You were nervous about Matt Flynn making his first career start in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
Most veteran quarterbacks rarely
experience any level of success against
The Tiger's offense didn't just function with Flynn at the helm, they dominated, torching the nation's third-ranked defense for 468 total yards while scoring on eight consecutive possessions. Flynn finished 13-of-22 passing for 196 yards and two scores, carrying the LSU offense on his back and the Offensive MVP trophy out of the Georgia Dome with a 40-3 win against "The U" tucked in his pocket. "It's been a hard season. To end it this way feels great for all of us," said Flynn.
Consider this: Flynn had appeared in eight contests this season, (mostly in mop-up duty for starter JaMarcus Russell) completing only 14 passes. He was thrust into the starting role against the team that has produced more first-round draft picks (43) than any other school since 1984; the program with this highest winning percentage (.830) since 1983; and a team that has won 22 of its last 27 games against ranked opponents.
Coming off the
Maybe that's why most of the Tiger
fans that made the trek to
Early in the game, it seemed as
though many of their fears might come to fruition. LSU kicker Chris Jackson
misfired on a 50-yard attempt on the opening drive which stalled after Flynn's
third down pass attempt was batted at the line. Surely the 6-foot-6 Russell
would have gotten that one over the defender. The Tiger defense bowed up and
The Tigers went three and out on their second possession with another of Flynn's attempts being swatted by 6-foot-4 Baraka Atkins.
This was to be expected, right?
Flynn did not have the benefit of
tuning up against the
"I kind of got my feet under me after those first couple of drives," said Flynn. "I think all of us knew we could move the ball on them…and we started doing it."
The Tigers started and didn't stop.
With Joe Addai running through Katrina-sized holes paved by a veteran offensive line, Flynn's job became much easier. The junior even showed off his speed as he ran away from a pursuing Jon Beason for a 23-yard gain.
Even though they settled for a
field goal, the Tigers had proved they could move the ball against
"Our goal coming in was to dominate the line of scrimmage to make (Flynn's) job easier and we did that," said senior offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, who made his 52nd consecutive start in his final game as a Tiger.
Flynn acknowledged as much.
"I have to give all the credit to the offensive line and the guys around me," he said. "It made it easy on me when you can stay with second and short and third and short."
Flynn's feet carried much of that load as well, as he rushed for 59 yards on five carries before 20 of those yards were negated by sacks.
JaMarcus Russell won't see his playing time negated because of injury. Miles has already said as much. He also said the competition for the starting job has just reopened.
"I think the competition will be renewed," Miles said, referring to his quarterbacks when spring practice starts.
Whoever winds up taking snaps under center for the Tigers when they take the field Sept. 2 against UL-Lafayette, he will be a proven winner.
If you are an LSU fan, that is a good problem to have.
Go ahead, admit it.