VIRTUAL TIGERS: LSU vs. Virginia Tech

If last week's EA Sports College Football 2007 simulation of LSU's matchup with the Miss. State Bulldogs was any indication of the accuracy of the virtual Tigers, Saturdays are going to be fairly boring for anyone reading the predictions.

Here's Jacob Hester's thoughts on TigerRag.com's virtual simulations of the Tigers first two games:


If not for a Mississippi State turnover in the fourth quarter, the virtual final score of 38-0 would have been true to life. The computer did accurately predict there would be rain and that Jacob Hester would run over some defenders. But the Bulldogs' seven turnovers weren't foreseen.

 

It also didn't predict No. 5 Michigan's loss to Appalachian State, either. But who could have?

 

 

Virtual Tigers Defense Posts Another Shutout

 

BATON ROUGE, La. – For a second straight week, LSU battled the rain and a sluggish start on offense en route to victory.

 

In what was expected to be a showdown between two of the nation's premier defensive units, the Tigers outshined Virginia Tech, 28-7.

 

After going back and forth with the Hokies for the first half, LSU finally began to put some distance between itself and its opponent when Trindon Holliday returned the opening kickoff of the second half 104 yards for a touchdown. The score gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead, and Virginia Tech's three interceptions and a punt on its next four possessions sealed the Hokies' fate.


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Just as he did against virtual Mississippi State, Jacob Hester led LSU in rushing and got the scoring started for the Tigers with a long run. On LSU's second possession of the night, Hester accounted for all 75 of the Tigers yards on a three-play drive that ended with him taking a toss right 63 yards for a touchdown.

 

Virginia Tech's defense stiffened for the remainder of the first half, however, and even provided the team's only score of the night. After Ali Highsmith caused a fumble and the Tigers recovered on the Hokies 25-yard line, LSU seemed primed to add to its one-score lead in the waning moments of the second quarter. A Matt Flynn to Richard Dixon pass was called back for a holding penalty, however, and two plays later, a 74-yard pick-six put Virginia Tech on the board.

 

Flynn would ultimately redeem himself, completing eight of 16 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. Hester's 102 yards on 13 carries led the Tigers rushing attack, while Dixon and Early Doucet each had three receptions apiece. Doucet's three catches were good for 44 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Perhaps the most important statistic for LSU on the night was Patrick Fisher's four punts – none of which were blocked – for an average of 44.2 yards.

 

Hokies quarterback Sean Glennon suffered through a 3-of-11 passing performance that netted a paltry 66 yards. Four interceptions for the Virginia Tech starter ultimately got him lifted in the fourth quarter. And if not for backup Ike Whitaker's two completions for 56 yards, the Hokies would likely not have finished with the 122 yards that they did. Making things worse for Virginia Tech's offense was Brandon Ore's miniscule 15 yards on 14 carries. All totalled, the Hokies rushed 21 times for 6 yards.


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"We have to give a lot of credit to LSU's defense," Virtual Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "Maybe it was a mistake putting this game off for four years."

 

Glennon's third interception of the night came in the fourth quarter and allowed the Tigers to all but put the game out of reach. Chevis Jackson's pick gave LSU a first-and-10 at the Hokies 30-yard line, and a hitch pass one play later to Doucet turned into a 30-yard scamper for a touchdown.

 

Luke Sanders intercepted Glennon on Virginia Tech's next possession, setting up an eight-play, 38-yard drive that culminated with another Flynn to Doucet hookup. Facing a third-and-nine from the Hokies 24-yard line, Flynn found Dixon for 23 yards to get to the Virginia Tech 1 and then hit Doucet, who was all alone in the end zone for the Tigers' final score of the night.

 

Whitaker would come on after that for the Hokies' final possession of the game. After driving his team from his own 17-yard line down to the LSU 28-yard line, Whitaker misfired on his final pass of the night. Curtis Taylor raked in the Tigers' fifth pick on the final play, ending any hope of Virginia Tech's offense adding to the Hokies point total.

           

 

How the SEC fared:

 

EAST

Florida 14                    Troy 3

Georgia 24                   South Carolina 42

Kentucky 25                Kent 21

South Carolina 42         Georgia 24

Tennessee 31               Southern Miss. 14

Vanderbilt 3                 Alabama 35

 

WEST

Alabama 35                  Vanderbilt 3

Arkansas                      OPEN

Auburn 14                    South Florida 3

LSU 28                        Virginia Tech 7

Mississippi 0                 Missouri 10

Miss. State 35              Tulane 10


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