Junior running back Stevan Ridley rushed for 104 yards and one touchdown and redshirt freshman safety Craig Loston picked off a pass for a score as the White team defeated the Purple team, 24-9, in the National L Club Spring Game on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium.
The game culminated a successful spring for the LSU football team, who opens the 2010 season against North Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Sept. 4 in the Georgia Dome. The season-opener will be televised nationally by ABC and kickoff at 7 p.m. CT.
Ridley finished with 13 carries and set the tone for Purple team with seven carries for 70 yards on the game's first drive. He broke open a 25-yard run before scoring from four yards out to culminate a 10-play, 80-yard drive in the first five minutes. Ridley tallied 11 rushes for 94 yards in the first quarter alone.
“We put a premium on running the football," LSU head coach Les Miles said. "I felt like we improved there. I like the way we run the football. I think we are physical. I like the speed on the defensive side of the field, and I thought the day was good. I thought Stevan Ridley starts the day out with a nice drive in the early-going, and I felt like we executed extremely well there.”
Redshirt freshman running back Mike Ford led all rushers with 139 yards on 19 carries for the Purple team. Sophomore wide receiver Russell Shepard tallied 58 yards on seven rushes while grabbing three passes for 29 yards. The Purple team finished with 207 yards on the ground and the White team ran for 133 yards.
"I thought Mike Ford had some nice runs, the kind of runs where you use your eyes and make cuts and make people miss," Miles said. "It's really kind of what we needed. We'll have a series of time where we'll get in the weight room, and we'll press to the end of the semester. We'll take a week off for finals.
Quarterback Jordan Jefferson commanded the White team for most of the game, finishing with 94 yards on 8-of-23 attempts with one interception. Jarrett Lee completed 10-of-20 passes for 114 yards with one pick and one touchdown.
Following Ridley's run in the game's early minutes, the Purple team responded when Shepard scampered 29 yards down to the White 25. Lee found Shepard on the ensuing play and Josh Jasper booted the first of three successful field goals, this one a 21-yarder with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter to make it 7-3.
The Purple team pulled within a point in the second quarter. Ford touched the ball six times and accounted for 38 yards on a 43-yard drive that culminated with another Jasper field goal. His 47-yarder with 9:59 left in the half made it a 7-6 contest. The White team would go three-and-out before breaking the game open on the defensive end.
On the first play of the ensuing possession, Loston stepped in front of a Lee pass and took it back 22 yards for a touchdown. Jasper's PAT gave the White team a 14-6 advantage with 9:18 to go in the quarter.
Perhaps the game's most intriguing moment came in the waning seconds of the second quarter.
Jefferson engineered a 53-yard drive in the final 1:13 highlighted by a 23-yard run and catch by Ridley. White called a timeout with five seconds left and Jasper then drilled a 57-yard field goal as time expired to extend the lead to 17-6 into the locker room.
The longest field goal in Tiger Stadium history in a regular season game is 54 yards on two instances. Wade Richey booted a 54-yarder against Kentucky in 1996, while Ron Lewis kicked one 54 yards versus North Carolina in 1985.
Drew Alleman connected for a 42-yard field goal with 8:06 in the third quarter that cut the deficit for the Purple team to 17-9. The White team answered with another touchdown late in the third quarter when Chris Tolliver caught a 4-yard pass from Lee that put the game out of reach.
Tight end Deangelo Peterson set up the score with a 30-yard catch. Peterson led all receivers with two catches for 39 yards. Ford added three catches for 35 yards and finished with 174 all-purpose yards.
Defensively, linebacker Kevin Minter recorded a game-high 14 tackles for the White team. Defensive end KeKe Mingo notched seven tackles and two sacks for a loss of 13 yards. Defensive tackle Bennie Logan added seven tackles and one sack for the White team.
Safety Brandon Taylor led the Purple team with six stops. Defensive end Sam Montgomery contributed two sacks.
The paid attendance was 22,710.
2010 LSU Football - Spring Awards
Fourth Quarter Award
(outstanding performance in LSU off-season program)
(outstanding leadership in spring drills - offense)
Mike Miley Leadership
(outstanding leadership in spring drills - defense)
(outstanding performance in spring drills - defense)
Norwood Performance Award
(outstanding performance in spring drills - offense)
(players who have made the most improvement during spring drills)
Jimmy Taylor Award
(the comprehensive Spring Award for outstanding leadership, effort and performance)
Jerry Stovall Special