Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Geaux Tigers!
Well, I certainly can't write about this game any better than the pro's, so here's what NOLA had to say about it:

LSU might've popped off more explosive plays in the first half of its 30-24 victory over North Carolina on Saturday night in the Georgia Dome than it did during the entire 2009 season. But it allowed almost as many as it produced.
And a comedy nearly evolved into a horror, the likes of which wouldn't have been forgotten for years.
The Tigers repeatedly gashed the Tar Heels on offense and special teams and hammered away defensively to the point that the second half appeared as if it would be free of drama. But LSU needed to force an incompletion in the end zone as time expired to secure the season opener.
By halftime, LSU had run up a 30-10 advantage, and if North Carolina wasn't dazed by the exhibition, it only was because the Tar Heels had received so many body blows by the time they reached Atlanta, they didn't have much feeling left.
In just the second quarter, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, the best defensive back in the nation, thickened his resume - and maybe leapt into the Heisman Trophy race - by showing he also could be the best returner in the nation.
He had an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown, then a 37-yarder the next time the Tar Heels foolishly punted to him. And he had 42- and 47-yard kickoff returns in the second, and a 20-yard punt return in the first, and finished the first half with 244 return yards.
And after North Carolina took a 10-7 lead with 8:24 left in the second quarter, and Peterson had his 47-yard kickoff return, receiver Russell Shepard took a handoff and ran 50 yards untouched for a touchdown to put LSU back ahead, 14-10, with 8:06 left.
With LSU holding a 23-10 lead, and after Peterson's 37-yard punt return gave the Tigers first down at their 49, quarterback Jordan Jefferson zipped a 51-yard touchdown pass to receiver Rueben Randle to push the lead to 20 with 2:28 left in the half.
Mix in a couple of sacks by the defense (Sam Montgomery and Drake Nevis), two fumble recoveries (Brandon Taylor and Lamin Barrow), a safety when the Tar Heels snapped the ball out of the end zone - and even a couple of bonehead plays by LSU to keep alive North Carolina's touchdown drive - and it was about as eventful as a half could have been for the Tigers.
Obviously, the Tar Heels were affected by their crippling personnel loss.
Thirteen North Carolina players - nine of them starters - didn't play due to possible NCAA and academic violations.
No team can absorb that kind of deficit and be the same. Obviously, some of the slicing LSU administered in the return game was a result of the Tar Heels missing valuable contributors who might - might - have been able to angle off a return or two (Ron Brooks opened the second half with a 50-yard kickoff return for the Tigers).
But that wasn't LSU's cross.

Simply, the Tigers needed to target their potential more than their opponent Saturday. They couldn't be bothered with a lack of attention or focus because they believed the depleted Tar Heels were vulnerable.
And that's exactly what they did for almost three quarters.
LSU's early slips - a missed field-goal attempt by Josh Jasper, lost fumbles by Richard Murphy and Stevan Ridley and a Jefferson interception that epitomized "ill-advised pass" - weren't costly.
But the Tigers lost their form as they neared the tape, arms flailing and head bobbing while the Heels chased.
The Tar Heels had 150 yards in the first half, half of them gained on a pass from T.J. Yates to Jheranie Boyd that led to a field goal. LSU's 23 second-quarter points appeared to be enough to put down North Carolina.
But Yates and Boyd combined for a 97-yard touchdown pass, the longest play from scrimmage in school history, in the fourth quarter, to pull the Heels to 30-17, and Yates threw a 14-yard touchdown to Erik Highsmith with 2:32 left to pull North Carolina to 30-24.
And the gist of it was that the Tar Heels were more than just valiant in the face of their absences. They were gritty, and at the end, comfortable and seemingly more determined than LSU to win.
But they couldn't quite catch up to LSU's knockout plays in general, or for Peterson in particular. Even the sloppy, tentative play in the fourth quarter couldn't erase that.
But LSU, obviously, had better beware. It won't face many opponents as decimated as North Carolina. It had better force opponents to tap out before assuming they're tapped out.
And here again is the link to our video of our experience.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

We had a blast at the game... in spite of the second quarter! Thanks again for taking the time to send my lost camera case to me... and how awesome that you have a blog, too! Maybe we can get together at the SEC championship? ;D