Monday, January 07, 2008


After falling behind 10-0 early in the first quarter, LSU scored 24 consecutive points to lead by two touchdowns at the half. Ohio State never quit, but the Buckeyes couldn't really threaten the lead against LSU's vaunted defense. The Tigers turned up the heat on Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman and forced him to hurry too many throws. The Tigers also did a good job of containing Beanie Wells after the tailback ran for 119 yards in the first half. Once Ohio State fell behind by three touchdowns early in the third quarter, the Buckeyes couldn't use Wells much to get them back into the game. LSU forced Ohio State into a couple of costly mistakes -- the Tigers blocked a field goal and intercepted a pass down the left sideline to set up touchdowns in the first half.
What didn't reserve safety Harry Coleman do for LSU's defense? In the first quarter, the sophomore from Baldwin, La., recovered a muffed punt return by LSU's Chad Jones at the Tigers' 16. In the second quarter, Coleman blitzed and hit Boeckman, forcing him to underthrow a pass down the left sideline. Cornerback Chevis Jackson intercepted the pass and returned it 34 yards to the Ohio State 24, setting up the touchdown that put LSU ahead 24-10 at the half. Coleman added another fumble recovery early in the fourth quarter, after linebacker Ali Highsmith drilled Boeckman on a fourth-down play. "To go to a national-championship game two years in a row and lose like this is incredible. It hurts tremendously," Ohio State running back Beanie Wells said.As much as they might have wanted to, the Buckeyes couldn't even escape the memory of the Gators here in New Orleans. By chance, Florida Coach Urban Meyer was one of the analysts on the Fox broadcast crew Monday night. At one point during the halftime show, Ohio State legend Eddie George, another one of the Fox commentators, turned to Meyer and said, "This feels like déjà vu all over again. Are we still in Arizona? This game has the same feel as last year."

Too easy. No. 2 LSU danced, dodged and darted its way into the end zone Monday night, turning the BCS national championship game into a horrible replay for No. 1 Ohio State. It was over early, with Matt Flynn throwing four touchdown passes in a 38-24 win.
Playing at their home-away-from-home in the Big Easy, the Tigers (12-2) became the first two-loss team to play for the title.
Shouts of "SEC! SEC!" bounced around the Superdome as the Tigers won their second BCS crown in five seasons. They are the first school to win a second title since BCS rankings began with the 1998 season.
"My team is the No. 1 team in the land," said All-American defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who passed up the NFL draft to return for his senior season.
And in a season of surprises, this was hardly an upset: Ohio State once again fell apart in college football's biggest game. A year after the Buckeyes were routed by Tim Tebow and Florida 41-14 in the Arizona desert, they barely did better.
"We just didn't do the things you need to do to win a ballgame of this nature. We're very aware that LSU's a deserving champion," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said.
Jacob Hester bulled for a short touchdown, Early Doucet wiggled loose for a touchdown and Dorsey led a unit that outplayed the top-ranked defense in the nation.
Ohio State (11-2) had little to celebrate after Chris "Beanie" Wells broke loose for a 65-yard TD run on the fourth play of the game.
Yet while LSU coach Les Miles got to hoist the $30,000 crystal trophy, certainly many fans around the country were peering into their crystal balls, wondering if someone else was worthy of the title. Southern California, Georgia, West Virginia, Kansas and Missouri all put on impressive shows in bowl games, and will be among the favorites in 2008.
The final Associated Press poll was to be released early Tuesday.
LSU, whose two losses both came in triple overtime, became just the fourth favorite to win in 10 BCS championship games. The Tigers added to the crown they won in 2003 — their other title came in 1958.
Miles probably got a little extra satisfaction, too. Though he turned down a chance to return home to Michigan, he did something his alma mater hasn't done recently — beat the Buckeyes.
The loss left Ohio State at 0-9 overall in bowl games against teams from the Southeastern Conference. The SEC delights in whipping Big Ten teams in what's become a rivalry that steams up fans on both sides.
The Tigers rallied from an early 10-0 deficit, taking a 24-10 halftime lead that held up. Two big plays on special teams kept them ahead — they blocked a field goal, and later took advantage of a roughing-the-kicker penalty.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails