BATON ROUGE LA - NOVEMBER 20: Stevan Ridley #34 of the Louisiana State University Tigers looks to rush upfield against the Ole Miss Rebels at Tiger Stadium on November 20 2010 in Baton Rouge Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
I'm damn proud of this team. I just have to say that.
You can say a lot of things about this team, and at times this season, people have. But these players ignored the bullshit, and fought their way to an undefeated home record. And, for the most part, they have made whatever plays they had to make in the big moments. And they deserve high praise for that.
But at the same time, if you would have told me before the game LSU would need 43 points to win, I would have been pretty worried. On to the notes:
- Jordan Jefferson's first five completions each traveled at least 20 yards. With the lone exception of his interception, he was decisive and under control. When he's helped out with a quality rushing attack and allowed to throw the routes he throws well (comebacks and corner routes), he can manage this team just the way he needs to. He's also been dramatically improving as an option runner, all season really.
- Blocking on the edges was superb, from the tackles, tight ends and the wide receivers. Russell Shepard made a really nice block to spring Michael Ford's would-be long TD run, and Rueben Randle also did an excellent job, despite playing with a noticeable limp.
- Loved Frank Wilson's running back rotation. He rode Stevan Ridley early, stuck with Ford when he heated up in the third quarter, and then went back to a very fresh Ridley in the fourth.
- Let it not be said Houston Nutt is not true to himself. Multiple giggities, from the third Ole Miss possession, on. And he had a great gameplan. Jeremiah Masoli did great work against the blitz, and found his hot reads in the seams. And the Reb-bears treated third downs almost like second downs. Just a play to set up the next down. It just so happened that was setting up fourth down.
- Don't be surprised if Arkansas used the spread and pistol elements of their running game next weekend. Teams are starting to take advantage of the speed of LSU's front seven. Get them going one way, run the other and wall them off. Drake Nevis and company will have to remember their gap discipline more consistency.
- Lavar Edwards had a strong game with four tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss and that interception. He's really coming into his own as a quality strong-side end, with the size and strength to hold up against the run and an athletic burst up the field.
- Interesting contrast between how ULM's special teams handled Patrick Peterson and how Ole Miss handled him. The Warhawks used short kicks that gave him almost no room to field the ball. Ole Miss kicked the living hell out of the ball as far and as high as possible. Either way, it covered a weakness that LSU should have been able to exploit.
- Speaking of General Zod, I suppose it couldn't be more appropriate that the final pass of the home schedule was intercepted by him. Dan Borne threw in a "thanks for the memories." And while I would love to have No. 7 for another year, I think we all know that's not likely. But I think I can speak on behalf of the entire ATVS family when I say that we will always kneel before Zod.