Doucet puts out career effort

As a freshman in 2004, Early Doucet ran a route into the middle of the field and turned around to catch a pass to help keep LSU's hopes of a comeback alive. But the ball was thrown behind him.

He could do little more than get a hand on it, and that only made it easier for Auburn's Junior Rosegreen to intercept the pass and end the Tigers' chances.


Against Auburn this year, images from his freshman year were likely vivid in Doucet's mind. He was probably hoping for some measure of self-redemption, a chance to make a play that would help secure a victory. Such a play seemed to appear on the Tigers' second-to-last possession when another pass over the middle came his way. This time, the throw hit him in stride and he raced 37 yards to give LSU a first and 10 at the Auburn 33-yard line.


Only one other pass came Doucet's way for the duration of the game, however: an underthrown pass over the middle on fourth-and-8 that he should have been securing in the back of the end zone to put LSU ahead. Instead, Doucet was held and interfered with; but ultimately the referees didn't see it that way. The result was a turnover on downs.


Doucet never had another ball thrown his way for the rest of the afternoon. Again he had been intimately involved in a play that failed to fall LSU's way. Again he left the Plains with an empty feeling in the pit of his stomach.


One week after suffering their first loss of the season to Auburn, LSU returned home. The game Doucet was likely hoping he would have against Auburn surfaced against Tulane.


"Last week (against Auburn) we had a tough game," Doucet said. "We lost. But we just put that behind us and moved forward."


Doucet had only four receptions for 36 yards against the Green Wave, but two of those catches went for two of the Tigers' first four touchdowns. Sandwiched in-between the duo of receiving scores was a run of 17 yards for Doucet, the first rushing touchdown of his LSU career.


"I was real pleased with the way they used me tonight," Doucet said of LSU's coaching staff. "I just try to go out there and work hard in practice every day. Some nights I won't be involved as much, but you've just got to go out there and play hard every play if your number's called, and ‘oh well' if it's not.  You've just got to give effort because it's a team sport."


It was the first three-touchdown performance for a Tiger since Alley Broussard did so against Ole Miss back in 2004. It was Doucet's first three touchdown performance in a game since back when he was in high school.


"It's been awhile, but as long as we get the ‘W' that's all that matters to me," Doucet said. "All that other stuff is really not that important."


Doucet's rushing touchdown, the first for an LSU receiver since Michael Clayton carried the ball across the goal line against Ole Miss in 2001, came with 6:20 to go in the first quarter. He was sprung by a block from JaMarcus Russell.


"He's been making that block all week in practice, and tonight I was kind of taking it slow because I was like, ‘Is he going to make the block or not,' you know?" Doucet said. "And then he did and it was a great block. If it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't get in the end zone."


Just because he got to add yards to his career rushing total against Tulane, though, doesn't mean fans can expect to see Doucet receiving handoffs on a weekly basis.


"That play, we may not ever run that play again, you know?" Doucet said. "We just had a chance to run it and we executed. So that's the main goal – executing the plays when they're called. He (Russell) was called to do a job and he did his job. We all did our job, and that's the whole objective out here when you're playing a game."


Despite the lopsided score and a few skirmishes during LSU's win over Tulane, Doucet commented there was indeed much camaraderie between the once heated rivals. Much of the two teams' kinship is a direct result of the lasting effects of Hurricane Katrina. His comments prove that regardless of how competitive things may get on the field, he still understands the bigger picture when teams walk off of it.


"They're a team from the state of Louisiana," Doucet said. "We've got to stick together, because they were faced with tough times, and we weren't affected as much as they were. We've got to stick together. We are from the state of Louisiana."

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