LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) won its 12-straight game in the month of November dating back to the 2003 season.
The nation's best defense bent
uncharacteristically, allowing two of the three longest scoring plays of the
season (37-yard pass and a 54-yard pass). However, the Tigers still did not
allow 250 yards of total offense --
Russell wasn't without personal breakdown in the contest, tossing three interceptions including one returned for a 31-yard touchdown that put the Tigers down 10 on the second play of the third quarter.
Russell was the hero, however, as he completed 24-of-36 passes for 247 yards. Early Doucet, who scored the game-winner with nine seconds to play, had a game-high eight receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Unlike its previous two road losses, LSU established the running game by using a bevy of backs -- Justin Vincent started, with Keiland Williams, Alley Broussard, Jacob Hester, Trindon Holliday, Charles Scott and even Russell getting positive yards.
The Tigers rushed 45 times for 231 yards, led by Russell with 71 and Williams with 53 on 17 carries and a touchdown.
Stymied in the first half, the Vols turned to backup quarterback Jonathan Crompton. The redshirt freshman completed 11 of 24 passes for 183 yards including the two long TD passes.
Robert Meachem was the favorite target, as expected, with five catches for 121 yards and both touchdowns.
Like most LSU opponents, the Vols couldn't run the ball consistently -- picking up only 62 yards on 20 carries.
LSU had 81 offensive plays for 478
For the ninth time in as many games, LSU won the toss and deferred possession until the second half.
After a three-and-out by
The drive then stalled when LSU offensive lineman Herman Johnson left the game with an injury, the Tigers were called for a false start, and Russell was sacked.
Colt David's 52-yard field goal attempt was short and right.
Another three-and-out by
Flynn survived the series and punter Chris Jackson bailed out the Tigers with a 55-yard punt.
After a third series without a first down, Britton Colquitt punted another beauty. However, LSU punt returner Craig Davis' fake of the fair catch allowed the ball to bound into the endzone for a touchback.
Russell returned to the game and
led the Tigers on their first scoring drive, as the 6-6
Five plays later, Russell fired a bullet to Craig Davis from 24 yards out for a sliding touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 14:32 to play in the half.
An LSU punt looked to have touched
With LSU coaches still complaining about the referee's call, Crompton, Tennessee's backup quarterback, began a drive down the field that included one rush and seven passes -- the final being a 37-yard completion into the out-stretched arms of Meachem.
The game was tied at 7-7 with 4:38 to play in the half.
LSU's looked to answer the score
immediately, as Russell scrambled for a career-best 34 yards into Vols
territory. After another first down to the
Hefney returned the ball 35 yards, setting up a James Wilhoit field goal with three seconds left in the half.
The Vols extended the lead to 17-7
on the second play of the second half, as Russell overthrew his intended
With its back against the wall, LSU
responded on the road like it was unable to do twice against top-notch opponents
Russell led the Tigers 77 yards in 10 plays for a 5-yard touchdown to Bowe.
The LSU defense forced a three-and-out, and a personal foul for fair catch interference on the punt gave the Tigers a short field.
LSU ran the ball six of eight plays, including a touchdown run by Williams from seven yards out.
With 2:57 left in the third quarter, LSU led 21-17.
Early in the fourth quarter, two
more LSU drives in
On the next play,
Trailing by three with 2:15 to
play, LSU was faced with a fourth-and-7 at the
From there, LSU advanced to the
Russell threw the ball away under pressure on first down, then ran toward the right sideline for three yards on second down. On third down, with plenty of time in the pocket, Russell found Doucet in the middle of the endzone and rifled it to him for the 4-yard game-winning score.