DEVILLE: LSU played like they were No. 1

Speechless, to say the least. I had a good feeling about LSU's chances coming into Saturday's game with Virginia Tech.

Most everyone saw the Hokies' abysmal offensive performance in their season opening win over East Carolina and knew Virginia Tech might be in trouble coming into Tiger Stadium.


Looking at the numbers from last year, I knew the Hokies' offense wasn't good. Sean Glennon was average at best, and Brandon Ore was the team's only bright spot. On top of that, Virginia Tech ranked 99th overall in total offense in 2006.


All right, bad offense. That we knew.


But on the flip side of that was the Hokie defense.


Rated No. 1 in the nation for the past two years and among the top five for the last 10 or so seasons, the Virginia Tech defense was a polar opposite from its offensive counterparts.


Well, that was until Saturday.


Virginia Tech brought its defense and all its swagger into Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. Come Sunday morning, after surrendering 598 yards of total offense to the LSU Tigers, the Hokie defense found itself ranked 94th in the nation.


The Tigers had their way with Frank Beamer's team in every way, shape, and form.

Virginia Tech won the toss and gave LSU the ball. The Tigers took the pigskin and wasted no time in jamming it down the throat of the Virginia Tech defense.


The Tigers marched 87 yards on 10 plays and took a 7-0 lead just 4:14 into the game. By the 5:54 mark of the first quarter, the Tigers were up 14-0.


Virginia Tech didn't get a first down until Glennon completed his second pass of the game at the 14:03 mark of the second quarter. That turned out to be his last completion. He finished the game 2-for-10 for 16 yards and an interception. For the second straight week, the LSU defense sent an opposing team's senior quarterback to the showers early.


But Glennon wasn't the only one who washed out. The Tech defense had no answer for the plethora of LSU's offensive weapons. By the end of the first quarter, the Tigers had outgained the Hokies 207-11. LSU had ran 25 plays to just nine by Virginia Tech.


And from that point on, things only got worse. By halftime, it was 327-40.


LSU scored literally at will via the run and the pass. I said the Hokies offense might get one touchdown, and it did – just barely. Virginia Tech managed one drive of substance and managed to get the ball inside the LSU 5. Tiger defense was not happy about allowing its first touchdown of the season but finally succumbed when the replay officials ruled that backup quarterback Tyrod Turner did manage to break the plane of the goal line.


In response to the Hokies' lone score, the Tigers responded with a trio of touchdowns, two of which were TD passes by Ryan Perrilloux.


In the end, Beamer walked stunned across the field and exchanged handshakes with Miles. Virginia Tech players stumbled off the floor of Tiger Stadium in a stupor as the Hokie fans sat stunned. Beamer found answers tough in the aftermath of his worst loss as the coach of the Hokies.


"I give all the credit to LSU," Beamer said. "What a good football team. They really took it to us and played extremely well. They didn't make mistakes or turn the ball over. We are certainly disappointed in how we played, but I think you can probably give LSU a lot of credit for that."


While Beamer was handing out credit, Miles was not accepting it. Much the way Nick Saban did during the 2003 season, Miles downplayed LSU's accomplishments and gave the company line that "there is a lot of football left to be played."


"You can save the accolades for later in life because we have only won two games," Miles said. "We have a lot of football to play. I can promise you this: Don't make too much of this win. It is all about what we have to get done in the future."


Speaking of that 2003 LSU team that won a national championship down the road in New Orleans, the 2007 version of the Bayou Bengals definitely made their first step to returning to the scene of that championship.


The college football world was abuzz Sunday morning as the nation awoke stunned at the beatdown the Tigers put on the Hokies. Even the most ardent of LSU critics like ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit couldn't ignore the accomplishment and dished out the pleasantries as if wearing purple and gold goggles.


The Tigers made a huge leap in the polls in terms of visibility, picking up 25 first-place votes. There was even some speculation by some pollsters that LSU's performance warranted a leap frog over USC into the nation's top spot.


For right now, the Tigers will accept being No. 2 just fine. But come January, they will go looking for that No. 1. And if Saturday's performance was any indication of how good this LSU team really is, the Tigers should have a good chance of getting it when they get there.




Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag. Reach him at

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