Well, I am no longer a jinx. It was close, and I haven't completely washed the stink of jinx off of me, but I finally was able to watch LSU win a game in person during the Golden Era of LSU Football.
You name a painful loss over the past decade, odds are good I was there. Florida in 2003. Arkansas in 2007. Auburn in 2006. The SEC title game in 2005. Yup, I was there. Losses, all of them.
This game appeared to be going much the same way and after Ole Miss scored a touchdown on that 30 second drive to take a 35-28 lead in the fourth quarter, I turned to the Posette and told her that if we lose this game, I am never going to another LSU football game in my life for the good of the program.
Fortunately, Odell Beckham saved me from this fate by re-enacting Billy Cannon's punt return (89 yards, suckers!) and the defense finally decided to show up. The defense did stiffen up in the second half, but it did extend its streak of allowing a successful two minute drill at the end of at least one half to six consecutive SEC games. But hey, at least this time it was the first half and they found the resolve in the second. Baby steps.
I don't watch a lot of games in person, so it was nice to visit the Team Katt tailgate, see the band march down the hill, and then watch Ole Miss lose. It's the little things. But, when you attend a game, you tend to make the whole game a giant jumble, which doesn't lead itself to analysis. No one likes the guy who takes notes in the stands, so I just sat back and enjoyed the game.
It was a pretty typical LSU-Ole Miss game. Ole Miss played way over their heads, put the fear of God into the team and the fans, only to find a way to snatch defeat from victory right before the clock struck midnight. Sometimes you're Cinderella, but usually, you're the pumpkin. On Saturday, Ole Miss turned into a pumpkin. Again.
I like that we finally have a quarterback, but Les is a little too infatuated with the idea of having a competent passer for the first time since JaMarcus left town. Zach Mettenberger kept trying to dial up the big play, heaving the ball downfield on go routes when he had the intermediate routes open. But why take the sure 10 yards when you have the off chance to gain 40 yards? Also, LSU is slowly losing their identity as a ground and pound attack on offense. I like having a passing game, but I love having running backs who make you beg for mercy. We spent a good portion of the game ignoring the fact Spencer Ware was playing out of his mind for long stretches. Get him the ball more.
I'm not sure what the heck happened to our defense, but let's call it a one game thing. Though I'm amazed that we supposedly have so many guys on this defense who are going to leave early to be first day draft picks, yet we do not have a dominant defense. Eric Reid, especially, spent a good portion of the game taking bad routes and being out of position. I like Reid a lot, but this was not a game to put on the old highlight reel.
But if we have five guys who are supposedly early entries for the draft on the defense, I don't see how they allow 30+ points to Ole Miss. I think we are way over-estimating these guys' stock. Well, except Sonic Sam and Mingo, who we can safely assume are already mentally spending their signing bonuses.
It was, at the end of the day, a fun football game and nothing more. Tails were gated, drinks were drunk, and games were played. The sun settled into its home in the western sky, and we enjoyed a little bit more magic we like to call Saturday night in Death Valley. And all was well.