Let it be confirmed for all those who suspected it before. LSU Head Coach Les Miles is an idiot! How else do you account for his team losing a sure-fire victory against their nemesis and current top team in the land Saturday night, 21-17 at Tiger Stadium. And it came down to two plays where Miles made the wrong decision both times that confirms his place in the sporting firmament of dunces.
The Tigers were headed toward victory behind a wonderful performance by QB Zack Mettenberger, throwing into such glue pots as Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, Jr. Ahead 17-14 late in the fourth quarter, LSU had driven the ball into Alabama territory with just over two minutes to play when they faced fourth and one at the Alabama 35 yard line. The call was either kick the field goal or continue to spread the field for RB Hill to find a hole as he had done all night. But inexplicably, Miles had the LSU offense line up in a Wildcat formation so tight you could not have stuck an icepick between any one of the linemen. The ball was snapped to Ware as the Wildcat, who could not penetrate a 12-foot wall of offensive and defensive linemen. Ball to Alabama.
But the LSU defense held, and Miles had another chance to toss the game away, which he got with 1:39 to go. LSU had another fourth-down and short on the Alabama 28 yardline. Alabama had no time outs left, and Miles had a decision to make. Try for the first down which could have ended the game or let placekicker Drew Alleman attempt a field goal from 45 yards, a distance he has never made. If they go for it and don't make it, it is the same as a missed field goal. Naturally, Miles instructed Alleman to kick, which went wide right and Alabama had a chance to win it.
If those two plays did not confirm Miles' insanity, look at his approval of allowing his defense to play soft on the ensuing possession. The Tide rolled down the field, scoring on a 28-yard screen pass with less than a minute to go. You can give former Saints QB Doug Nussmeier a shout-out, because as the Tide offensive coordinator, he called the last drive to perfection. Mettenberger did not have a chance at that point, especially when he had nobody to help him manage the clock. Some time-consuming middle-of-the field passes and the game was over.
Anybody who reads this column regularly knows I am not a big LSU fan, but neither am I a fan of a coach who throws away a sure victory. Les Miles did that on Saturday night, which is why he will always be the Idiot Savant of LSU athletics.
His new book, "Where the Water Kept Rising," is now available in local bookstores, at Amazon.com and at his website: www.JWMillerSports.com
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