They all became Tigers the year LSU
won the national championship in 2003. In a series that dates back 101 years and
70 games, they are the only individuals who can say they played at LSU for four
consecutive years and don't know what it's like to lose to
Conversely, Mike Shula can still
claim he doesn't know what it's like to beat LSU as the Crimson Tide's starting
quarterback or as head coach of
At the beginning of the season, LSU
fans were lamenting the 2006 road schedule from Hell and were searching the home
tilt to find anything decent.
A question to ponder – What will be
the bigger topic on
But we don't have to grade them.
Without Will Arnold and Craig Davis, LSU flourished with a balanced attack. The Tigers rushed for 211 yards and passed for another 207 thanks to an 18-of-21 showing by JaMarcus Russell that included three touchdowns. On the ground, Keiland Williams looked like the featured back everyone has been waiting to see prior to twisting his ankle, Russell showed his elusiveness as a scrambler and anyone who carried more than once averaged at least 3.6 yards each time.
Bowe, Doucet and Jacob Hester
played well in
Doucet recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career, and Bowe and Russell are just one touchdown away from tying the duo of Tommy Hodson and Wendell Davis as LSU's all-time touchdown combo of quarterback-wide receiver.
The Tigers converted on all three of their fourth down attempts, including a fourth and one to keep alive the drive that put them ahead 21-0. But for Les Miles, nothing probably looked better than Peter Dyakowski getting way downfield to make the final block Williams needed to put LSU ahead 7-0.
A few warts, but LSU's 28 points
ties the most given up by
LSU's No. 1 ranked defense missed Jessie Daniels a lot more than the Tigers' offense missed Arnold and Davis.
At times, Chevis Jackson and Keron Gordon seemed lost or shocked that John Parker Wilson hadn't been sacked yet.
Much like against
After a shaky start that saw the
Crimson Tide's offense moving down the field, seemingly at will, LSU clamped
down. The Tigers forced two punts and a fumble in the red zone to stop
There were times where a nanosecond
would have meant more sacks or incomplete passes for the Tigers, and there were
definitely some passes
Yes, the Tigers gave up 369 yards, but four sacks, two turnovers, 2.8 yards per rush and holding Alabama to 3 of 11 on third down conversion attempts evened that out.
GRADE: B (for
As on offense, Craig Davis was missed. Early Doucet stepped in to take up the slack here as well though. No, Doucet didn't return any punts for touchdowns. In fact, Doucet's return average was negative .5 for the two punts he did return. But he didn't put the ball on the ground, and that is always priority one.
No field goals were attempted, but Colt David did extend his consecutive PATs made mark to 75. He is now alone in second place in school history in that category.
All four of the Tigers' punts
seemed to go off with out a hitch, and when
Offensively the Tigers' game plan allowed them to do what they wanted. The running game opened passing lanes and, in the end, LSU was able to run out the clock without having to put the ball in the air.
Defensively the Tigers gave John Parker Wilson too much time to throw the ball for much of the first half and didn't pressure him enough until the second half. But there were no three-man rushes, and give Alabama's front line credit for keeping LSU's front four from simply running over them. The Tigers were forced to switch to something different on defense than what they originally thought they could do and still held Kenneth Darby to 2.8 yards per carry.
Following the first road win of the season, the coaching staff had their team ready to play. There was no letdown, and mathematically LSU is still playing for a shot at the SEC Championship and a BCS Bowl berth.