TSD Top 10 of 2009

In a season filled with plenty of highs and a few lows, the LSU football team is 9-3 and headed to the Capital One Bowl to face Penn State on New Year's Day. Here is a look back at the 10 most memorable moments from the 2009 season.

TigerSportsDigest.com Top Ten:

10) The Final Go – Oct. 31 vs. Tulane – Tiger Stadium

On Halloween night, the Tigers and Green Wave lined up in the 98th meeting between the sides, a series that dates back to 1893, the first year of varsity football for both schools.

Earlier this season, the two universities mutually agreed to discontinue the football series following the 2009 season, with one more game to be played in New Orleans at a future date.

In the final Tiger Stadium meeting, the ninth-ranked Tigers put up 455 yards of offense, including 267 yards on the ground, in a 42-0 rout of the Green Wave, the first time Tulane was shutout in 85 games.

9) Trindon Holliday’s Senior Night – Nov. 28 vs. Arkansas – Tiger Stadium

Though Josh Jasper’s four field goals were the highlight of the evening, Tiger Stadium was also able to enjoy the thrill of speedster Trindon Holliday one final time.

The 5-foot-5, 161-pound senior had a career-best 212 all-purpose yards, highlighted by an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown that gave LSU the 17-3 lead in the second quarter.

Holliday added nine runs for 57 yards to cap off a Senior Night that he later described as one of his most memorable game as a Tiger.


Holliday capped off his final game with a bang

For Tiger fans that watched Holliday run during his time at LSU, both on the track circuit and football field, the ability to send college football’s fastest player out in style, under the lights of a Tiger Stadium Saturday night, was all that could be asked for.

8) The Perfect Game – Oct. 24 vs. Auburn – Tiger Stadium

In arguably their most complete performance of the season, LSU held off rival Auburn for a 31-10 win, which moved the Tigers to six wins, making them bowl eligible for the 10th-straight season.

After Florida handed LSU their first Saturday night loss in Tiger Stadium in 33 games, the Tigers held the SEC’s second-best offense to just 193 total yards of production, the lone Auburn touchdown coming on a 1-yard pass with three seconds to play.

On a night where LSU amassed 376 yards of offense, freshman Russell Shepard recorded the first touchdown run of his career, dashing 69-yards for the score after finding a hole off the left guard. It marked the longest play of the season for the Tigers.

Defensively, safety Danny McCray recovered two fumbles while cornerback Chris Hawkins tossed in a one-handed interception, helping the Tigers halt Guz Malzahn’s fast-paced attack for the statement victory.

7) Toliver, LSU Start in Style – Sep. 5 @ Washington – Husky Stadium

The season opener brought the Tigers all the way to Seattle, but over 10,000 LSU fans filled out the crowd of 69,161 in Husky Stadium to see the team’s first game on the West Coast in 25 years.

When it was all said and done, the night belonged to wide receiver Terrance Toliver. The junior caught two touchdown passes from Jordan Jefferson and setup a third score as the 11th-ranked Tigers battled past Washington to get the victory.

Charles Scott finished with 52 yards on 12 carries, while Keiland Williams finished with 51 yards on seven attempts. Yet, Toliver’s four big grabs - which saw the junior receiver pile up the yards after the catch - for 117 yards was the storyline of the night.

Toliver finished the season with 47 catches for 654 yards and three touchdowns, making his opening night the biggest he would have on the year.

6) Peterson’s Fourth Quarter in Tuscaloosa – Nov. 7 @ Alabama – Bryant-Denny Stadium

Leading 15-10 with 3:19 left in the third quarter, the Tigers found themselves working without starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson and starting running back Charles Scott, both lost to second-half injuries.


Julio Jones scored with Patrick Peterson watching from the sidelines

Cornerback Patrick Peterson, who battled cramps throughout the day, had held Tide receiver Julio Jones in check throughout the afternoon. Yet, when Peterson was sidelined for a brief moment early in the fourth quarter with a cramp, Alabama made LSU pay, hitting Jones on a short pass that played out as a 73-yard dash down the left sideline and into the end zone.

Then, down 21-15, two plays in the final 10 minutes cost LSU any chance to make a final push. On fourth-and-6, LSU was flagged for running into the kicker, which gave the Tide the chance to convert a short fourth-down.

A couple of plays later, Peterson looked to have intercepted Greg McElroy’s pass to Jones on the right sideline. The replays showed Peterson get two feet in bounds and maintain possession of the ball, but the booth confirmed the official’s call on the field, which was an incomplete pass.

The Tide finished the drive with a 40-yard field goal by Leigh Tiffin, moving the final margin to 24-15 and keeping Alabama’s run at a National Championship alive.

5) A Boot for the Golden Boot – Nov. 28 vs Arkansas – Tiger Stadium

LSU kicker Josh Jasper tied a school record with four field goals, including the final three points that forced the game into overtime.

In the final seconds of the first quarter, Jasper nailed a 47-yard field goal attempt to put LSU out front 10-3.

Jasper was not asked to step up again until the fourth quarter, where he was successful on kicks from 47-, 41-, and 36-yards out.

His kick at the 4:05 mark put LSU ahead 27-23, and his boot with four seconds to play tied the game at 30-30.

In overtime LSU took the ball first, and it was Jasper for three points once more.

When Arkansas kicker Alex Tejada’s attempt to tie went wide right, Tiger Stadium celebrated the final game of the 2009 regular season in style.

4) Scott Storms Athens – Oct. 3 @ Georgia – Sanford Stadium

Down 7-6 early in the fourth quarter, LSU seemed lost as to how a game that they dominated for three frames still remained in the balance.

That’s when senior running back Charles Scott took charge.


Scott ran for two TD's against UGA in the final three minutes

Scott punched the go-ahead touchdown in with 2:53 to play, giving LSU the 12-7 lead. Soon after, UGA receiver A.J. Green pulled in a 16-yard touchdown to move the Bulldogs back out front, 13-12.

After a 40-yard kickoff return by Trindon Holliday moved the ball into UGA territory, Scott, working with less than a minute on the clock, finished the game off with a 33-yard touchdown run that gave LSU the road win.

3) Chad Jones Punt Return – Sep. 26 @ MSU – Davis Wade Stadium

Safety Chad Jones fielded a bouncing punt at the LSU 7-yard line, looked left and shook a tackle. 93-yards later, the junior crossed the goal line after one of the greatest punt returns in school history.

Up 23-21 over Mississippi State, the rain-drenched field had stalled both offenses. So, Jones took matters into his own hands. After the initial Bulldog tackler missed, running back Stevan Ridley and safety Brandon Taylor sprung the play with a pair of peel-back blocks.

With cornerback Patrick Peterson directing traffic with a waving arm, Jones followed his teammate down the right sideline and past a block by defensive tackle Charles Alexander near midfield.

After eluding another tackle at the MSU 40-yard line, Jones followed Peterson down the sideline, past Peterson’s final block, and into the end zone.

The run was the second-longest punt return in school history.

2) The Stand – Sep. 26 @ MSU – Davis Wade Stadium

On an afternoon where LSU scored in every facet of the game – offense, defense and special teams – for the first time since 2002, the most memorable play was one that involved no score at all.

After a Sean Brauchle 22-yard field goal cut the lead to 30-24 with 10:13 left, Mississippi State held the LSU offense down and found themselves back with the ball deep into the fourth quarter.

When the Bulldogs moved to the LSU 2-yard line, it looked all but over.

Yet, runs on first and second down managed just one yard. On a third down jump pass, safety Chad Jones swatted the ball away at the line of scrimmage. On fourth, MSU attempted a quarterback keeper, which resulted in the stop, a turnover and the win.

1) The Final Minute – Nov. 21 @ Ole Miss – Vaught-Hemingway Stadium

Down 25-17 with 3:32 to play, LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson led the Tigers on a 10-play, 66-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 25-yard scoring strike to Rueben Randle, the freshman’s second on the day.

Down 25-23 with 1:16 to play, the Tigers came up with the ensuing onside kick. Jefferson then found Brandon LaFell for a 26-yard gain, putting LSU in field goal range for a Josh Jasper winning kick.

Yet, three plays, all passes, netted negative 16 yards, putting LSU in a bind with only nine seconds to play. Coming out of the timeout, only one thing was discussed: a Hail Mary attempt that would end the game.


Miles let the final minute at Ole Miss slip away

When Ole Miss brought the blitz, Jefferson was forced to throw early. After Terrance Toliver brought the ball down at the Ole Miss 5-yard line with a second left on the clock, no LSU player or coach seemed on the same page as to what came next.

Instead of running a play to the end zone or attempting to run out the field goal unit, the Tigers managed only a spike attempt that effectively ended the game, giving the Rebels the two-point win in Oxford and LSU’s third conference loss of the season.


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