IN REVIEW: LSU in 2007 - Game by Game

This is a game by game perspective of the SEC Champion LSU Tigers as they compiled an 11-2 record and qualified for an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game.

No. 2 LSU 45, Miss. State 0

Thursday, Aug. 30

Davis-Wade Stadium

Starkville, Miss.

STARKVILLE, Miss. – If Thursday's performance was any indication of what to expect from the LSU Tigers in 2007, make plans for January trip to New Orleans.

No. 2 LSU opened the 2007 season with a bang beating up helpless Miss. State 45-0 at Scott Field in Starkville, Miss.

Despite miserable weather conditions, including several heavy rain showers throughout the game, the Tigers managed to pick up their eighth straight win over the Bulldogs with relative ease. The win was LSU's 16th in the last 17 meetings with fellow SEC Western Division foe.

Defense set the tone of the game as LSU's stoppers produced seven turnovers, including six interceptions of Bulldog quarterback Michael Henig. Senior strong safety Craig Steltz tied a school record picking off three Miss. State passes, all of which led to points for LSU.

No. 2 LSU 48, No. 9 Virginia Tech 7

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007

Tiger Stadium

Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE - Saturday's contest between Virginia Tech and LSU in Tiger Stadium was predicted to be a low-scoring scrum dominated by two smothering defenses.

That prediction was only half right.

As second-ranked LSU's defense stomped and crushed the ninth-ranked Hokies and limited them to a paltry 140 yards, the Tigers drowned the Virginia Tech defense with a balanced offensive array that amassed 598 yards on its way to a crushing 48-7 win in front of a record-setting and rain dampened crowd of 92,739.

The Tigers dominated from the opening kick and in every category of the stat sheet, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions to effectively salt away the win. The Hokies became the latest in a string of opponents to be overwhelmed early in Tiger Stadium. Over the past three seasons, LSU has outscored opponents at home 157-7 in the first quarter.

No. 2 LSU 44, Middle Tennessee 0

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007

Tiger Stadium

Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE - No starting quarterback? No problem.

A groin injury sidelines the best receiver and, arguably, best offensive player on the team? No sweat.

In a testament to its depth, second-ranked LSU, without quarterback Matt Flynn and wide receiver Early Doucet, amassed 505 yards of offense behind quarterback Ryan Perrilloux and a suffocating defense to dominate Middle Tennessee 44-0 Saturday night in Tiger Stadium in front of 92,407.

Perrilloux spread the pass catching to 10 receivers on his way to completing 20 of 25 passes for 298 yards, three touchdowns, and the first interception of the year thrown by a Tiger. Jared Mitchell led all receivers with six grabs for 82 yards.

No. 2 LSU 28, No. 12 South Carolina 16

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007

Tiger Stadium

Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE - Rain switched between heavy and light all afternoon in Tiger Stadium Saturday and soaked all 92,530 in the stands.

Meanwhile, LSU's defense flooded South Carolina's rushing attack and LSU's rushing offense left the Gamecocks sopping wet as the Tigers remained undefeated with a 28-16 win that was not near as close as the final score indicated.

LSU's rushing attack overwhelmed the Gamecocks as the Tigers amassed 290 yards on the ground while holding South Carolina to a measly 17 yards running the ball. Jacob Hester led the way with 88 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown, while Trindon Holliday came in a close second with 73 yards on six carries and a score.

Gamecock tailback Corey Boyd did his best to earn 17 yards on 18 carries.

No. 2 LSU 34, Tulane 9

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007

Louisiana Superdome

New Orleans, La.

NEW ORLEANS – The term winning ugly can be applied to Saturday's 34-9 win by LSU over Tulane in the Superdome.

The Tigers committed 15 penalties costing 91 yards. Five first-half LSU drives ended at or inside the Tigers' 30-yard line, one of them in their own end zone.

LSU quarterback Matt Flynn was sacked four times in the first half and looked uncomfortable even on the plays where he wasn't sacked.

After struggling mightily to gain 127 yards in the first half, LSU more than doubled that production in the second half and amassed 391 yards by the end of the game. LSU's defense held the Green Wave to just 227 total yards and no points in the second half.

LSU trailed briefly when Tulane recorded a safety on a holding penalty in the end zone with 5:56 remaining in the first half. The Wave followed that score with a touchdown 11 plays later with 1:40 remaining to make the score 9-7 Green Wave.

The Tigers regained the lead with a 36-yard field goal just before the half. LSU scored 27 unanswered points in the second half to run way with the win

No. 1 LSU 28, No. 9 Florida 24

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007

Tiger Stadium

Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE - All the plays and all the yards and all the time elapsed in Saturday's game between Florida and LSU and it boiled down to two of each: Two gut-check fourth-down plays in the final drive followed by a head- and heart-pounding 2-yard touchdown run by LSU tailback Jacob Hester inside the game's last two minutes to give LSU a victory that had Tiger fans celebrating way past 2 a.m.

In arguably the most exciting game ever played in LSU's storied Tiger Stadium in front of the largest crowd in its history, the No. 1-ranked LSU Tigers overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat ninth-ranked Florida, 28-24, in front of record 92,910 emotionally spent fans.

Hester crossed the south end zone goal line with 1:09 remaining in the contest to give LSU its first lead of the game.

No. 17 Kentucky 43, No. 1 LSU 37 (3ot)

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007

Commonwealth Stadium

Lexington, Ky.

LEXINGTON - It took three overtimes, but No. 17-ranked upstart Kentucky outlasted top-ranked LSU 43-37 in an epic contest at Commonwealth Stadium.

UK quarterback Andre Woodson completed 21 of 38 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns, the final strike being a 7-yarder to Steve Johnson in the third extra period, which proved to be the difference in the game.

The Wildcats had to rally from a 13-point, 27-14 third-quarter deficit and force overtime to get the job done. Kentucky, who defeated No. 1 for the third time in the program's history, matched LSU (6-1, 3-1 SEC) point for point through the first two extra stanzas. Woodson put the 'Cats up for good on UK's turn in the third.

LSU denied Kentucky's two-point conversion attempt in the third overtime. The Tigers then took possession at the 25, but came up a yard short when Charles Scott was stuffed after a gain of one on fourth-and-two from the 17.

"It hurts a lot, but we have to push through it," Scott said. "This feeling right here is what we don't want to feel again."

Kentucky fans flooded the field.

No. 5 LSU 30, No. 18 Auburn 24

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007

Tiger Stadium

Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE - LSU's offense lined up at the Auburn 22-yard line on 3rd-and-7, trailing 24-23 as the clock ticked below 10 seconds remaining in the game. All LSU had to do was down the ball and set up what could have been the winning field goal attempt.

Instead, LSU quarterback Matt Flynn lofted a pass to receiver Demetrius Byrd who was single covered along the left side. Byrd fought through the arms of the Auburn cornerback and landed in the end zone with the winning score with one second remaining.

In one of the most improbable endings in Tiger Stadium since two weeks ago when LSU converted three fourth downs in its last drive to beat Florida 28-24, LSU claimed a 30-24 win over the visiting Auburn Tigers in front of 92,360 exhausted yet elated fans.

Byrd's touchdown was the last play of a nine-play, 58-yard drive that marked LSU's second, second-half comeback. The home-standing Tigers trailed 17-7 after halftime before taking a 23-17 lead and trailed 24-23 after Auburn scored a go-ahead touchdown with 3:21 to play in the game.

No. 3 LSU 41, No. 17 Alabama 34

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007

Bryant-Denny Stadium

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

TUSCALOOSA - Despite a plethora of penalties, a flurry of turnovers and a 10-point third-quarter deficit, the third-ranked Tigers scored 14 points in the final three minutes to upend No. 17 Alabama 41-34 in front of 92,138 fans in Tuscaloosa.

"Saban Bowl I," as the game was dubbed, ended with LSU defeating its former coach, who is in his first season as head coach of the Crimson Tide. Afterwards, current LSU coach Les Miles was just pleased with the fact the Tigers won the game.

Jacob Hester scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:26 left to play for the go-ahead touchdown. Minutes earlier, with the score tied, Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson was sacked by LSU freshman safety Chad Jones, who forced a fumble. Tiger safety Curtis Taylor recovered the loose ball at the Tide 3, setting up the winning play.

Flynn finished the game with a career-high 353 yards and three touchdowns. However, his night was plagued by three interceptions and three sacks.

Just prior to Wilson's costly fumble, Flynn tossed the last of his three touchdown passes to Early Doucet. The pass came on fourth-and-four from the Crimson Tide 32 and tied the game at 34-34.

No. 2 LSU 58, Louisiana The 10

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007

Tiger Stadium

Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE - After four nail-biters against top-25 ranked Southeastern Conference teams in the last five weeks, the Tigers breathed a little deeper Saturday with a 58-10 mashing of Louisiana Tech in Tiger Stadium.

Led by a 321-yard rushing attack that featured runs of 87 and 53 yards, the LSU offense piled up 595 total yards while holding the outmanned and outgunned Bulldogs to 256.

LSU took an early 10-0 lead thanks to a fumble by Louisiana Tech quarterback Zac Champion on the game's second play and a bad snap on a punt attempt on the second Bulldog possession. Louisiana Tech was able to cut the lead to 10-7 early in the second quarter after Tiger quarterback Matt Flynn tossed one of two first-half interceptions.

But that was the only whiff of an upset the Bulldogs had as LSU reeled off 34 unanswered points before Tech added a field goal early in the fourth quarter.

No. 1 LSU 41, Ole Miss 24

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium

Oxford, Miss.

OXFORD - Despite its defense giving up more yards to an opponent than it had all season and having its offense outgained for the first time this year, LSU managed to keep Ole Miss winless in conference play with a 41-24 victory that earned the Tigers a outright Western Division Championship.

LSU's offense wasn't too flashy in putting up 396 yards. Matt Flynn completed 17 of 25 passes for 168 yards without a touchdown or an interception. He did have a rushing score from 5 yards out that capped a 12-play, 98-yard drive to start the game for the Tigers.

Charles Scott proved to be the leader of LSU's running-back-by-committee. He carried three times for 66 yards and a score and was followed by Jacob Hester with 13 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown. Keiland Williams threw in a 41-yard performance on five carries with a score, and Early Doucet's eight receptions for 58 yards led the receiving corps.

Arkansas 50, No. 1 LSU 48

Friday, Nov. 23, 2007

Tiger Stadium

Baton Rouge, La.

BATON ROUGE - Led by a 206-yard, three-touchdown performance by All-American tailback and Heisman Trophy candidate Darren McFadden, unranked Arkansas methodically closed the door on LSU's national championship hopes by beating the Tigers 50-48 in front of 92,606 cold and eventually emotionally chilled fans.

The Razorbacks rushing attack, ranked first in the SEC and fourth nationally, laid claim to the Tiger Stadium turf, amassing 385 yards against the once-stellar LSU defense. Arkansas' passing offense did not disappoint either, picking up key first downs, the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and one of the Razorbacks' three touchdowns in overtime. McFadden accounted for 34 of his team's 128 passing yards and a touchdown to go with his rushing performance.

He was very capably joined in the running onslaught by Felix Jones, who rushed for 85 yards on nine carries and the game-winning two-point conversion, and Peyton Hillis, who contributed 89 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Hillis also caught five passes for 62 yards and two more touchdowns. In all, the Razorbacks piled up 513 total yards.

LSU countered with exactly 100 yards less after finishing the first half with a paltry 95 yards and at least two missed scoring chances. Tiger tailback Jacob Hester turned in another warrior-like effort, gaining 126 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns in his final game in Tiger Stadium.

Senior quarterback Matt Flynn exited Tiger Stadium for the last time as well, finishing the game with 22 completions in 47 attempts for 209 yards and three touchdowns after completing just seven of 22 passes in the first half.

No. 5 LSU 21, No. 14 Tennessee 14

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007


Atlanta, Ga.

ATLANTA - Champions at last.

Coming into Saturday's SEC Championship Game, the LSU senior class had been a part of 41 wins over the past four seasons.

But missing from all of those victories was a championship.

The most successful senior class in LSU history finally bagged their title. The No. 7 ranked Tigers rallied from halftime and fourth quarter deficits to upend 17th-ranked Tennessee 21-14 in the SEC Championship Game at the GeorgiaDome last Saturday.

It was the first SEC title for coach Les Miles, who announced earlier in the day he would remain as the head coach of the Tigers dismissing rumors he would be the next coach at Michigan.

It was the 10th conference championship for LSU and the first since the 2003 season. The Tigers were making their fourth appearance in the SEC title game and captured their third victory in the conference championship game. LSU lost in its last trip to Atlanta losing to Georgia 34-14 in 2005. The Tigers defeated Tennessee 31-20 in their first appearance in the SEC Championship Game.

Trailing 14-13 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, LSU senior cornerback Jonathan Zenon stepped in front of an Erik Ainge pass and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.

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