'Not Our Night'

LSU muscled their way to a 10-7 win over the Rebels Saturday night despite a gallant defensive performance by the Rebels. Meanwhile, the offense just could not get anything going in the hostile confines of Death Valley.

"We had a lot of negative things tonight," said Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner. "I credit LSU - they battled hard, and we battled to the end too, but we just came up a play or two short in a defensive game."

Based on previous offensive performances this year, this lack of output was not expected, but the Rebels could only muster 313 yards of total offense and only had two first downs the entire second half until last-ditch drives generated some, but not enough, yardage

"This was a combination of everybody," Werner continued. "When we did get guys open, we'd have the ball batted down or poor throws or poor reads. Coaches, players, everybody didn't get it done. We did nothing good on offense from my perspective."

It all started with not being able to get the run game going at all and staying behind the chains most of the night.

"LSU didn't do anything we hadn't prepared for. We just did not execute enough to keep them off balance. They played very well on defense and were able to stay in a two-high shell while stopping our run game and then we played poorly in a lot of areas," he noted. "The combination of those things led to a disappointing loss."

The coaches preach staying ahead of the chains all the time. Tonight, they were behind the chains most of the night - 2nd and long, third and long - and when they did get good first down gains, they could not convert several key third and shorts.

"As poorly as we played, we still had a shot to win, but when you are 2nd-and-10, 3rd-and-11 what seemed like the whole second half, you are not going to be successful against a good football team like that," he added.

The Rebs were missing starting Center Ben Still all night and Left Tackle Laremy Tunsil for some of the night, but Werner would not use those things as an excuse.

"No matter who we had on the field, we should play better than we did," he closed. "We have no excuses."

The defense was gallant, but in the end the ball control offense of the Tigers took its toll in a low-scoring game.

LSU controlled the ball 36 minutes to the Rebs' 24. On their winning drive, they went 95 yards and only threw the ball once - from three yards out on a play-action pass to their tight end for the score.

"We missed some tackles we shouldn't have missed and we didn't fit some things right against their power scheme. We played real well in the second half except for one drive when they just ran it down our throats with a fresh back (Kenny Hiliard)," said DC Dave Wommack. "I have no major qualms with the way we played. Our kids played their hearts out and I love them for that.

"They fought every down. They will come back."

It was suggested to Wommack that holding LSU to 10 points should have been enough to win. He was having none of that.

"We needed to hold them to six points since we scored seven," he said emphatically. "This is the kind of game you get into every once in a while and tonight we just didn't stop them on that one second half drive that turned out to be the difference in the game."

Dave said the fullback leading their run attack made a difference.

"We had not seen that all year. We adjusted to it at halftime and had several three and outs, but that one long drive we just didn't fit it right," he stated. "Give LSU credit too. They stuck with what they do best and it worked well enough for them to win in the end."

The Rebel defense was playing without both Nkemdiche brothers in the second half and All-American FS Cody Prewitt banged up his shoulder and had to come out. D.T. Shackelfod was also taken off the field in the second half.

"We can't use that as an excuse. When a player's opportunity comes, he has to perform," Wommack added. "We'll look at the film, make some corrections, heal up and get ready for Auburn.

"This is life in the SEC. I told these kids I was not disappointed at all and I wouldn't trade them for any defense in the country. We will bounce back and get back after it."


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