With Bowl Season starting up Saturday and the Capital One Bowl coming up fast, I figured I would take us on a magical mystery tour through the LSU Tigers' season to give us some perspective on how they got where they are. So in this exercise I'll recap each of their games to give you some insight into the Tigers. So with that, let's recap week 1.
Week one was probably more of a challenge than the Tigers expected against Washington who failed to win a game in 2008. The Huskies jumped out to a 7-0 lead with the help of a 51 yard catch and run by Johri Forgerson. James Johnson finished off the drive when he caught a pass from Jake Locker, shook off a tackle by Chad Jones and walked the final five yards into the endzone.
LSU responded by gaining 40 yards on three running plays. But the drive eventually stalled at the three yard line and LSU had to kick a 24 yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.
On Washington's ensuing drive, LSU linebacker Jacob Cutrera intercepted Locker on the first play and ran it back 29 yards for a touchdown giving LSU a 10-7 lead.
Washington took the ball back and marched 69 yards down the field and looked like they were about to score. But Chris Polk fumbled the ball on the LSU 6 yard line where Patrick Peterson recovered it. But the LSU offense couldn't do anything and Derek Helton was forced to punt the ball from his own endzone.
Washington got the ball in excellent field position thanks to an 18 yard punt return by Fogerson. The punter, Helton, saved a touchdown with a tackle. But the Washington offense couldn't capitalize, and they were forced to take the 34 yard field goal to tie the game at 10.
The deadlock continued until about a minute to go in the first half when LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson hit Terrance Toliver over the middle. Toliver juked the safety and ran 45 yards for the score and a 17-10 lead.
Washington responded when Locker hit Devon Aguilar for a 46 yard gain to the LSU 20 yard line. But three incomplete passes killed the drive, and Washington kicked the field goal as time expired in the first half with the score 17-13. Though LSU led on the scoreboard, the Huskies rolled up 296 total yards with 183 coming in the air against LSU's supposedly superb secondary.
LSU tried to break the game open in the third quarter with an 86 yard scoring drive. Toliver capped off the drive when he caught a short pass from Jefferson, evaded two tacklers, and scampered 39 yards for the touchdown to give LSU a 24-13 lead. Toliver finished with 4 catches for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Washington tried to respond, but placekicker Erik Folk hooked a field goal wide. But the LSU offense went into pucker mode and stalled giving the Huskies another scoring chance. This time Folk hit a 32 yard field goal to cut the lead to eight with just under six minutes to play.
But this time LSU responded with a 25 yard pass to Toliver that set up a six yard touchdown pass from Jefferson to Brandon LaFell. The game was sealed, but Washington added on a last second touchdown as time expired to close the gap to the final 31-23 score.
Quotes From The Game
"We sputtered in the first half at times on offense. There were opportunities to take advantage of our opponent, and we didn't attack them the way we should have." - Les Miles
"I think our new defensive coaches did a good job. The team was in position to make tackles and do things. We missed some tackles early on. At times I saw that Tiger defense that I want it to be." - Les Miles
"LSU's team speed negated Jake (Locker''s) ability to create a big play with his feet." - UW Dawg Pound
"Defensively, (LSU) just did not cover the other team well enough in the middle of the field. Usually, if the opponent was on the outside against Peterson, Eugene, or Hawkins, (LSU) had pretty solid coverage. Even when Riley had man coverage way on the outside and down the field, the coverage was there. Jake Locker's a really good quarterback, and sometimes he made a perfect throw, and there's nothing that can be done about that other than generate a better pass rush. If the receiver was in the middle of the field in a safety's or linebacker's zone though, he was usually wide open." - And The Valley Shook