as the sideline reporter? Puh-leeeeze give me back my Erin Andrews.

BCS Championship Game: Two quick "Did You Knows"

NEW ORLEANS, La.-- Bet you didn't know that LSU won the Boxing national championship in 1949:
LSUboxing.jpg

... and since the NCAA doesn't sponsor the Division I post-season, beer is able to be sold at bowl games:
BCSbeer.jpg

It's an hour twenty before kickoff and LSU's special teams guys just entered the playing field to a rousing applause by their fans.

BCS Championship Game: What OSU is trying to avoid

NEW ORLEANS, La.--

Last year, at the BCS title game in Glendale, I was walking around the stadium about two hours after the game was over and came upon four or five of these t-shirts left behind on seat backs in the Ohio State cheering section:
OSUshirt.jpg

I'm sure their fans are hoping not to repeat the mistake of making a shirt like this for this year's game. Or better yet, winning the game so that a shirt like this won't hurt any longer. That's part of what I think will motivate this OSU squad to have a better showing.

It's about six hours before game time and as I write this the Ohio State band is practicing their script "Ohio" on the field. The Superdome peeps are also firing off some of the pyrotechnics to practice for the pre-game and halftime show.

More later.

January 06, 2008

BCS Championship Game: The Day Before Preview

NEW ORLEANS, La.--

It's the vest...
Tressel.jpg

Versus the hat...
Miles.jpg

This is like a science experiment. What happens when you combine a a group of 18-22 year olds, 364 days of long memories and a whole state-full of pressure?

That's what Jim Tressel and his Ohio State Buckeyes face on Monday night in what will be a de facto home game for LSU in the Superdome.

Continue reading "BCS Championship Game: The Day Before Preview" »

December 01, 2007

Tigers Pull it Out

ATLANTA, Ga. – A day that started with so much uncertainty for LSU ended with a simple and enduring image:

Continue reading "Tigers Pull it Out" »

We have an audible

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, I have to make one more post before I head down...again.

Continue reading "We have an audible" »

Before I go down to the field

ATLANTA, Ga. - LSU is beating Tennessee on both sides of the ball.

Continue reading "Before I go down to the field" »

Where is Dorsey?

ATLANTA, Ga. - With big defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey out most of the game, the Tigers defense has done an admirable job against the Tennessee offense.

Continue reading "Where is Dorsey?" »

Can he do it

ATLANTA, Ga. - Can Ryan Perrilloux lead LSU back from being down in the fourth quarter?

Continue reading "Can he do it" »

A Perrilloux Faux Pas

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, Ryan Perrilloux's first mistake of the game was almost a big one.

Continue reading "A Perrilloux Faux Pas" »

So yeah, Ainge

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, Erik AInge has proved me wrong.

Continue reading "So yeah, Ainge" »

Talk about an arm

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, Ryan Perrilloux is doing a good job of making LSU fans forget Matt Flynn real fast.

Continue reading "Talk about an arm" »

Note to Les Miles

ATLANTA, Ga. - Try not to burn all of your timeouts before your team drives down the field at the end of the half to try to take the lead.

Continue reading "Note to Les Miles" »

Domination and Losing

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, the Bayou Bengals are really running it up on the Vols.

Continue reading "Domination and Losing" »

Poor Les

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, going for it on fourth down had to catch up with Les Miles sooner or later.

Continue reading "Poor Les" »

In Like Perrilloux?

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, with Tigers starting quarterback Matt Flynn out with a shoulder injury LSU backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux has more than stepped in for Flynn.

Continue reading "In Like Perrilloux?" »

A Truck Sighting

ATLANTA, Ga. - I wonder if LSU running back Jacob Hester came running full speed at Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo, who would take the worst of that hit?

Continue reading "A Truck Sighting" »

Trickery afoot

ATLANTA, Ga. - Well, Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer showed Les Miles early that he has a few ticks up his sleeve.

Continue reading "Trickery afoot" »

Les Miles is Staying?

ATLANTA, Ga. - In a move unlike anything I have seen in the sports writing business, Les Miles held an impromptu news conference two hours before the SEC championship.

Continue reading "Les Miles is Staying?" »

November 23, 2007

Tigers' title dreams gone

BATON ROUGE, La. - Following Friday's game, just outside the LSU locker room, senior quarterback Matt Flynn was seen crying on a coach's shoulder.

Such strong, public displays of emotion are few and far between in football.

But after the way Flynn ended his home finale at LSU, his outburst of emotion seems justified.

Continue reading "Tigers' title dreams gone" »

The answer is yes, but...

BATON ROUGE, La. - Brandon LaFell caught a touchdown pass, but Matt Flynn threw an interception on the two-point conversion and Arkansas has beaten No. 1 LSU, 50-48

Check back later for stats, analysis and quotes.

Arkansas scores ... can LSU respond?

BATON ROUGE, La. - Peyton Hillis just scored for the Razorbacks, and Felix Jones carried the ball in on the right side to make the two-point conversion.

Arkansas leads LSU, 50-42. LSU's offense is taking the field.

Hester in...

BATON ROUGE, La. - Jacob Hester put his head down and dashed into the endzone to tie the score at 42.

LSU and Arkansas are now heading into the third overtime. In NCAA football, beginning with the third overtime teams must attempt two-point conversions. Extra points are not allowed.

Arkansas has chosen to go on offense first for the third overtime. LSU has chosen to defend the north endzone.

Arkansas not playing around

BATON ROUGE, La. - It took Arkansas only two plays to get into the endzone in the second overtime.

Darren McFadden put the Hogs up 42-35 with a 9-yard run.

Hogs strike second

BATON ROUGE, La. - Arkansas' Peyton Hillis caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Casey Dick to tie LSU at 35.

Arkansas was hampered by two penalties on their first overtime possession but battled through to keep the game alive.

For the second overtime, LSU has chosen to go on defense first. The teams will play on the south end of Tiger Stadium, away from the LSU student section.

Tigers strike first

BATON ROUGE, La. - Matt Flynn ran into the locker room just after the end of regulation with some sort of equipment problem, but returned just as the Tigers went into the huddle to begin overtime.

Arkansas won the coin toss and deferred. LSU has the ball first to start overtime.

On the third play, Flynn ran 12 yards into the endzone for a touchdown.

Overtime in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - Arkansas just missed on a fourth down opportunity in LSU territory and gave the ball back to LSU with three seconds left in the game.

Matt Flynn's Hail Mary attempt was unsucessful, and the game is now headed to overtime.

Tigers score ... twice

BATON ROUGE, La. - Matt Flynn just dashed two yards into the endzone, but Arkansas called a timeout just before the ball was snapped.

On the next play, Flynn threw a touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd. The score is now tied at 28 with 57 seconds remaining in the game.

LSU driving...

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Tigers have just broken into Arkansas territory with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

Matt Flynn threw a pass to Early Doucet, which was deflected and landed in the hands of tight end Richard Dickson, who ran 35 yards down to the 8-yard line.

LSU now has third-and-goal from the 6-yard line. The Tigers have just taken their first timeout of the half with 1:10 left in the game.

Hogs ahead again

BATON ROUGE, La. - Things aren't looking good for the LSU Tigers.

Arkansas just took the lead with a 24-yard pass from Darren McFadden to Peyton Hillis.

The Tigers last drive looked promising but was stalled by two crucial penalties that took away a touchdown and a first down. They were forced to punt, and the Razorbacks went 72 yards on six plays on the ensuing possession.

There are less than five minutes remaining in the game.

Tigers, Hogs scoreless so far in fourth

BATON ROUGE, La. - After a huge increase in offensive output toward the end of the third quarter, points have been slow to come by for both LSU and Arkansas in the final period.

The teams are still tied at 21. LSU had the ball first-and-10 at its own 39-yard line with 9:08 left in the game.

After a running play, Matt Flynn threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Hester, but the play was called back because the Tigers had an ineligible receiver downfield.

LSU has the ball second-and-8 on its own 41-yard line.

Back and Forth in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU has responded to an Arkansas touchdown yet again.

The No. 1 Tigers just drove 75 yards on 10 plays and tied the score at 21 with a 7-yard touchdown catch by Demetrius Byrd.

There are 2:22 left in the third quarter. The Tigers Stadium crowd is starting to come alive with cheers for the Tigers and jeers for the Razorbacks. The fans are finally realizing that a victory this afternoon may not that easy.

Offensive Explosion

BATON ROUGE, La. -Both LSU and Arkansas are making up for the lack of scoring done in the first half.

The Razorbacks just drove 83 yards on four plays to take the lead once again over No. 1 LSU, 21-14.

Fullback Peyton Hillis rushed 65 yards right through the middle of the Tigers' defense for the score.

Arkansas has outgained LSU on the ground, 255-92.

Tigers respond quickly

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU's offense woke up on its second drive of the second half.

After the Razorbacks scored, Chad Jones returned the Arkansas kickoff to the LSU 49-yard line, and the Tigers' offense did the rest, driving 51 yards on nine plays to tie the game at 14.

Jacob Hester scored the LSU touchdown with a 12-yard run, and Matt Flynn dashed to the right corner of the endzone for a two-point conversion with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter.

Razorbacks score again

BATON ROUGE, La. - Darren McFadden just raced 73 yards down the left sideline for his second touchdown of the day, putting Arkansas up, 14-6.

The run put McFadden over the 100-yard mark for the game. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in nine of Arkansas' 12 games this season.

The Tigers' offense has looked slow and lethargic for most of the game. If they don't wake up soon, they can kiss their national championship dreams goodbye.

Not much scoring at half in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - It may be good defense, or it may be bad offense.

But whatever "it" is, it's preventing points from being scoring in this afternoon's LSU-Arkansas matchup.

The Razorbacks lead the No. 1 Tigers at halftime, 7-6, but the way the teams got to that score has been anything but exciting.

Continue reading "Not much scoring at half in Baton Rouge" »

Razorbacks jump ahead

BATON ROUGE, La. - Arkansas just marched 97 yards down the field to take a 7-6 advantage over LSU.

The Razorbacks needed only nine plays to score the first touchdown of the game. Darren McFadden was responsible for putting the points on the board with a 16-yard scoring run right up the middle of the LSU defense.

There are 7:25 left in the first half.

Offensive struggles in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - Neither LSU nor Arkansas has been able to put together anything on offense so far.

LSU has gotten relatively good field position throughout the game but has only mustered two field goals, one coming off a fumbled kickoff return by Darren McFadden.

The Arkansas rushing attack of McFadden and Felix Jones has looked average early on.

LSU leads 6-0 with 14:10 left in the first half.

David increases LSU lead

BATON ROUGE, La.- LSU hasn't gotten into the endzone yet, but points are points.

The Tigers' latest drive lasted 11 plays and went 41 yards. Colt David kicked a 49-yard field goal to put LSU up on Arkansas, 6-0.

The Razorbacks have run only three offensive plays so far in the first quarter.

McFadden fumbles again

BATON ROUGE, La. - After an LSU field goal put the Tigers up 3-0, Arkansas' Darren McFadden again fumbled the LSU kickoff.

This time, McFadden recovered his own fumble, the Razorbacks went three-and-out before punting to LSU.

11:47 left in the first quarter.

Early mistake costs Razorbacks

BATON ROUGE, La. - Darren McFadden fumbled the game's opening kickoff, and LSU recovered the ball on the Arkansas 25-yard line.

The Tigers picked up one first down on their opening possession, and Colt David kicked a 32-yard field goal to make the score 3-0 with 13:19 left in the first quarter.

Tigers' seniors honored before game

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU just honored its 25 seniors before the final home game of the season against Arkansas.

The Tigers' departing class is the winningest class in LSU history. It includes players such as starting quarterback Matt Flynn, starting running back Jacob Hester, starting strong safety Craig Steltz and starting All-American defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.

Both teams have taken the field. Arkansas will receive the ball to start the game.

Tigers, Razorbacks square off in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU's conference and national championship hopes have almost become somewhat of an afterthought here over the past week.

Dominating the headlines and fan conversation has been the possibility of LSU coach Les Miles leaving the Tigers after the season to replace the recently retired Lloyd Carr at his beloved alma mater, Michigan.

But it seems the distractions have not affected the Tigers' preparations this week, mainly because they know their home finale against Arkansas this afternoon could be one of the toughest contests of the season.

Continue reading "Tigers, Razorbacks square off in Baton Rouge" »

November 17, 2007

Top-ranked Tigers take care of Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. - As expected, LSU's Saturday afternoon contest with SEC rival Ole Miss was filled with excitement and unpredictability, even though the two teams' records may not have foreshadowed such events.

The Rebels (3-8, 0-7) hung close with the Tigers (10-1, 7-0) throughout the game, but it was LSU that came away from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with a win, defeating Ole Miss 41-24.

Statistically, it could be argued that the Rebels should have pulled off the upset. Ole Miss had 25 first downs compared to LSU's 21, and the Rebels outgained the Tigers, 466-396.

Continue reading "Top-ranked Tigers take care of Ole Miss" »

Rebels down but not out

OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss Rebels aren't going to just roll over and concede victory to LSU.

They just proved that. After falling behind 27-10, the Rebels responded to an LSU field goal by driving 70 yards on seven plays and scoring on a 38-yard run by quarterback Brent Schaeffer.

On the ensuing kickoff, Ole Miss was unsuccessful on an onside kick opportunity. LSU will start first-and-10 from the Rebels' 40-yard line.

Tigers slowly pulling away from Rebels

OXFORD, Miss. - Whatever chance Ole Miss had at upsetting No. 1 LSU appears to be slipping away.

The Tigers just drove 66 yards on 12 plays and ate up 5:25 off the clock.

Colt David finished the drive with a 43-yard field goal, giving LSU a 27-10 lead with 11:36 left in the game.

Crunch time for Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. - The Rebels enter the fourth quarter trailing the LSU Tigers, 24-10.

LSU began the quarter on the Ole Miss 41-yard line. Flynn completed an 11-yard pass to Brandon LaFell, and now the Tigers have a first-and-10 at the Ole Miss 30.

David kicks lead back to 14

OXFORD, Miss. - Colt David just kicked a 48-yard field goal and extended LSU's lead to 24-10 with a little less than five minutes left in the third quarter.

The kick was the culmination of a 7-play, 31-yard drive.

Baby steps for Rebels

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss cut LSU's lead to 11 with a Joshua Shene 23-yard field goal.

The Rebels drive lasted nine plays and covered 68 yards in 3:19.

With 6:51 left in the third quarter, the Tigers still lead Ole Miss, 21-10.

LSU comes out sharp in second half

OXFORD, Miss. - Once again, LSU has opened the half with a touchdown drive on their first possession.

The first time came on a 98-yard march down the field in the first quarter.

The Tigers got the ball first to start the second half and drove 54 yards on 10 plays to take a 21-7 lead against Ole Miss.

Keiland Williams scored his sixth rushing touchdown of the season on the drive.

LSU-Ole Miss halftime update

OXFORD, Miss. - If the LSU offense isn't on the field, then it'll be difficult for them to put points on the scoreboard.

That appears to be the strategy Ole Miss used in the second quarter. After an LSU punt, the Rebels got the ball with 8:05 on the clock and proceeded to run 7:40 off.

The Rebels' drive last 12 plays and went 56 yards but ended on a sour note when Ole Miss quarterback Seth Adams threw an interception to LSU safety Craig Steltz in the endzone.

Continue reading "LSU-Ole Miss halftime update" »

Penalties slow offenses

OXFORD, Miss. - Not much has happened here in the second quarter.

After a first quarter filled with long drives and spectacular special teams teams, things seem relatively quiet now.

Penalties have helped stall drives by both squads before those drives really even got started, and the score remains 14-7 LSU with 10:15 left in the first half.

Tigers like number 98

OXFORD, Miss. - LSU drove 98 yards on its opening drive.

And now, after Ole Miss responded with a punt return touchdown, LSU wide receiver Trindon Holliday returned the Rebels' kickoff 98 yards for a score of his own.

LSU leads, 14-7, with 3:04 remaining in the first quarter.

Rebels respond

OXFORD, Miss. - After starting a drive on their own 41-yard line, Ole Miss drove down to the LSU 2-yard line before BenJarvus Green-Ellis fumbled the football.

The Tigers recovered on their own 1-yard line, but went three and out on the ensuing drive.

LSU punted to Marshay Green, who returned the punt 44 yards for a touchdown.

With 3:18 left in the first quarter, LSU and Ole Miss are tied at 7.

Tigers up on Rebels, 7-0

OXFORD, Miss. - Starting inside your own 5-yard line? No big deal for LSU.

On their opening drive, the Tigers drove 98 yards on 11 plays to take a quick 7-0 lead against Ole Miss.

Quarterback Matt Flynn scored the touchdown on a 5-yard run.

Flynn also completed both of his pass attempts on the drive.

Rebels not backing down yet

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss received the opening kickoff and although the Rebels produced no points, they showed that they are not yet intimidated by the Tigers.

The Rebels drove into LSU territory on the first drive of the game. They were forced to punt and downed the ball at the LSU 2-yard line.

The Tigers now have the ball on their own 2 to start their first drive of the game with 12:02 left in the first quarter.

Tigers, Rebels take the field for warmups

OXFORD, Miss. - Both LSU and Ole Miss have taken the field for pregame drills.

The crowd is majority Rebels' fans, but there is a large scattering of LSU faithful in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

The northeast and west sections of the stadium are mostly LSU fans with a few purple and gold-clad spectators spread among the rest of the crowd.

Kickoff is about 40 minutes away. Skies are cloudy, and the temperature is 66 degrees.

Top-ranked Tigers set to battle Rebels

OXFORD, Miss. - Based solely on statistics and records, the No. 1 LSU Tigers should have a pretty easy game this afternoon against Southeastern Conference foe Ole Miss.

The Tigers rank tops in the conference in both total offense and total defense, while the Rebels are ranked No. 9 and No. 12, respectively.

LSU (9-1, 5-1) has already clinched the SEC West title. Ole Miss (3-7, 0-6) is still looking for its first conference win.

Continue reading "Top-ranked Tigers set to battle Rebels" »

November 04, 2007

So long from T-Town

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Well that was a close one.

Continue reading "So long from T-Town" »

November 03, 2007

Before I go to the field

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Tied ball game here at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Continue reading "Before I go to the field" »

Bama keeps it up

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - It took Alabama 3:07 to go 80 yards and score again to put it at 27-17, Alabama.

Continue reading "Bama keeps it up" »

Matt Flynn

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The LSU quarterback is clearly having a tough game.

Continue reading "Matt Flynn" »

Unreal

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Just when you think Nick Saban appears to be beaten, he morphs into "Supercoach".

Continue reading "Unreal" »

Oh my...

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Looks like LSU QB Matt Flynn has a case of the pick offs.

Continue reading "Oh my..." »

What a momentum shift

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A long touchdown by Alabama, then an interception on the next play.

Continue reading "What a momentum shift" »

Shenanigans?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama hasn't been dominated like this all season long.

Continue reading "Shenanigans?" »

Spoke too soon

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Well, just when I talk about Glenn Dorsey being healthy, he goes out and gets hurt.

Continue reading "Spoke too soon" »

Dorsey is playing

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Well, Glenn Dorsey is indeed lined up on the LSU defensive line.

Continue reading "Dorsey is playing" »

Saban Bowl?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Never during my time covering the Tide has the opposing team outnumbered Alabama fans in Tuscaloosa.

Continue reading "Saban Bowl?" »

October 21, 2007

wave of hand does wonders in LSU victory

BATON ROUGE, La. - With one wave his hand to the press box, LSU wide receiver Demetrius Byrd put the fate of the Tigers' season on his shoulders.

In the final minutes of LSU's contest with Auburn, Byrd wanted to run a go route to the endzone. After Jacob Hester's 10-yard run on the final drive, Byrd waved his hand toward the sky, instructing offensive coordinator Gary Crowton to call the play.

Continue reading "wave of hand does wonders in LSU victory" »

LSU wins, 30-24

BATON ROUGE, La. - Wide receiver Demetrius Byrd caught a touchdown pass with one second left to give LSU a 30-24 victory.

Check back later for stats, analysis and comments from coaches and players.

Auburn back on top, 24-23

BATON ROUGE, La. - Rodgeriqus Smith just caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Cox to give Auburn a 24-23 advantage with 3:21 left in the game.

Smith beat LSU cornerback Chevis Jackson on the play. Jackson went for the interception, and the pass was thrown perfectly over his fingertips.

LSU now has the ball, first-and-10 on its own 42-yard line.

Purple and Gold Tigers stretch lead to six

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU has looked like a completely different football team in the second half.

Colt David just connected on his third field goal of the night to give LSU a 23-17 lead against SEC rival Auburn.

LSU quarterback Matt Flynn is having a career night. So far, he has completed 20 of his 31 passes for 295 yards.

October 20, 2007

LSU takes lead in fourth quarter

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU has taken its first lead of the game on a 5-yard reception by Jacob Hester.

The play was under official review for a few minutes after the initial call on the field. Officials decided that the play would stand as initially called.

The Tigers now lead Auburn, 20-17, with 12:55 left in the game.

LSU's defense has just taken the field, and All-American Glenn Dorsey is still on the sidelines.

Dorsey hurt again ... LSU cuts lead

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was injured for the second time in the game on a second down play by Auburn.

Dorsey injured his right leg and limped off the field on his own power.

Following Auburn's drive, the injury seemed to spark the Tigers' offense as Matt Flynn connected with Demetrius Byrd for a 58-yard gain that led to another LSU field goal.

With 2:03 left in the third quarter, Auburn leads LSU, 17-13.

Drops hurting home team

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU wide receivers have dropped three passes in the third quarter, including one that hit Brandon LaFell in the numbers and was intercepted by Patrick Lee.

LSU has five dropped passes so far in the game.

Auburn has the ball on LSU's 36-yard line with 5:39 left in the third quarter.

LSU cuts lead to 7 points

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU took the opening drive of the second half 56 yards and converted a 29-yard field goal to cut Auburn's lead to 17-10.

The big play of the drive was a 33-yard pass into three defenders from Matt Flynn to Early Doucet.

It was Doucet's second catch of the night. His first went for no gain.

LSU trails at half, 17-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU could very well be watching its national title hopes taken away.

LSU trails Auburn at home, 17-7, at halftime.

LSU has been plagued by turnovers and dropped passes in the first half. Quarterback Matt Flynn completed his first six passes, but finished the half 9-of-12.

Continue reading "LSU trails at half, 17-7" »

field goal gives Auburn 17-7 advantage

BATON ROUGE, La. - Auburn's offense wasn't supposed to be this potent.

The Tigers just drove 90 yards on 12 plays and converted a 22-yard field goal to increase their lead over LSU to 17-7 with less than two minutes left in the first half.

Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox is 11-of-15 for 115 yards and has led his team to 11 first downs.

Auburn has not committed a penalty in the first half.

Physical nature in full force as Auburn takes lead

BATON ROUGE, La. - The term "physical" might be an understatement for what's going on here in Baton Rouge.

Three players have already been shaken up less than 25 minutes into the game.

For LSU, Glenn Dorsey and linebacker Darry Beckwith both left the game for a short time with minor injuries.

For Auburn, cornerback Patrick Lee was shaken up but soon returned.

LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux just fumbled in LSU territory. Auburn cornerback Jerraud Powers returned the ball to the 3-yard line before being tackled by LSU wide receiver Trindon Holliday.

On the third play after the turnover, running back Carl Stewart dove in from the 1-yard line to give Auburn a 14-7 lead with 9:34 left in the first half.

LSU uses big plays to tie score

BATON ROUGE, La. - With the use of two big plays, LSU quickly put itself back into the game.

A 13-yard catch by Brandon LaFell followed by a 46-yard touchdown from Keiland Williams tied the score at 7.

LSU's drive lasted four plays and covered 62 yards.

Dorsey misses second drive

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU failed to score on its first drive of the game, and Auburn went three and out on its second drive.

LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey missed Auburn's second drive and was taken to the locker room after Auburn jumped to a 7-0 lead.

Dorsey just returned back to the sidelines as LSU prepares for its second possession of the game.

Auburn jumps out to 7-0 lead

BATON ROUGE, La. - It doesn't seem like the Tiger Stadium atmosphere is affecting the Auburn Tigers.

The Tigers took the opening kickoff and drove 63 yards on 11 plays to take a quick 7-0 lead over LSU five minutes into the game.

LSU All-American defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was shaken up on the sixth play. It appeared to be a minor cramp, but Dorsey missed the remainder of Auburn's scoring drive.

Ready for some football

BATON ROUGE, La. - The excitement is building here in Tiger Stadium as fans prepare for an SEC battle between No. 4 LSU and No. 17 Auburn.

The LSU marching band has just completed its pregame ritual and both teams have taken the field.

There are five minutes remaining until kickoff.

It was just announced that LSU wide receiver Early Doucet will start tonight.

It's Tigers vs. Tigers tonight in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - Fans who enjoy high-powered offense and tons of points probably shouldn't look for tonight's LSU-Auburn matchup to give them what they need.

Historically, the yearly contest between these two teams is one of the most physical in the Southeastern Conference.

Continue reading "It's Tigers vs. Tigers tonight in Baton Rouge" »

October 13, 2007

UK-LSU Wrap-up

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Another No. 1 has fallen in a season full of No. 1 teams falling. Today, it was LSU's turn. The Tigers lost 43-37 to Kentucky in triple overtime at Commonwealth Stadium. The game ended with UK linebacker Braxton Kelley stoned LSU running back Charles Scott on fourth-and-two. Kelley said the game - and this season - have proved the parity in college football.
"Football is football," Kelley said. "Each player has a drive to make plays. All around the nation right now, people are doing that, and they continue to make upsets. People are doing that little extra and having that they can take that one extra step and make that big play that can be the game-changer."
Saturday night, Kelley took that one extra step, plugged the hole, made the big play and changed this season.

Up next:
UK - v. Florida
LSU v. Auburn

Kentucky wins

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky beats LSU 43-37 in triple OT. It's Kentucky's first win over a No. 1-ranked team since 1964. Braxton Kelley stopped Charles Scott on the game's final play, and the fans came rushing onto the field. More after quotes.

Triple OT

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After three straight incomplete passes by Andre Woodson, UK kicker Lones Seiber made a 43-yard field goal to send the game to a third overtime. This is the longest UK game since the infamous 7OT game against Arkansas in 2002.

It was long enough...

LEXINGTON, Ky. - ...but it was wide left. After initially leaving his offense on the field, LSU coach Les Miles sent out kicker Colt David to try a 57-yard field goal on the final play of regulation. David, whose career long was a 45-yarder, had enough leg on the kick, but it sailed wide left. That means overtime at Commonwealth Stadium. What a game!

New ballgame in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. - LSU's defense held UK to another field goal attempt in the red zone, but Lones Seiber knocked it through for the Cats. UK has tied the game at 27 with four minutes left. Your play, Matt Flynn.

There's that big play

LEXINGTON, Ky. - UK's Trevard Lindley just made a leaping interception of an underthrown Matt Flynn pass, and UK has the ball at its own 37-yard line with seven minutes left. As the commercial break continues, Woodson waits with hands on hips at the front of the UK huddle, preparing to call the first play of this pivotal drive.

It gets a little tighter

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Lones Seiber just connected on a 33-yard field goal to bring Kentucky within three. It's 27-24 LSU with 7:57 left. LSU is one drive away from salting this away and escaping a second consecutive tough league tilt. UK is one big defensive play away from inching closer to its first win over a top-ranked team in 43 years.

End of Third Quarter: LSU 27, UK 21

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After LSU's offense got a first down on the drive's first play, UK has forced a three-and-out (well, actually a four-and-out). UK will have the ball down six after LSU punts on the first play of the fourth quarter. The lead - and perhaps the game - is there for Andre Woodson's taking.

Not dead yet in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After ten straight LSU points put UK's collective backs against the wall, the Cats responded emphatically. A seven-play, 82-yard touchdown drive (the scoring play was an eight-yard pass from Woodson to tight end Jacob Tamme) has pulled UK to within six at 27-21 with 1:13 left in the third quarter. Hope remains alive in Lexington.

Of note: We haven't seen either of UK's banged-up running backs, Rafael Little and Alfonso Smith. Little is dressed on the sideline, but hasn't seen any action. Looks like it will be Dixon and Locke the rest of the way. UK trails the turnover battle 2-0. Cats could use one on this LSU drive as the Commonwealth Stadium sell-out crowd is on its feet.

Halftime in Lexington: LSU 17, UK 14

LEXINGTON, Ky. - All things considered, Rich Brooks probably doesn't feel so bad to be down three at halftime. LSU controlled the ball for much of the second quarter, and capitalized on an Andre Woodson interception midway through the frame. The Tigers took a 17-7 lead with less than three minutes left in the half, but Woodson led a quick response from UK. But, you probably know that if you were watching on CBS.

Here's what each team needs to do in the second half:

LSU should continue to try and wear down the UK defense. Halftime came at a good time for the Cats, because they're likely gassed after spending the majority of the second quarter on the field. Look for the Tigers to keep pounding Charles Scott, and we may see more of Ryan Perrilloux in the second half to give the Tigers a speedier threat at quarterback. Scott softening up the interior of the defense could open things up for lightning-quick Trindon Holliday out of the backfield.

UK must force a turnover (or two or three). Not only will the defense need a few of them to slow down the LSU offense, but the UK offense could use a couple of short fields to try and build a lead. LSU has dominated opponents in the second half this season, and UK must make some big plays on both sides of the ball if it wants to pull the shocker.

LSU 10, UK 7

LEXINGTON, Ky. - LSU kicker Colt David just made a 31-yard field goal to put the Tigers ahead 10-7 with 5:42 left in the first half. In the press box, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said, "We're trying. We're trying." The Cats could use a touchdown here before the end of the half.

UK 7, LSU 7

LEXINGTON, Ky. - T.C. Drake picked a nice time for his first career reception. The UK sophomore tight end grabbed a tipped Andre Woodson pass in the end zone to give UK the lead with 2:45 to go in the first quarter. LSU, however, has responded. Running back Charles Scott just ran for 55 yard run on the final play of the quarter to give the Tigers the ball first-and-goal at the 1. And as I type that, Scott just scored on the first play of the second quarter.

Just over one quarter in the books, and we're all square in Lexington.

Fans' blood already boiling

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The game is still a few minutes from starting, but the animosity between fan bases is already high. The heavy throng of Tigers' fans chanted Geaux Tigers! during the UK band's playing of "My Old Kentucky Home," the de facto state song. That prompted boos and jeers from UK fans, and was followed by an especially loud applause at the end of the song.

The officials are on the field, and the starting lineups will soon be announced. We'll update the blog after each quarter, and with any major plays or news. Still no word on the status of UK starting running back Rafael Little. UK coach Rich Brooks said Thursday that Little was "very questionable" with a thigh bruise. Brooks called Little a game-time decision.

Speaking of game-time...

It's a beautiful day for a miracle...

LEXINGTON, Ky. - That seemed to be the sentiment among Kentucky fans as I headed into the stadium today, as the Wildcats attempt their first win over a top-ranked foe since 1964. If not for a miracle, it's at least a beautiful day for football. It's about 70 degrees here and the sun is shining in a cloudless blue sky.

The majority of the crowd must already be here and parked and tailgaiting, because my commute to the stadium was far quicker than usual. I expected just the opposite with this game sold out and this city fired up. Another thing I've noticed - lots of purple and gold around town. Quite a few LSU supporters were outside tailgating as I walked in. More impressively, hundreds of LSU supporters were out at Keeneland yesterday. They know there's not much better in this town than hitting the beautiful horse track on Friday and then watching the nation's top game of the day on a perfect Saturday afternoon.

October 07, 2007

LSU-Florida: The party is going on in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - That big, giant tremor you just felt was another jolt to the national championship picture.

The LSU Tigers fought, scratched, huffed, grunted, stuffed and converted their way to an exhausting 28-24 win over No. 9 Florida tonight in Tiger Stadium setting off a celebration that could be felt from La. to L.A.

LSUwins.jpg
(LSU players celebrate the win over Florida in front of the student section)

Coupled with USC's absolutely inexcusable loss to a weakened Stanford team, the Tigers will most assuredly gobble up the remaining first place votes in all of the polls this week.

This was a game of attrition. Florida's second half collapse and LSU's dogged determination.

Continue reading "LSU-Florida: The party is going on in Baton Rouge" »

October 06, 2007

LSU-Florida: Tigers don't miss this opportunity, cut it to three.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

They had to work for it, but LSU gets six points. And the extra point

This time, the Tigers don't screw around with missed field goals. After Tim Tebow rifled the ball off Percy Harvin's helmet and the Tigers intercepted, LSU went the remaining 27 yards to put this game back into reach at 24-21.

Matt Flynn hit Demetrius Boyd with a fourth-down TD pass to cap the drive. Had that ball not been caught, it could've been curtains for the Tigers. But instead, the purple and gold are given new life.

The drive goes 27 yard, 9 plays, 1:50. There is now 10:15 left in the game and Tebow has to be kicking himself for not using any touch on that intercepted pass. This should be a fun ending. 92,910 are in attendance, they just announced.

LSU-Florida: Don't think I've ever heard Tiger Stadium THIS quiet.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

Okay, I spoke way too quickly after they announced that USC-Stanford score.

Florida just showed who the champions are with that quick 5-play drive. This place is quiet again... except for the fans in blue and orange.

75 yards, 5 plays, with a 37 yard pass from Tim Tebow to Cornelius Ingram. And I'm not sure if I've EVER seen a receiver more wide open since Irving Fryer dropped that would-be touchdown in the Orange Bowl against Miami (but he had money on that game.).

LSU-Florida: Possibly the loudest I've heard an LSU crowd

BATON ROUGE, La.-

LSU scores a touchdown. USC loses. And now the Cajuns are goin' freakin' craaaa-zaaaaay!

I've been going to LSU games since 1978 and this may be as loud as I've ever heard it. All 92,000+ are abusing their lungs right now.

LSU-Florida: If I could be two places at once, I'd be here and at the Coliseum in L.A.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

LSU just put together their best drive of the night, going 70 yards on 15 plays with a Keiland Williams touchdown to make this a ball game again. Matt Flynn pulled off another great fake field goal to make a first down and keep the drive alive. And that pass interference on the Gators was really bad. Florida still leads 17-14, but it's getting hairy now with the crowd back into it.

However, the buzz in the press box is all about that unbelievable Stanford-USC ending. Did THAT really happen? My gawd! LSU just announced the score and the crowd went nuts.

Tigers kept the ball for 8:12.

LSU-Florida: Tebow to teammates, "We STILL own this #!@%in' place!"

BATON ROUGE, La.-

It's now 17-7 Florida ahead at the half. I've been able to obtain an on-field arm band and snapped this pic of Tim Tebow immediately after he scored the last touchdown before the half. He was getting in the face of his offensive teammates and yelled the above demand to them.

TebowBench.jpg

LSU actually holds an advantage of 177 to 172 yards in total offense. But obviously, dumb mistakes are hurting the Tigers again, including an interception, five penalties (Gators have none) and Brandon LaFell has dropped a few passes that would've helped their cause.

Tebow, to the surprise of exactly no one, leads the Gators with 44 yards rushing and capable 7-of-13 passing for 89 yards.

Matt Flynn is 8-of-15 for 102 yards so far. But has been a bit on the shaky side with some pressure. He also seems to be "locked in" on one receiver every time he drops back. Trindon Holliday has only touched the ball four times on offense and has never been able to get "in space" as those awful announcers like to say.

LSU-Florida: Tigers have some roar. Pull within 3.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

Like those 'Lectric Shave ads from the 70s, LSU says "Thanks, I needed that." Only they didn't get a slap of after shave, they gave a slap to the Florida defense, going 80 yards in 16 plays in 7:37. Ryan Perrilloux goes the final yard on another option for the TD.

It's now Florida 10, LSU 7. 6:08 left in the half.

By the way, it's never a bad time to include a picture of CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson. She rocks man.
TracyWolfson.jpg

LSU-Florida: Hmmm. LSU defense being exposed.

BATON ROUGE, La.-

Bo Pelini, your pedigree as a Defensive Coordinator is being questioned. Florida now up 10-0 at 13:45 of the 2nd quarter.

Tim Tebow continues to make a living over the middle against the Tiger defense, using Harvin and Co. on quick slants where they are finding an open lane. He also showed how plucky he was with that dink touchdown to Kehstan Moore. (By the way, don't you hate the word "plucky"?)

77 yards on 12 plays, 7:03... and a whole lot of authority for Florida right now.

LSU-Florida: Uh-oh, you can sense the crowd wants Perrilloux

BATON ROUGE, La.-

So Matt Flynn has made a couple of poor throws, including a pass behind the receiver that turned into a pick. And Ryan Perrilloux has made some nice runs on some option plays, looking J.C. Watts-like.

After Flynn's last incompletion you could hear the crowd moan with disapproval. Although he did make a nice throw to LaFell on an inside screen for a first down. LaFell then reprised his role from the Tulane game by dropping yet another pass that would've been a first down.

Some boo-birds are out for LSU? Geez people, get real, will ya'?

LSU-Florida: I give the Gators a B grade on that drive

BATON ROUGE, La.

Florida decided to surprise LSU with something they might not have expected, the short passing game. Tebow threw a couple of 8-12 yard passes befor the Gators were held to an opening drive field goal.

47 yards, 10 plays, 3:41
31 yard field goal by Jay Ijjas.

LSU, it's your turn now.

And is that USC-Stanford score right? 9-0 at the half? The Tiger Stadium P.A. should announce that score so the Tiger fans get even more into a frenzy.

LSU-Florida: Mike makes his appearance, kick off soon

And might I add, this stadium is LOUD as a MOTHER!

Typical LSU nighttime crowd. Drunken madness!

MikeTiger.jpg
The newest Mike The Tiger made his first appearance in the stadium tonight. Cute cheerleaders too. Hi girls!

LSU-Florida: Jambalaya, beer, Cowboy Mouth. The pre-game is ON in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La.-

No matter where you go around the LSU campus, you're within an antacids throw of a whole lot of wicked food, free booze and drunken cajuns willing to share their legendary hospitality.

It also helps that the New Orleans country-punk band Cowboy Mouth has helped whip the crowd into a frenzy with a quick gig in front of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

CowboyMouth.jpg
(Drummer Fred LeBlanc and the fetching Regina Zernay on bass for Cowboy Mouth)

The band is led by drummer Fred LeBlanc, who formerly banged the skins for Dash Riprock in the 80s and 90s. The were rockin' good, including a unique version of "Will you be my girl."

Meanwhile, the LSU band just entered Tiger Stadium after marching down Victory Hill through the huge throngs of LSU fans. If this little exhibition is any indication, tonight's crowd is going to be freakin' nuts! It's going to make a Jimi Hendrix concert sound like prayer service.

Continue reading "LSU-Florida: Jambalaya, beer, Cowboy Mouth. The pre-game is ON in Baton Rouge" »

October 05, 2007

LSU-Florida: The Day Before Preview

BATON ROUGE, La. - In the words of that immortal 60s and 70s game show To Tell The Truth, will the REAL Southeastern Conference power please stand up?

The last few weeks has shown us that both LSU and Florida have been imposters of their usual selves. This game should change that lethargic, elsewhere look these teams have had recently. 92,000+ screaming fans will make sure of that.

Continue reading "LSU-Florida: The Day Before Preview" »

September 22, 2007

Tigers win SEC home opener, 28-16

BATON ROUGE, La. - Saturday afternoon was not what Steve Spurrier has become used to when he travels to LSU.

Spurrier had an 11-1 record against the Tigers (4-0, 2-0 SEC) while he was head coach at Florida. That record was the last thing on his mind after his No. 12 Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) fell to No. 2 LSU, 28-16.

Continue reading "Tigers win SEC home opener, 28-16" »

Too little too late?

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina finally answered LSU's 28-0 run, but it will probably end up being too little too late.

Ryan Succop connected on a 23-yard field goal to cut the Tigers' lead to 28-10.

With 7:44 remaining in the game, the Gamecocks are in desperate need of points that don't come from their kicker's right foot.

South Carolina's scoring drive lasted 11 plays and covered 56 yards.

Flynn gives Gamecocks glimmer of hope

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU quarterback Matt Flynn just threw his first interception of the season, giving South Carolina the ball on its 38-yard line.

After two incomplete passes by Chris Smelley, Cory Boyd caught a pass for 21 yards and advanced the ball to LSU's 41.

The Gamecocks are driving with just over 9:00 remaining in the game.

Different QB, Same Story

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina's 18-yard drive ended abruptly after Chevis Jackson intercepted quarterback Chris Smelley on the 1-yard line.

The Gamecocks had good field position after Chris Culliver returned the Tigers' kickoff 44 yards. South Carolina's possession began on LSU's 45-yard line and lasted six plays before Jackson picked off Smelley.

With 1:39 left in the third quarter, LSU leads 28-7.

If it ain't broke...

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU continues to stick with the running game in the third quarter against South Carolina.

The Tigers just completed a 5-play, 30-yard touchdown drive. All but six of the yards on the drive came on the ground.

Running back Jacob Hester rushed nine yards up the middle for the score. South Carolina trails LSU, 28-7.

The Tigers have now outrushed the Gamecocks, 270-19.

Spurrier yanks Mitchell

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell has been replaced by Chris Smelley, a freshman from Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Mitchell completed 7-of-16 passes before being pulled in favor of Smelley.

With 8:20 left in the third quarter, LSU leads South Carolina 21-7.

Run Tigers Run

BATON ROUGE, La. - It's about time kickers got some respect.

LSU's Colt David just earned some 20 minutes ago with a 13-yard touchdown run that gave his Tigers a 21-7 halftime lead over No. 12 South Carolina.

David took a pitch from Matt Flynn and dashed toward the right corner of the endzone. The run was David's first rushing score of his career.

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Field goal? I think not...

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU looked like it had settled on attempting a field goal.

Not so fast.

That field goal attempt turned into a run by kicker Colt David. After the ball was snapped, holder Matt Flynn pitched the ball over his right shoulder to David, who ran 13 yards into the endzone for the first rushing touchdown of his career.

The trick play brought a smile to LSU coach Les Miles' face and caught South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier completely off guard.

With 18 seconds left in the first half, LSU leads 21-7.

Wide Right

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Tigers couldn't capitalize on their fumble recovery, missing a 42-yard field goal that would have given them a 17-7 advantage over South Carolina.

Both starting quarterbacks have looked rusty in the first half. LSU's Matt Flynn has completed only five of his 12 pass attempts, while South Carolina's Blake Mitchell is 6-for-14 for 69 yards.

Flynn's backup, Ryan Perrilloux, has ran the ball twice for 42 yards.

The Gamecocks went three and out on their following possession. It's LSU's ball with 7:29 left in the half.

QB Shuffle

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU just went up 14-7 on South Carolina thanks to a little quarterback shuffling.

Backup Ryan Perrilloux saw his first action of the game today on the Tigers' 9-play, 56-yard drive. Perrilloux's 19-yard run help set up Matt Flynn's 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Richard Dickson.

On the second play of the following possession, the Gamecocks fumbled, giving the Tigers the ball on their 46-yard line with 11:34 remaining in the first half.

Happy Holliday

BATON ROUGE, La. - It took LSU only 4 plays to respond to South Carolina's opening score.

The Tigers drove 69 yards down the field in 1:23 to tie the score at 7.

Sophomore wide receiver Trindon Holliday picked up 44 rushing yards on the drive, including his 33-yard scamper into the endzone.

Gamecocks up, 7-0

BATON ROUGE, La. - After blocking a punt, it took South Carolina 12 plays and 67 yards to strike first against the Tigers.

Mike Davis' 1-yard run has given the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead.

The score is only the second touchdown LSU's defense has allowed this season.

As LSU takes the field to return the kickoff, a light rainfall has begun once again.

Another injury...

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina linebacker Jasper Brinkley was shaken up after breaking up a pass on LSU's opening possession.

Brinkley was helped off the field by trainers and had a slight limp as he walked away.

12:15 remaining in the first quarter. Both teams are scoreless.

LSU/South Carolina injury update

BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina's Casper Brinkley will start at defensive end in place of the injured Nathan Pepper.

Cliff Matthews will replace Brinkley at weak side linebacker.

For the Tigers, sophomore Jared Mitchell will replace the injured Early Doucet at wide receiver.

Quarterback Matt Flynn will start for LSU after missing last week's game against Middle Tennessee.

LSU won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. South Carolina will receive the ball first.

Mother Nature deceives yet again

BATON ROUGE, La. - Maybe the weather will be a factor in Baton Rouge.

Tiger Stadium just received about five minutes of heavy rainfall 30 minutes before the scheduled kickoff between LSU and South Carolina.

A number of fans have taken shelter on the concourse level of Tiger Stadium.

The rain has slowed down a bit. As of now, kickoff is still slated for 2:30 p.m.

Weather not a factor for Tigers, Gamecocks

BATON ROUGE, La. - Despite overcast skies, weather shouldn't affect the start time of today's LSU/South Carolina SEC matchup.

There were fears earlier this week that Tropical Depression 10 would influence today's 2:30 p.m. kickoff but those fears are long gone as the tropical disturbance has stayed east of Baton Rouge.

Conditions are windy here at Tiger Stadium. A drizzle or two fell from the skies about an hour ago, but that has not stopped fans from filling their seats for today's battle of undefeated SEC teams.

Spurrier returns to Tiger Stadium

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September 09, 2007

Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - Defense was supposed to be the story in Saturday night's matchup between LSU and Virginia Tech.

It ended up being only half of the story... the LSU half.

Continue reading "Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7" »

Fans begin to empty as Tigers go up, 41-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - Keiland Williams' second touchdown of the night has begun to send Tiger fans out of the Tiger Stadium and into heavy, post-game traffic.

Williams' 32-yard scamper gave him a new career high of 126 rushing yards. His previous high was a 107-yard performance against Notre Dame in January's Sugar Bowl.

Also setting career highs so far tonight for the Tigers: Matt Flynn with 218 passing yards, Jacob Hester with 81 rushing yards and Brandon LaFell with 125 receiving yards.

September 08, 2007

Not so fast, Hokies...

BATON ROUGE, La. - Just when it looked like Virginia Tech would build some momentum toward a possible comeback, LSU countered with a 6-play, 76-yard drive to push its lead to 34-7 with 2:10 left in the third quarter.

LSU backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux replaced Matt Flynn for one play on the drive and completed a 34-yard pass to wide receiver Early Doucet for the score. The pass was Perrilloux's second touchdown throw of his career.

Hokies finally put points on board

BATON ROUGE, La. - Virginia Tech avoided a shutout by engineering an 8-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

The touchdown was the first points the LSU defense has allowed since the second quarter of January's 41-14 Sugar Bowl win against Notre Dame.

With 4:38 remaining in the third quarter, LSU is up on Virginia Tech, 27-7.

Flynn injured?

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU quarterback Matt Flynn appears to have mildly injured his right ankle on the Tigers' first drive of the second half.

The injury doesn't appear to be too serious, as Flynn took the snaps on eight of LSU's 10 plays on the drive. Sophomore quarterback took the snaps on the other two plays of the drive, which ended in a 27-yard field goal by Colt David that put LSU up 27-0.

Flynn is up and walking on the sidelines, giving no impression that he is done for the game.

Williams highsteps into endzone

BATON ROUGE, La. - One play and 15 seconds.

That's how long it took for things to officially get ugly in Tiger Stadium. LSU running back Keiland Williams took a pitch from Matt Flynn 67 yards into the north endzone and put the Tigers up 24-0 in the process. With LSU's first-half performance tonight and USC being idle this week, LSU as the No. 1 team in the nation seems like it could be a reality come Monday.

Glennon's interception leads to Tigers' field goal

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU safety Craig Steltz picked off Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon's pass to give the Tigers possession for the fourth time in the first quarter. After a short drive, LSU opened the second quarter with a Colt David field goal. Tigers still ahead, 17-0.

Tigers look impressive on opening drive

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU opens the game with a 10-play, 87-yard drive that ate 4:14 off the clock. Running back Jacob Hester scored on a 3-yard run, putting the Tigers on top of the Hokies, 7-0.

Rain doesn't damper spirits in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - A light drizzle has begun to fall from the skies here at Tiger Stadium but as the weather conditions have worsened, the excitement surrounding tonight's contest has increased drastically.

Two Virginia natives skydived into Tiger Stadium about 15 minutes before kickoff, one flying with a Virginia Tech flag while the other descended onto the field with tonight's game ball.

The LSU marching band has taken the field to perform its usual pregame set. In addition to the normal routine, the LSU band performed Virginia Tech's alma mater as a tribute to the lives lost in April's shootings in Blacksburg, Va.

It is believed to be the first time the LSU marching band has performed an opponent's alma mater in Tiger Stadium.

Beamer, Miles tweak lineups

BATON ROUGE, La. - Both LSU coach Les Miles and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer have made last-minute lineup changes for tonight's top-10 matchup.

For the Hokies, split end Justin Harper will start in place of split end Josh Morgan.

On the other side, the Tigers will start Charles Alexander at defensive tackle and Kirston Pittman at defense end. Alexander and Pittman replace Marlon Favorite and Rahim Alem in the starting lineup.

About an hour before kickoff, Tiger Stadium is already starting to fill. The LSU marching band has just entered the stadium, exciting the already rabid LSU student section even more.

 

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