SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
9/09/2007 12:14:00 AM
Blowout on the Bayou
Keiland Williams' 67-yard touchdown run essentially put the game away for the Tigers.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Ohio State-Texas, it was not.
The most anticipated non-conference game of 2007 turned out instead to be a colossal mismatch, with No. 2 LSU dominating No. 9 Virginia Tech in literally every aspect of a 48-7 victory here Saturday night. The game was over the moment Tigers tailback Keiland Williams took an option pitch, hurdled one of his downed offensive linemen, then dashed 67 yards for a touchdown that put LSU up 24-0 just over three minutes into the second quarter.
And the scary part is, Williams was not close to being the Tigers’ most impressive performer Saturday night. That would be either quarterback Matt Flynn, who, in his third career start, showed uncanny accuracy in picking apart a normally air-tight Hokies defense; receiver Brandon LeFell, previously overshadowed by teammate Early Doucet, who exploded for a seven-catch, 125-yard night; Jacob Hester, the workhorse battering ram who pounded his way to 81 yards; or the entire, as-advertised LSU defense, which held Virginia Tech to a measly 40 yards on 26 plays in the first half and 149 overall.
Suffice to say, LSU was the real deal, though really, it wasn’t a fair fight. The Hokies walked into one of college football’s most daunting atmospheres with a long-inconsistent quarterback, Sean Glennon, and an inexperienced, injury-riddled offensive line. That’s like walking into Mike the Tiger’s lair wearing a blindfold.
Virginia Tech did not manage to sustain a drive longer than six plays until midway through the third quarter, by which time the outcome was no longer in doubt and athletic freshman QB Tyrod Taylor had replaced the ineffective Glennon (a move Hokies fans are undoubtedly hoping will become permanent as soon as Sunday). Taylor endured his own struggles, too, due to the constant duress, but he at least demonstrated a spark by producing 58 of the Hokies’ 65 yards on their lone touchdown drive.
It’s too early to say whether LSU is the best team in the country (though we may have a better idea following USC’s trip to Nebraska), but this much is certain: It’s going to take an opponent with one heck of an offense and a plethora of speed on defense to keep up with the Tigers’. As of today, only one team on LSU’s schedule fits that description: Defending national champion Florida, which comes to this stadium in exactly four weeks.
Well, it looks like the LSU offense is gelling just fine. One interesting home game with a resurgent S. Carolina between the next big showdown with Florida. After Auburns performance this afternoon, I expect a very sweet revenge massacre a little later in the season. Really, it looks like the only way LSU will lose during the regular season is a self-inflicted meltdown. I still can't come to trust Les Miles in a nail biter, but his staff has done a prettygood job of keeping him out of that situation. Come back to BR in October for the Florida game and then we'll see you in New Orleans for the crystal ball. Enjoy your column, and will always remember you as one of the first guys to say "look out for LSU" back in our 2003 Championship season (sorry, USC - that was a Tiger Championship year). Let's hope we get some resolution this season!
Aargh. As a VT fan that was painful. My only hope is LSU is just that nasty. Stewart - what's your take on Tyrod? Maybe it's my optimism, but I thought that for a true fresh being thrown to the Tigers, he showed some real promise (and was a heck of a step up from Glennon). What do you think Hokie nation can expect from this kid over the rest of the season? (Especially in the moribund ACC?)
SC obsession? Couldn't have anything to do with your faux pas championship season and the constant reminders, could it? Nah . . maybe it is that the BCS downgraded strength of schedule after the LSU Tigers claimed the Crystal Bowl in spite of your hoopla.
Or, maybe, it is just that you are a fan of a charasmatic team that cannot beat Oregon State or UCLA.
I think, personally, that you should grumble more about the Bears, the Bruins, and the Huskies this year . . .
They will be the folks keeping you out of N'Awlins.
why in the world would Les Miles want to leave LSU for Michigan? The SEC is a MUCH MUCH better conference compared to the Big Ten..Not to mention the mess that is in MICH right now..LSU recruits/players are way way way much better than whatever is up in Ann Arbor right now..
Because LSU dominated the Hokies, the V-Tech team is suddenly not what everybody thought they would be. Instead of giving LSU the credit, everybody immediately down grades Tech saying how inexpreienced they are and that they are injury riddled, but by God we'll name them the number 9 team in the nation. I'll just continue cheering for my Tigers, all the way back to N'Awlins and the National Championship.
hey stew! I mean no disrespect ,but it's unfair to say the match was not fair! all competition is fair. they had a QB when we scheduled the home n away match. its not our fault the ncaa added $ guidelines the year they were going to return the match. it just seams to me that every time lsu gets their ears wet to be a national power some one's got an excuse, and your the last 1 i thought would give them one. I apologize if i misunderstood you, we took our beating up their and handed it back to them. that was their QB when the AP and coaches voted them top 10 right. if a top 10 team is unable to play a fair game in B.R. well then them votes should be (look out heres a new one) RESTANDERTIZED!!! and the AP make our schedule them selves instead of trying to stop us from kicking USC out of another bowl game! THAT WOULD BE FAIR MY FREIND
I don't know if LSU fans have a USC obsession but they definitely don't want to let go of the 2003 championship season. EVERYONE is willing to call that a split national championship (including SC fans) except LSU fans (and I don't root for either school so I can be objective).
Never mind that the Tigers won the BCS title, which has only been in existence since 1998. Meanwhile, USC won the AP title, which has been handed out--and used to determine the national championship--for over 70 years. And can you imagine if the roles were reversed? LSU being the consensus number one in both polls and not being invited to the championship game?
The plain and simple fact is that in 2003, Louisiana State University was the Bowl Championship Series National Champion and the University of Southern California was the Associated Press National Champion. Split title. End of story. But I forgot...SEC fans are always right.
I can see SEC fans point if they were talking about Auburn. USC gets a split title in 2003 from the AP when they lost one game. Auburn gets nothing for going undefeated in 2004. LA media machine no doubt. But the real villian is Stoops. He whined his way into two straight BCS title games, and got beaten badly in both. As a college football fan, we would've been much better off having LSU vs USC and Auburn vs USC those years.
So, are there going to be excuses made for EVERY team we take out??? Give credit where credit is due, but don't make excuses for the opposing team right after doing so.
Regarding the sharing of the title in 2003. NO, we do not recognize sharing it with USC. We made it to the game (and won), they did not. If we are going to go that route, then Boise St. should be co-champs of the 2007 season for staying undefeated. Do that, and see if Florida fans feel the same as we do!
The difference is that college football is this weird anomaly that doesn't choose its champions by what happens on the field. Instead voters determine whose accomplisments on the field are most important.
You're right: LSU made it to the the championship game and won. That is, the Tigers won the BCS championship, which is why they were the BCS champions. That has absolutely nothing to do with what the AP decides. The AP and coaches both said that USC was #1 before bowl season. USC won its bowl. Now they were supposed to drop? How does that make any sense?
What exactly is USC supposed to let go? And yes, 2004 Auburn has a much bigger gripe. It went through the SEC undefeated and won a BCS bowl, but no one calls those Tigers the national champions. Yet we hear much less complaining from them. Interesting.
If Auburn or Boise St were ranked #1, were left out of the BCS title game, won their bowl game and were ranked #1 in the final AP poll, then yes, we would have s split title.
Its too bad that those great teams were left out, but merely being undefeated does not = nat'l championship or EVEN the claim to be the rightful champ.
And yes, LSU still has a USC obsession - watching Gameday yesterday, there was some knucklehead with a "FUSC" sign... Combine that with the pathetic billboard Tiger fans put up in LA (nowhere near USC I might add), and the constant whining over 2003 and that pretty much sums up obsession