Monday, November 9, 2009

Bama Thoughts; Charles Scott Done At LSU

LSU played a tough game in Tuscaloosa but came up a little short in losing 24-15.  Neither team was ever in full control of this game until the final five minutes when it was clear LSU would not win.  While trailing 21-15 with just under six minutes to go, Patrick Peterson made a great play to intercept a pass at LSU's 31 yard line.  The refs incorrectly called the pass incomplete on the field.  The play was reviewed, and the replay official made the unconscionable decision to uphold the call on the field despite crystal clear video evidence that showed Peterson with possession of the ball and TWO feet in bounds (picture above).  If it wasn't crooked, then it's an example that the replay official is simply horrible at his job.  Horrible!  For most of us, an egregious mistake like that while on the job would get us fired.  LSU's earned an opportunity to try to win the game, and that opportunity was stolen from them. 

A number of other questionable calls also went against LSU, but I don't believe those, or the missed interception, were the key reasons LSU lost the game.  They sure didn't help.  But two things stand out to me that ultimately decided the outcome. 

First was injuries.  It's a pretty tough task to defeat the nation's third ranked team on the road.  But it's damn near impossible to win such a game when you lose your starting quarterback, your starting running back, your starting center, a starting outside linebacker, and most importantly your superstar cornerback.  Patrick Peterson was in and out of the game due to cramps, and his absence was significant.  Peterson was playing an incredible game, and he absolutely shut down Alabama receiver Julio Jones.  With Peterson out of the game, Jones made the biggest play of the game in scoring the game winning touchdown.  I'm not going too far out on the limb in saying that Jones doesn't make that play if Peterson is in the game. 

The second key to Alabama's victory was their strategy on offense in the second half.  They re-dedicated themselves to running the football with Mark Ingram and frankly...Ingram ran it right down LSU's throat.  The LSU defense had no answer to Bama's running game in the second half.  In my opinion, Ingram proved his worth as the SEC's most valuable offensive player on Saturday. 

LSU did make a few costly penalties in the game that were frustrating, but they otherwise played pretty well.  This game could have gone either way, and LSU just wasn't able to get it done. 

I originally planned to use this space to detail all of the bad calls that went against LSU and to rant and rave in excess about the missed call on Peterson's interception.  I decided against it.  Instead, I'm doing what I hope LSU's team is doing...and that is moving on.  A year ago, LSU nearly beat Alabama and never recovered.  They went to struggle against Troy before losing to Ole Miss and Arkansas.  LSU needs to ensure they play differently down the stretch this year, and that means they can't dwell on the Alabama game too long. 

The Tigers still have a whole lot left to play for.  With very winnable games against Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss, and Arkansas, LSU can finish this season with a 10-2 record and that would be huge for the program.  With tons of doubt surrounding last year's 8-5 record, rebounding with double digit wins would speak volumes that LSU's program is going to remain strong. 


Charles Scott broke his collarbone against Alabama on Saturday.  His season and therefore his career is over as an LSU Tiger.  Scott has been first class throughout his time at LSU.  He's been a hell of a running back, a team player, a leader and a great ambassador for the university.  I really can't say enough good things about him.  I wish him all the best as he prepares for his professional career.  Scott finishes his career seventh on LSU's all-time list for rushing yards and fourth in rushing touchdowns.  His career numbers are:

424 carries
2,317 yards
5.46 yards per carry
32 touchdowns

Below are some highlight's of Scott's career at LSU. 


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