Down on the Bayou

LSU's win may speak for itself, but Florida is the best two-loss team in history

Oct. 7, 2007

College Football Recap: Week 6

> Full Scoreboard  |  GameTracker Final Stats  |  Images of Saturday
> The Red Zone  |  Tape It Up  |  Strike The Pose  |  Breaking The Code
> Run & Shoot: Spurrier Keeps Frustrating Kentucky  |  Illini Snap Wisconsin's Win Streak
Sooners Take Another Classic  |  Tennessee Wins Big  |  Ohio State's D Hits Purdue
Bearcats Too Much For Rutgers  |  Stanford Stuns USC  |  LSU Partying In Baton Rouge
> Trev: USC Loss Sends Shockwaves  |  Cardinal Takes The Trojans Down     

By Brian Curtis

CSTV Senior Editor



Brian Curtis is a CSTV football and basketball analyst and a regular writer.
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Well, I think the LSU win speaks for itself.  What more did you really want?    


Like most weekends in the SEC, this game really started on Thursday when the RVs and revelers started to pour into Baton Rouge. 


When I arrived in the city, the pre-game was well underway. There were cars with LSU flags and flags just about everywhere. There were tailgaters claiming territory like gold miners in the mid 1800s. Yes, it was a big game. But just how big? Well, the last time LSU played a game as the top team in the country was in 1959 and a lot of these folks weren't quite the same then (or alive). 




So the No. 1 team welcomed a hated ranked-rival with so much on the line.


It was no great secret all week that Les Miles planned to use back-up quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. But the question was, just how much?


At practice on Thursday, Perrilloux and Matt Flynn split snaps with the first team offense. Like Florida's Tim Tebow, a rushing threat, Perrilloux took a quick step to the line of scrimmage before dropping back on some snaps, to try to freeze the linebackers. In comments earlier in the week, Miles talked about how Perrilloux has been, and would be, playing a major role.


So what happened come game time? Flynn went 14-of-27 for 144 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT while his "backup" Perrilloux went 0-of-1 passing and carried the ball six times and handed it off many more. 


Look, the Tigers won, so let's not nit-pick, but neither one of these guys is a great quarterback. They did just enough combined. But how about Jacob Hester at QB? Fans will point out that a two-man system worked for Florida last year but Tebow came in infrequently, on big running downs. Flynn and Perrilloux were alternating plays at some points.


The LSU defense didn't look great in the first half and blown coverage made them look silly. But Glenn Dorsey & Co. pulled it together to contain and then stop Tebow late in the game. Earlier in the week, I asked Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville what lessons LSU could take from his team's upset over the Gators last week. Tuberville told me first, they limited the Florida's running game. Second, they managed to contain, though not stop, Tebow. Third, Auburn gave up just 78 yards after contact, meaning his defensive players made tackles without allowing the big plays.  Again, we turn to the stats from the game where LSU gave up 314 yards to Florida, 158 through the air and 156 on the ground.


So what do we take from this game? Well, for one, Miles has been elevated. His coaching decisions, which somehow worked out, endeared him to thousands of LSU fans who still questioned his chops. Good for him. 


We also took away the fact that this season, LSU has been the most dominant. But that's not saying too much, considering they looked bad against Tulane last week and sloppy against Mississippi State. That's not domination, but it is winning and a lot of other teams wish they could say the same. And finally, Florida may just be the best two-loss team in history. Play this game again in Atlanta in December and the result may change.                                                                                          


Some other notes from LSU-Florida:


·          Last week, the Tennessee Titans' Vince Young returned to his alma mater to watch Texas fall to Kansas State. With a bye weekend, many expected former LSU QB and No. 1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell to make an appearance on the sidelines. But since Russell held out of camp, he had too much studying to do and owner Al Davis and others wanted him in California. 


·          Obviously, the No. 1 team always draws attention and the LSU Athletic Department granted well over 600 credentials for the game.


·          If LSU runs the table, they Tigers will be playing just 60 miles away in New Orleans for the national championship in January. If they don't, there will still be plenty of takers. Representatives from the Capitol One Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl were all in town for the game.


·          In an ironic twist, while the head coach at Oklahoma State, Les Miles sent his offensive assistants to Utah to study the spread offense being run by Urban Meyer. Though the two coaches came into the SEC at the same time, they don't have much of a relationship.


·          One visitor to LSU practice on Thursday was PGA golfer David Toms. Toms is an LSU alum and huge Tiger football fan and has booked hotel rooms in Baton Rouge for every LSU home game this season.


·          The LSU-Florida matchup featured five coaches with head coaching experience and a few others who could get that chance next season. Outside of Les Miles and Urban Meyer, LSU's defensive coordinator Bo Pelini served as interim head coach at Nebraska and offensive coordinator Gary Crowton was the head coach at Louisiana Tech and BYU. On the Gator staff, defensive coordinator Charlie Strong coached a bowl game for Florida as the head man and will be in the mix at Ole Miss and Virginia, should those jobs open. Pelini has had overtures before as has Florida's Greg Mattison.



And One More Thing


When the final USC-Stanford score came across the wires, no one could believe it. How in the world did that happen? I would argue that this was a bigger upset than Appalachian State beating Michigan. This was a horrible Stanford team playing a No. 1 team on the road, a place where the Trojans never lose. The Cardinal had a back-up quarterback under center, a coach known more for controversial comments than Pac-10 wins and trailed in the game before their amazing comeback. After the game, Pete Carroll said he thought they were going to win the whole game. He probably thought that about UCLA as well. And speaking of UCLA, previously winless Notre Dame came into the Rose Bowl and held the Bruins to just six points. Karl Dorrell. Buh-bye.