LSU fans alive with Sugar Bowl hopes
Posted: Sunday December 7, 2003 1:32AM; Updated: Sunday December 7, 2003 1:32AM
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- LSU fans packed bars throughout the state and celebrated far into the night after the Tigers won the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday.
The Tigers defeated Georgia 34-13 and had a good shot at going to the national championship game at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 4.
"Pour some sugar on me," one LSU fan's sign exclaimed.
Back home, Tiger fans watched the game in crowded bars -- jumping and shouting with every touchdown.
"I was at LSU when we won the national championship in 1958 _ 45 years later, it's great," said Barbara Gaiennie at a sports bar in the New Orleans area.
"This game means a lot to me -- I've been an LSU fan all my life," said Eddie Katoire. "I know they're looking for that national championship -- and they probably won't get there. But I tell you -- this is sweet right here."
Thousands of fans made it to the Georgia Dome to attend the game, and some even rented a charter airplane to get there.
"This is a great win for the state of Louisiana, for all of our fans who support us like no other place in the world, and I just appreciate all that they do," LSU coach Nick Saban said.
The No. 3 Tigers (12-1) won the SEC title for the second time in three years. With No. 1 Oklahoma, the dominant team in the country all season, falling to Kansas State 35-7 in the Big 12 championship game the Tigers appeared to have a chance at going to the Sugar Bowl.
No. 2 Southern Cal rolled to a 52-28 victory over Oregon State to finish the regular season.