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LSU-Tennessee: Stream of Consciousness

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We watched the game with the rest of you and broke it down as it unfolded. Check out my thoughts of LSU's huge 28-24 win as it happened.

First Quarter
We're underway and Tennessee gets the ball first ... On the Vols first drive, it's clear Ainge mobility isn't going to be there ... Verne Lundquist says Ainge hurts most when he is under center, so UT is going to have to go from the shotgun most of the day ... Another bad decision in the punt return game as Davis lets it bounce and UT picks up 10 yards of field position ... Interesting, Vincent starts at TB and Keiland Williams gets the first run, a good one between the tackles ... If LSU can run, this could get ugly quick ... Early on, LSU is mixing it up well, pass right, run up the middle, pass left on the first three plays ... Jerod Mayo (UT LB) makes his first tackle, LSU has to know where he is ... Hermann Johnson goes down and LSU can't afford to lose any offensive linemen at this point ... I swear it seems like LSU has more pre-snap penalties than anyone ever, it's getting old ... JaMarcus Russell is likely the hardest QB to bring down in the history of college football, Jared Lorenzen included ... I'm not sure why Miles let Colt David try a 52-yard field goal, he doesn't have the leg. Let Chris Jackson try if someone is going to, but you can't punt because Jackson can't pooch at all ... That drive is typical of how the Tigers have killed themselves this year, get to the 24, penalty, fumble and miss a field goal ... Ainge has started 0-for-5 and LSU is getting great pressure, but UT has dropped two passes ... More disaster from the special teams as Buster fields at the 8-yard line, goes nowhere and the Tigers have a penalty ... Miles needs to pick someone, anyone, to coach special teams and they need to spend A LOT more time on it in practice ... I hate Rick Clausen, he was the worst quarterback ever at LSU, freakin fourth string behind Lester Ricard when he transferred ... Looks like Matt Flynn will take over for a hurt Russell. His ability to run could open up the rest of LSU's running game ... Another penalty, that's three in six minutes, son of a &!+(#!!! ... I don't feel nearly as comfortable on third down with Flynn bacck there as Russell, and he's sacked ... The Vols did a nice job confusing the backup by not setting positions in the front seven, it obviously worked ... $#!+! $#!+! $#!+! Another penalty ... Ainge finally completes a pass, one into the flat, you can't do that against LSU, they'll kill you ... WOW! It's been nine minutes and now LSU has four penalties and just burned a time out because 12 men were on the field ... How hard is it to have 11 men and only 11 men? 119 teams, times 120 plays per game, is more than 14,000 plays per week and it seems like LSU has a 12 men on the field at least once per week. Nobody else has this problem! ... Dorsey is an animal, there's no way Ainge will be able to get away from LSU's pass rush today ... I don't understand why LSU never tries to block a punt, they never return one worth anything, so you might as well try to block one every once in a while ... Russell is back, thank goodness - and Bowe drops a pass ... It's obvious neither team will run the ball today, LSU is back to a hard three yards per carry ... That's one of the first times I've seen LSU run a slip screen this year, it worked wonders with Josh Reed a few years ago, I'd like to see it more often with our receivers ... And there's the second timeout, we're still in the first quarter. Unbelievable! ... You're kidding me, penalty No. 5 ... Trindon Holliday needs to be the starting running back, PERIOD. ... Craig Davis, Mr. Hands, just dropped a 40-yard pass. He was WIDE open after burning the DB, but Russell underthrew him and he dropped ... Now Russell is sacked ... Just pump that shotgun shell into the chamber and aim directly for your right foot ... Is there an NCAA record for penalties in a quarter? If not, it could now be six, by LSU today, this is ridiculous ... Holy cow! JaMarcus Russell is the only player I've ever felt confident would convert every 3rd-and-20 he had ... Drop, amazing ... 3rd-and-15 inches from being converted, Russell is phenomenal in those situations, it's almost like he hates 2nd-and-1 ... Total yards in the first half, LSU 107, Tennessee -5 ... If the Tigers don't kill themselves, they'll win big!

Second Quarter
Broussard converts a short fourth down, that's huge ... Touchdown Russell to Davis, LSU 7, Tennessee 0 ... The Internet is a wonderful thing, the NCAA record for penalties in a game is 24 by San Jose State against Fresno State on Oct. 4, 1986 ... LSU is currently on pace to tie the mark ... Jonathan Crompton takes over for Ainge, good luck kid ... Crompton might be the worst thing that could happen to LSU in this game, a mobile quarterback ... If he does just enough to keep the defense honest, things could open up for Tennessee like they did for LSU when an inexperienced Matt Mauck beat the Vols in the 2001 SEC Championship ... Crompton has happy feet and might not get a pass off today ... Penalty No. 7 , 17 from the record ... LSU rushed three and drops the linebackers, hmmm, quarterback who has happy feet runs for first down. Could you not see this coming? ... Another punt, another no rush, another fair catch inside the 20 ... We're well into the second quarter and CBS has yet to give a shot of cheerleaders. Aren't southern women the best reason to have the SEC's TV contract? ... LSU has lined up six players at tailback already ... I have to say, I'm pleased with LSU's offense so far, they aren't playing conservative and it's paying off ... Finally something smart in the running game, lining up Hester at fullback and Holliday at tailback and giving it quick to Hester ... Hester should line up every play at fullback ... I don't understand why Russell is ever under center on third down ... Tennessee appears to have made a huge mistake on a punt return and on review LSU should get it on the 2. The way he whipped his head around, he definitely touched it ... The Tigers get hosed by the review booth and Les is understandably pissed ... Note to David Cutcliffe and Philip Fulmer: You can't run wide against LSU, but we invite you to try ... LSU doesn't seem to be doing anything to try to confuse Crompton, outside of just bringing their normal pass rush ... Penalty No. 8 and it's a big one, roughing the passer ... What is Ryan Willis doing in the game? Please get me a real linebacker ... This is the type of drive that will end up with UT converting like five third downs by one yard each time before scoring a touchdown ... Third down, no pass rush against a rookie quarterback. What might happen here? Yes, touchdown Robert Meacham ... LSU 7, Tennessee 7 ... It's almost like Pelini called off the dogs that drive to try to make Crompton beat them through the air. His first drive, he was so scared of the pass rush he didn't even make a throw and this drive LSU barely touched him ... 4:30 to go in the second quarter, here's where I get worried about the Tigers going conservative. They need to put Russell in the gun and air it out ... So, what do they do? Pass to the fullback for a yard, run up the middle for nothing and it's 3rd-and-8 ... Of course, LSU can't get the play off in time and have to burn their final timeout ... Big play here. LSU needs to convert or else the Vols will have a chance to take the lead going into the half ... Russell is a man among men, he's not great at scrambling, but when he does, he does it well ... Wow, I don't know how in the world Russell threw the ball 30 yards while being leveled, but he's lucky it wasn't picked off ... Broussard obviously isn't the back we saw last weekend ... Extend foot, take aim and fire ... It's amazing this game is tied as many mistakes as LSU has made ... What's the worst thing any team can do to prevent a score, that's right, go into prevent. Pelini, attack the quarterback! ... It's hard to watch this as LSU is clearly being outcoached, allowing a backup QB to do this ... This game is becoming eerily similar to the Florida game and a touchdown before half could be devastating ... This is a huge play, third down with 18 seconds left ... LSU rushes only four and gets away with it because Crompton had all day to throw, but rushes and is six inches short of a first down ... Wilhoit FG sneaks in ... Tennessee 10, LSU 7 ... Going into the half, LSU has 214 yards, but eight penalties and an interception, killing themselves.

Third Quarter
LSU gets the ball to start the second half and needs to do something with it on this first drive ? I like Les Miles? fire in the halftime interview, now his team needs to back it up ? Why we even bother to run the ball on first down is beyond me ? And there it is, more self-destruction as Russell has a throw slip out of his hands for a pick-6 ?Tennessee 17, LSU 7 ? Unreal! It?s kind of like the movie Groundhog Day. Yesterday was the Florida game. Today is the Tennessee game and we?re just trying a new way to commit suicide. I can?t wait until tomorrow when we go to Arkansas ? Why is Trindon Holliday not retuning kickoffs? He was the high school national sprint champion last year ? Slip screen to Bowe for 36 yards, why is that not done more? It?s almost like a toss sweep, only more effective for this team ? Swing pass wide to Doucet ? Fisher is making some great calls this drive, just hope they don?t try overcoach and do something that?s not working ? uh, oh, draw for nothing ? Russell under center again, incomplete ? I wish there was a way to find stats for Russell when under center vs. in the gun ? In the gun, scrambles for a great run, he?s such a competitor ? Slip screen for the score. It seems Fisher has finally figured this no-brainer out ? Tennessee 17, LSU 14 ? Tennessee gets another break on the kicking game after Jakouri Williams can?t handle the squib and he drops it on the goalline for a touchback ? Fulmer said the rest of the game is Crompton?s. I hope Pelini has made some adjustments to go after him ? My ESPN live scoreboard is listing this game as an ?Upset Watch.? Would that be because Tennessee is higher ranked, or because LSU is a four-point favorite? ? Fumble! LSU jumps on it, but it squirts out and UT falls on it. Please let something go our way ? Craig Davis gets rolled over on the punt and it looks like a hyper extension ? But, once again, LSU set up the return only for a fair catch. Please just go after one. You may not block it, but who knows, he may shank it ? Keiland Williams is showing himself to be the best of the running backs (at least today), but I?d still like to see Holliday as a change of pace ? Williams still can?t overcome the offensive line by himself ? That?s the first time LSU has run out of the shotgun today, great call and Hester made it pay off ? I love Hester out of the backfield, he?s great as a check down receiver ? Williams needs to be getting at least 15-20 carries a game the rest of the year ? LSU 21, Tennessee 17 ? Great drive by LSU and Jimbo Fisher, he kept the Vols guessing the whole way ? The most encouraging thing was that he didn?t have to rely on JaMarcus to make any big plays ? Tennessee is doing a nice job of keeping LSU?s front four off balance moving the pocket and it?s giving Crompton a chance to be successful ? That was a big third down for Tennessee, but it shows you how scared they are of LSU by not running on 3rd-and-1 ? The UT offense is beating LSU the only way you can, dinking it down field and not allowing the pass rush to make plays. It?s what Florida did on its successful first drive before Tebow took over ? How nice is it to have Craig Steltz as your backup safety ? Landry has to pick that pass off, that?s a chance at a huge play missed ? LSU is still not getting pressure on Crompton, he has to wonder what the big deal about the defense is ? Well this is starting to feel like one of last year?s many heart-attack inducing games ? Make sure you have something to hold onto for a possibly wild the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter
Tennessee misses the field goal to start the quarter and LSU could take control of this game for good on this drive ? I always feel like an opponent is going to miss their field goals against us. Thanks to Georgia?s 2003 kicker and Auburn?s John Vaughn for that ? On third-and-one, I don?t understand why Miles gives it to Broussard, he hasn?t shown anything this game ? LSU ran three straight time, once again going uber-conservative when there?s no need ? FAKE! I had to get my foot out of my mouth to scream on that, what a great time to pull that out ? 2nd-and-10, need to open up a little ? Great effort by Doucet to pick up the first down ? Danielson notes a great play design by LSU for a Russell draw ? However, LSU goes back to a run and its 2nd-and-13 ? It could be a great time for a play action ? they play action to Bowe, but it?s through Bowe?s hands and picked off ? We don?t have any feet left to shoot, so I?m aiming for my kneecap ? By the way, if you don?t have ESPN GamePlan on your computer, I highly recommend it ? Jonathan Zenon was lucky he wasn?t called for a late hit our of bounds on that run. LSU has been good to avoid penalties since halfway through the second quarter and they can?t afford one now ? Why, why, why is LSU rushing three? The only thing I can think is you?ve decided you?re not going to get to Crompton because of the rolling pockets ? HUGE play! The Tigers finally got pressure by Favorite and Crompton forced a throw that?s tipped for an interception by Beckwith ? Amazing what happens when you rattle a young QB in a big situation ? LSU needs to go for the kill right now! ? Nope, short throw ? Amazing. Fourth turnover. They ran the screen to Bowe again and he couldn?t hold the ball. That asshole Wade (stuck the flag in the LSU field last year) made the play ? What does a smart coach do after a big play? Go for it. Cutcliffe is a smart coach. Crompton, Meacham, 55-yard touchdown ? Tennessee 24, LSU 21 ? The ball went between Landry?s hands, he should have at least been able to knock it down ? Now Russell is going to have to summon one of those fourth-quarter comebacks he was so fond of last year ? LSU has 395 yards to 246 for Tennessee, but have committed two turnovers on possible scoring drives and thrown a pick-six ? Seven minutes to go, I don?t think the time to prove you can run on first down is right now ? If LSU?s going to win now, it?s going to be on JaMarcus Russell?s arm ? Doucet drops a 20-yard gain, right through the arms. Russell hung it a little too much, but Doucet has to make that catch ? LSU is disorganized once again and has to burn a valuable timeout ? Russell with a another big run, fighting for a first down ? He probably got away with one as it looked like he fumbled, finally a break ? That fat jackass Philip Fulmer is whining like a baby (or a Stoops) on the sideline ? Reverse to Holliday and he was inches from breaking it, still a huge gain ? Get Holliday the ball more, Danielson just said he runs a 4.27 40-yard dash ? As much as LSU runs for nothing up the middle, they never go for a big play on play action ? Play of the game right now, 3rd-and-3 ? What the hell were they thinking running a double reverse? ? Now its 4th-and-3 and they have to get it or else, with the new clock rules, LSU won?t get the ball back with enough time to score ? That?s the stupidest play call I?ve seen in a long, long, long time ? Russell in the gun, 4-wide and a freakin penalty, I can?t believe I didn?t see it coming ? 4th-and-8 ? Amazing, after a penalty, they can?t get a play in and have to use a timeout. That means this is absolutely their last chance ? Last year, this is where Russell always seemed to step up, see if he still has it. I wouldn?t want any one else back there right now ? Wow! Russell has some huge brass balls. He squeezed that ball in a tight space to Doucet ? Huge swing pass to Doucet gets LSU in field goal range ? Bowe is a stud blocking downfield, Michael Clayton-esque ? I?m not sure I agree with running the ball at this point, you don?t want to play for the tie ? At the same time, with four turnovers, just hold on for dear life ? That?s why coaches make millions ? Tremendous run by Keiland Williams, carrying a couple tacklers for three yards ? 1st-and-Goal, 30 seconds ? They?ve got three shots at the endzone and have to waste one because of pressure ? Why do I fear a sack right now? Because that?s the worst possible thing that could happen ? Russell got in, but he stepped out by an inch at the four yard line ? The stress is unbearable, third down ? Russell was as calm as could be, he knew he had it ? LSU 28, Tennessee 24 ? Of course, he was throwing for Bowe (who was open and would have scored), but Doucet snared it ? Who cares? TOUCHDOWN ? Barring a 93 Dash Berlin play, LSU gets a huge win and keeps itself alive for an outside shot at the SEC Championship and a BCS bowl game.

Final
LSU deserved to win this game and also didn?t deserve to ? They outgained Tennessee 480-246 but committed four turnovers and nine penalties ? In the end, it doesn?t matter because the bottom line is LSU went on the road to a top 10 team and came out with a monster win ? CBS gave player of the game to JaMarcus Russell, but every time LSU needed a play, it was Early Doucet and I give him the game ball.