Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top 10 Plays Of The Decade; Recruiting Note

Note:  Just a heads up that if you're reading this update via the e-mail blast, you may want to check it out on the site.  I've got a whole lot of video in this update, and you won't be able to watch it unless you're on the site.  You can click the Saturday Night Slant logo at the top of your e-mail and it will take you to the site. 


Several sites are reporting that 2011 wide receiver Nigel King will announce his college decision tomorrow morning.  King may be the top prospect in the state of North Carolina next year, and most seem to think that he's going to choose LSU tomorrow.  King is 6'3" 190 pounds and has good speed.  Judging from his film, he has very good hands too.  Here are some highlights of King:


Continuing to look back at LSU Football over the recently completed decade, here is my take on the Top 10 Plays of the Decade:

10.  "The Jumbotron Play" - In 2000, Tiger Stadiums’ first year with new “jumbotrons”, they enabled the refs to use instant replay in the Alabama game…unofficially. In a close game in the fourth quarter, Alabama punted the ball away to LSU. An Alabama defender was blocked into the LSU punt returner causing a fumble on the play. LSU clearly recovered the fumble. After much discussion on whether the play was a penalty or not, (Was the Bama player pushed into the LSU returner or did he interfere with the catch?), the refs decided that it was no penalty. But they inexplicably awarded the ball to Alabama…at least initially. LSU players were pleading with the refs to look at the replay screen, which was showing the play over and over. A restless crowd was becoming downright enraged. After peeking at the big screens, the refs then correctly awarded LSU the football.  The Tigers ended up winning the game 30-28, defeating Alabama in Tiger Stadium for the first time since 1969.  We saw more important plays this decade, but this play was so bizarre that it stands out to everyone who witnessed it. 

9.  "4th and 10 in The Desert" -  LSU’s 2005 season was pushed back due to Hurricane Katrina, and the opener against Arizona State was moved from Baton Rouge to Tempe, AZ. While much of the state was doing what they could to recover, everyone looked forward to watching this game…not only as the start to a promising season, but as a brief respite from the stress involved with starting their lives over. LSU trailed 31 to 28 with only 1:23 on the clock and they faced a 4th and 10 at Arizona State’s 39 yard line. Jamarcus Russell rolled to his right but then stopped and was flushed back to his left. He hurled a perfect pass to Early Doucet in the front corner of the end zone, and Doucet was able to come down with the catch for a touchdown. The play proved to be the winning score as LSU’s defense was able to hold Arizona State on their last drive.  See the 7:15 mark in the video below:

8.  "The Teaux Truck" - One week after losing at home to UAB, it didn’t appear that Nick Saban’s inaugural season at LSU was going to be terribly successful. The 11th ranked Tennessee Vols came to Baton Rouge, and LSU was a big underdog. LSU got off to a hot start, which ignited a crowd that was starving for a big win. Leading 10-3 in the second quarter, Toefield took a handoff from his own 26 yard line. He shot through a hole in the right side of the line, dashed into the secondary towards the sideline, stiff-armed a Tennessee defender for about 20 yards before leaving him behind and running into the end zone. That play not only gave LSU a two touchdown lead, but it set loose the crowd which would be one of the rowdiest in Tiger Stadium history. LSU ended up defeating the Vols in overtime, and that win marked the turning point in the program and set the stage for the best decade of football in LSU’s history.

7.  "Jamarcus to Bowe" - In 2005, LSU squared off with Alabama in a battle of Top 5 teams in Tuscaloosa. LSU rallied from a 10-0 half time deficit to tie the game and send it into overtime. LSU held Alabama to a field goal in overtime's first possession and was then faced with a 3rd and 6. Jamarcus Russell, an Alabama native, rolled away from pressure and fired a strike to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone, who caught the ball for the win. In an instant, a stadium full of optimistic Bama fans went silent. Their “return to glory” season had hopes of going undefeated and playing for a national title. They ultimately settled for third place in the SEC West.  LSU went on to win the SEC West and finish the season 11-2, ranked #5 in the nation.

6.  "Lionel Turner Sack" - With LSU leading 21-14 late in the fourth quarter of the BCS Championship Game, Oklahoma had one last drive to try and tie the game. Facing a 4th and 10, the Sooners’ Heisman trophy winning quarterback, Jason White, dropped back to pass. Lionel Turner paused briefly before blitzing the quarterback and coming through untouched for a sack. LSU took over on downs and was able to run the clock and secure their first national championship since 1958. Not only did the play clinch the win for LSU, but it symbolized the dominance of LSU’s defense throughout that game and throughout their championship season.  See the :59 mark in the video below.

5.  "Matt Mauck Game Winner" - LSU was a big underdog in the 2001 SEC Championship Game, and things looked even less favorable after starting quarterback Rohan Davey left the game with an injury. Into the game came little known backup Matt Mauck, who began gaining chunks of yards against the Vols with his feet. The Vols seemed hell bent on knocking Davey out of the game, yet they didn’t have a plan to deal with his replacement.  Early in the 4th quarter, Mauck drove the team deep into Tennessee territory, and he then took a quarterback draw 13 yards into the end zone. That touchdown put LSU ahead 24-17 and it proved to be the game winner. The play was also indicative of Mauck’s gutty performance that night, giving LSU their first SEC Championship since 1986 and legitimizing their program as one to contend with. 

4.  "4th and 4 In Tuscaloosa" - With 2:49 remaining in the game and trailing by a score of 34-27, LSU faced a 4th and 4 at Alabama’s 32 yard line. LSU Quarterback Matt Flynn threw a dart to star receiver Early Doucet over the middle. Doucet made the catch and shook several Bama defenders on his way to the end zone. LSU would later recover an Alabama fumble on the 2-yard line and score the go-ahead touchdown to win the game 41-34.  This was LSU’s first game against their former coach and it came during the middle of the national championship race.  Needless to say, this was a must win for the Tigers. The 4th down play to Doucet was the biggest of this game.

3.  "Flynn to Byrd" - LSU trailed Auburn 24-23 very late in the fourth quarter in 2007. LSU received the ball and quickly drove down the field. At the 23 yard line and needing only a FG to win, Matt Flynn instead drops back to throw with :08 left on the clock and throws a fade pass to Demetrius Byrd who makes the catch for a touchdown. The clock read :01 after Byrd’s catch. The play call, still hotly debated, surprised everyone in attendance and gave the Tigers a much needed win. The call was both brilliant and reckless, and it was par for the course in a wacky national championship season for the Tigers.

2.  "The Bluegrass Miracle" - Maybe the most improbable play in college football history, LSU trailed Kentucky by three when they received the kickoff with just 11 seconds on the clock. The Tigers ran one play to their own 25 yard line. Then, quarterback Marcus Randall heaved a long pass that was tipped several times before landing in the hands of a streaking Devery Henderson who split two defenders at the 15 and ran into the end zone.  Pandemonium ensured as Kentucky students stormed the field and tore down a goal post, thinking they had won the game.  Meanwhile, LSU’s sideline erupted in celebration and ran onto the field as well. This play will always be a part of college football history and should be considered one of the greatest plays of all time.

1.  "Green downs Georgia" - In a battle of Top 10 teams in 2003, LSU led the defending SEC Champion Georgia Bulldogs 10-3 for most of the game. With under five minutes to go, Georgia completed a screen pass that was inexplicably taken 93 yards for a score. LSU answered with a nice kickoff return by Devery Henderson to midfield. Then on third down from the 34 yard line with 1:29 to go, Tiger quarterback Matt Mauck found Skyler Green breaking free on a busted route. Green made the catch over his shoulder in the end zone, clinching the win. This was a game that LSU had historically lost. However this time, the Tigers answered the call and in n doing so, they announced to the college football world that LSU had arrived as an elite program.  See 4:34 mark in video below. 


Anonymous said...

Dude...This may be the best article you've ever written. What a crazy 10 yrs.

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