Bluegrass Redemption: Kentucky 43 LSU 37
The last time LSU faced Kentucky in Commonwealth Stadium, it took a 75-yard "Hail Mary" pass on the last play of the game to defeat the Wildcats. Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen had already dumped Gatorade on head coach Guy Morriss in celebration, fans were tearing down a goalpost in the other end zone, and fireworks were set off by a timer in a presumed celebration of victory as LSU celebrated a "Bluegrass Miracle" with the win over Kentucky in 2002.
The Miracle has been exorcised.
LSU entered todays' game as the unanimous AP # 1 team in the country, undefeated and 35-0 when scoring 30 or more points since 2001. Make that 35-1.
LSU entered the game having won in its last 13 outings. Make that 13 out of 14.
LSU entered the game a perfect 100% on 4th down conversions. Make that 100%....minus one. And that one was a big one.
Braxton Kelly's stop of LSU running back Charles Scott on 4th down and 2 in the game's third overtime preserved a Kentucky Wildcat victory over the vaunted LSU Tigers. Scott had a huge first half for the Tigers, rushing for 91 yards and two touchdowns in the half, but rushed for only one carry in the second half--the final play. Kelly met Scott and brought him to the ground one-yard short of the 15-yard line needed for a first down, and cinch the victory.
The win moves Kentucky back into contention for the SEC East title, and makes them likely to move back into the AP Top 10. The victory also makes the Wildcats bowl-eligible for the second consecutive year.
The game had many heroes for Kentucky. Lones Seiber kept the game alive with a 43-yard field goal to tie the game at 37-37 in the second overtime. It was Seiber's third field goal of the game, all coming in the 4th quarter and overtime. Steve Johnson caught seven passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, the game-winner in overtime number three. Jacob Tamme with big catch and big catch, and the recipient of a key pass interception call in overtime that kept a drive alive. And many more.
Kentucky won this game without three starters playing, as Rafael Little, Marcus McClinton, and Johnny Williams all sat out today with injuries. Kentucky won this game without winning the turnover battle, as the Wildcats turned the ball over twice to LSU's one. But when the big play came, it was Kentucky that stepped up to make the play and defeat the top-ranked LSU Tigers.
The Cats had 24 first downs in the game to LSU's 22, but were outgained 403 yards to 375. LSU also won the time of possession battle, as the Tigers dominated the 2nd and 3rd quarters and took a 27-14 lead. The Cats would keep their poise, however, scoring the last 13 points of the game in regulation before winning it in the third overtime.
Andre Woodson was 21-38, 250 yards, four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing), and two interceptions in the victory. Derrick Locke was the Wildcat's leading rusher in relief of starter Tony Dixon. Locke rushed for 64 yards on 20 carries, while Dixon gained 45 on 17 carries. Kentucky's leading rusher, Rafael Little was not available today due to injury.
LSU's Matt Flynn was 17-35, 131 yards, one touchdown, one interception. Scott led all LSU rushers with 93 yards, as LSU had 260 yards on the grounds. The Tigers' defense came into the game allowing only 58 yards per game rushing, but the Wildcats managed to more than double that, getting 125 hard-earned rushing yards in the contest.
Kentucky moves to 6-1 (2-1) with the victory, and will face defending national champion Florida Gators on CBS television next Saturday in Commonwealth Stadium. LSU drops their first game of the season, and will face the Auburn Tigers next week.
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