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Wednesday Wayback: The Night The U Died

Reliving the time LSU won the fight on and off the field.

After the overtime win in Tuscaloosa, LSU beat the brakes off a hapless Ole Miss team and then skirted disaster with a narrow 19-17 win over Arkansas, which has since been scrubbed from the annals of YouTube. That win locked LSU into a trip to Atlanta, where Georgia ran riot over LSU. The remarkable run following the Tennessee loss was over, but out of the shadows of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, LSU had put together a 10-2 record and brought an SEC West banner to hang with a new coach. But they weren’t done yet, as they had one more memorable marker to place on the season.

After losing the national championship deciding Fiesta Bowl on a correct pass interference call to Ohio State in 2002, Miami rebounded with back to back Orange and Peach Bowl championships, but they had lost a step from their 2001-02 form, going 11-2 and 9-3 during their first year in the ACC. In 2005 Miami remained at form, going 10-2 in the regular season but a loss to rivals Florida State in week one alumni and booster flustered. The foundation of the U was beginning to crack, and one hard jolt could bring it all crumbling down.

The Game



-JaMarcus Russell went down in the SEC Championship, and in relief duty Matt Flynn had turned in a pretty damn good effort despite the game being a lost cause. Russell would still be out for the bowl game, so Flynn gets his first start in purple and gold with a month’s work of prep.

-Out of the gate LSU gets Miami with an toss to the weakside. Addai gets 10 on pure speed alone and Flynn hits Davis for 13. LSU is already in Hurricane territory.

-It kinda pisses me off how small the logo on Miami’s helmets are.

-Miami bogs LSU down and Chris Jackson hooks a 50 yarder.

-Devin Hester made the move to offense over the break and he immediately has an effect on LSU. He fast.

-Miami works all the way down to the LSU 3 but has to settle for a field goal. 3-0 Miami.

-LSU goes conservative with the passing plays, running the same play twice to lead to a three and out.

-On this drive, LSU snuffs out Devin Hester and forces a punt. The scoring account is officially closed for Miami.


-Skylar Green sees Devin Hester’s run out of the pre-Wildcat and raises him one.

-A false start pushes LSU back, but Chris Jackson sinks this field goal to level the game at three. LSU would score on every drive from here on until their penultimate drive in the fourth quarter.

-”After the receivers gained possession they also committed holding.”

-LSU gets gashed as Charlie Jones takes the rock 42 yards downfield but LSU doesn’t get pushed back and further, forcing a turnover on downs.


-Buster Davis gets loose and Flynn drops it in the bucket. 51 yards, 10-3 LSU.

-Hester continues to gash LSU, but Darnell Jenkins cleans Chevis Jackson’s clock on the crack block. Today that’s a 15-yard penalty and maybe an ejection for helmet to helmet.

-LSU keeps on dialing up the right plays to shove Miami back chunks at a time, but a sack ends LSU’s drive. Jackson drops a 47-yard field goal to put three on the board. 13-3 LSU.

-Melvin Oliver shows off his pursuit skills to tack down Wright for the sack on the rollout.

-Flynn hits Bowe between two defenders, who both whiff on the tackle allowing Bowe to pick up some YACA. Precious, precious YACA.

-Jimbo Fisher to this day is still spamming the play action pass to the flat in goal to go situations. 20-3 LSU.

-Miami opts out of the half. THEY SCURRED.

-The Canes go a hapless three and out to begin the half.

-LSU keeps on shoving Miami back. Addai bowls over about three Miami defenders on a 25 yards run before getting a pitch and easily walking in. The rout is on. 27-3.

-Another three and out for Miiiiiiiami.

-Jacob Hester finally makes an appearance in a non-passing role. What a novel concept. I hope we see more of that in the future.

-Okay, so a Jacob Hester passing play actually works.

-Jacob Hester does Jacob Hester things. 34-7.

-The Jacob Hester we all worship is starting to take form. He gets to the edge and when met with a defender, he simply lowers his shoulder and keeps on trucking.

-God I love Jacob Hester.

-On third down Skylar Green goes into the Wildcat but it’s snuffed out. But on fourth down LSU fakes the field goal with a toss to Chris Jackson, which nets a first down. When you’re poppin’, you do what you want.

-However, LSU can’t put it in the endzone so Colt David comes on to put more points on the board. 37-3.

-I feel like Skyler Green should have had so many more returns for touchdowns than he actually did. He’s always one shoestring tackle away from busting one.

-Matt Flynn reels off another big scramble, this one 21 yards.

-Hilariously bad sequence as Miami has three chances to pick up a loose ball but none are successful.

-Chris Jackson closes the scoring with a field goal to make it 40-3 LSU.

-Down 40-3, Miami still can’t anything simply because of LSU apathy. Yet another Miami three and out.

-Oh right, I completely forgot that the Sugar Bowl was held in Georgia.

-You do what you want when you’re popping. LSU once again goes for a fake punt. This is where Miami really gets humbled: they’re dishing out what Miami has done to every team two decades now. A taste of their own medicine, if you will. And Miami doesn’t like it very much, no sir.

-A careless pass leads to an interception and provides the death rattle for Miami. The final blow is coming, but LSU is going to run the clock out first.

-This would be Miami’s worst loss (37 points) since 1998 when Donovan McNabb-led Syracuse dunked on the Canes 66-13.

-Miami finally decided to put up a fight, only issue is it was after the game. The story goes that Dwayne Bowe, a Miami native, was throwing some lighthearted trash talk to some Hurricanes. The trash talk was misunderstood by other parties in green and orange, and a scuffle broke out. Two Miami players were knocked unconscious during the fight. While I don’t condone it, this marked the end of the U for me among many others. Getting blown out on the field is one thing, but losing a fight? With the bravado and swagger that Miami had during their years at the top, that is the one thing that should have never happened to them. This was embarrassing because LSU had shown them up at their own game. If you became known for something, you make damn sure that no one else comes to do it better than you do.

-This is also known as The Night The U Died because frankly, after this Miami was never the same. They opened 2006 up with losses to rivals Florida State and Louisville en route to a 7-6 season that featured four straight losses to Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Virginia (Virginia!). But more famously, there was the brawl with FIU, which was sad to see because at that point they were trying to pretend that The U moniker was still alive. I mean, imagine picking a fight with FIU for any other reason. Larry Coker would be fired after the season and Miami would go with Randy Shannon, slipping further into the slide that they have yet to come out of.