It's Payback Time
By Tabby Soignier The Daily Reveille

October 31, 2006

Baton Rouge, LA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- LSU junior running back Jacob Hester already heard from University of Southern California quarterback and former high school teammate John David Booty after the Trojan's first loss of the season this past weekend to Oregon State University 33-31.

But one former teammate from Evangel High School that Hester has not talked to in the past year is University of Tennessee senior defensive back Jonathan Wade.

Hester said the last time he and Wade were close to communicating was LSU's first home game in the 2005 season against the Volunteers.

After Tennessee came back to defeat the Tigers 30-27 in overtime, Wade did not make an effort to talk to his former high school teammates as he was too busy waving the Tennessee school flag around Tiger Stadium before sticking it into the "Eye of the Tiger" in the center of the field.

"I don't want to see him in the middle of my field throwing a flag in the middle of the eye again," Hester said. "Me and [LSU senior defensive end] Chase [Pittman] were looking for him to say something to him, but we couldn't find him. They were excited so you can't blame them, but that's not the way I play."

After seeing the way Tennessee celebrated its win, Pittman shared the same frustration Hester did.

"First of all, he didn't even come to talk to me and Jacob," Pittman said. "I hadn't talked to him in a few years. If I would have won that game, I would have gone up and talked to him, not thrown my flag all over the stadium. But some people have their things they do. Act like you've been there. It's not your first game to win."

Although Pittman said he saw Wade's act as quite disrespectful, he assured that he is not mad at him and still looks forward to seeing him Saturday.

Wade's flag parading is only one incident LSU players remember about the Tennessee game last year. It was also the first game in Tiger Stadium after hurricanes Katrina and Rita and LSU coach Les Miles' first game in Tiger Stadium.

Miles was the first football coach since Jerry Stovall in 1980 to lose his first game in Tiger Stadium.

"This win is a very important win for us," Miles said. "It's not a revenge. They certainly played well against us, but anytime you finish second on the scoreboard, you remember, and certainly our football team does."

Junior safety Craig Steltz backed up Miles' comments, saying that a loss like the one to Tennessee left a bad taste in his mouth.

"Anytime you lose a game like that you kind of don't forget about it until you have the opportunity to go back and play them," Steltz said. "Not that it's revenge. We're just going to come out and play and make up for last year."

Players reiterated that the game against Tennessee will not be viewed as revenge by them but more so as a make-or-break game for the season.

"We got to win because if we don't win that's going to drop us down to where I don't think it's possible for us to go to the [Southeastern Conference] championship," Steltz said. "As long as we win the next four games, we still have a shot to go."

(C) 2006 The Daily Reveille via CSTV U-WIRE

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