NOTEBOOK: LSU vs. Kentucky

Whether it's something in the capital city's water or the quality of opponents in Tiger Stadium, LSU has looked like a completely different team at home than it has in its two road games.

In all five of the Tigers' home games this season – all wins – LSU has ended any doubt of the outcome of the contests by halftime, if not by the middle of the second quarter.


LSU's 28-0 lead over the Wildcats after two quarters last Saturday night marked the fifth time the Tigers have scored at least 24 points in the first half, the fourth time they have scored at least 28 points before halftime and the fourth time LSU has jumped out to at least a 35-0 lead against an opponent at home.


When Matt Flynn hit Dwayne Bowe with 8:28 to go in the third quarter for a touchdown, the 2006 version of the Tigers became the first squad in program history to score 40-plus points in their first five home games of the season. In fact, LSU's win over Kentucky marked the first time in program history 40-plus points were scored in five consecutive home games, including over adjoining seasons. Four 40-plus point consecutive games in 1911, 13 years before Tiger Stadium opened, had been the previous high in that category.


A 51-0 blanking of Mississippi State in 2004 was the last time LSU shutout an SEC opponent, and it was six years ago to the day in 2000 the last time the Tigers held Kentucky without a point. In Nick Saban's inaugural season as LSU's head coach, the Tigers outscored the Wildcats, 34-0.           





In a bid to atone for his less-than-stellar performance against Florida, LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell came out swinging and flinging against Kentucky. The redshirt junior completed his first 12 passes of the night for 188 yards with 2 touchdowns, including a 7-of-7 performance in the first quarter.


Russell continued the streak in the second quarter, connecting on a scoring strike of 48 yards to Dwayne Bowe with 8:59 on the clock.


"I thought he didn't see me at first, but knowing him, you never know what he's looking at," Bowe said of the play. "But he's a great quarterback, and he found me and I did a great job of catching it and getting into the end zone."


With :29 to go in the second quarter, Russell finally misfired for the first time during the contest and missed on two of his next three before connecting with Craig Davis to set up a missed 43-yard field goal attempt by Colt David to end the first half. By that point, Coach Les Miles had seen just about enough of Russell.


"We were not going to keep him in the game much beyond a drive or two in the second half," Miles said. "Depending upon how our defense was doing, one drive would have been all we needed. We wanted to get some guys out, get some others guys in and get them some playing time and prepare for what will be a contest next week and those games thereafter."


Russell would return for the Tigers' opening drive of the second half  – a four-play, 65-yard scoring possession that saw him throw only once and line up at quarterback on only three of those plays – before stepping aside for Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux. Early Doucet took the snap from the shotgun formation on the final play of the drive and rushed 12 yards for a touchdown.





Due to a commitment from which he couldn't decline, regular Tiger Stadium Public Address Announcer Dan Borné was unable to be at the microphone for LSU's contest with Kentucky. It was his first absence from the post in 20 years. Filling in for Borné was Alex Box Stadium P.A. Announcer Bill Franques.


Following his first outing in LSU's largest venue, Franques was asked to grade out his performance.


"I'd say…B-plus," Franques said.





With 5:18 to go in the third quarter, LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson ensured one of the Tigers' defensive streaks of 2006 remained intact.


Just when it appeared the Wildcats were about to end LSU's chances of a shutout, Jackson intercepted a tipped Andre' Woodson pass at the Tigers' two yard line.





By the time the Tigers made their way into the locker room last Saturday, Florida had fallen at Auburn. The Gators' loss leaves Arkansas as the only team in the league without an SEC loss. Had anyone predicted that as of October 14th the Razorbacks would be the lone team without a conference blemish, some of the Tigers would definitely have been taken aback.


Glenn Dorsey stated it best.


"I would have looked at them crazy," Dorsey said. "But that's just the SEC, man. You gotta love it. Everybody's good, everybody brings their ‘A'-game every Saturday. You can't let up, man, because you'll get caught slipping easily."

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