It's like I don't even get nervous anymore. With five minutes left in the game and down by a point, was there a single Tiger fan who didn't think LSU was going to win? By LSU standards, this one wasn't even stressful. One of these days, LSU is going to have a nice comfortable win in which we can all sit back and enjoy the fourth quarter, secure in the victory... but I don't think that day is coming any time soon.
LSU is just wired to play tough games. Usually, it's because the offense can't score enough points to put anyone away, but today it was the defense's turn to a have a rough night. But, when it gets to crunch time, there is not a person affiliated with this program who even remotely panics. The players expect to make plays. And usually, they do. It's truly remarkable to watch this team and how it always competes for the full 60 minutes.
Also, hats off to Ole Miss and Houston Nutt. The Rebels did what they almost always do against LSU, they gave forth one of their best efforts of the season. This rivalry is somewhat one-sided from an emotional standpoint. Ole Miss simply cares about this game a lot more than LSU does. And it shows. Their playmakers came out and they made big plays all night long. They very nearly made it three in a row.
However, this was not to be. The Rebels don't really have anything to hang their heads about, they easily could have packed it in early. But they rallied and not only made it game, but came very close to pulling the upset. Nothing but respect for the game they played. But, this year, LSU wins games like this. When it's close and those final ticks are going off the clock, that's when LSU finds a way. It's been that way all season. It's been quite a ride.
Some random thoughts...
-- It is quite likely that Patrick Peterson has played his last game in Tiger Stadium. How fitting that his last play was an interception to seal the win. Kneel before Zod.
-- I truly admired the way Houston Nutt approached fourth down in this game. Absolutely no hesitation. If the Rebels had a fourth down around the 40-yard line, they were going for it. After a while, it started to wear on LSU's defense. Then, after converting those fourth downs, Ole Miss always got points out of their second chance. LSU's usually the team going for it on fourth, but I admired Nutt's approach to fourth down.
-- The refs botched some calls in this game. The unnecessary roughness call was especially egregious. It didn't make a difference in the game, but it did bother me. That said, they did get the Michael Ford replay correct. Which sucks.
-- Running quarterbacks absolutely destroy our defense. All year long, mobile quarterbacks has given the defense fits. Thank God Ryan Mallett is a pocket passer.
-- Jordan Jefferson was truly Jefferswag tonight. This was his best game as a Tiger. He looked like a quarterback all night long. It was truly wonderful to see.
-- Congrats to the seniors.