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LSU's Jefferson, Ridley Push Tigers Over Ole Miss, Next Arkansas
Written by  // Sunday, 21 November 2010 19:23 //

sportseditorJordan Jefferson played like the quarterback for whom LSU has been searching for all season and directed the No, 5-ranked Tigers to a pinball 43-36 SEC victory over rival Ole Miss on Saturday at Death Valley.

Jefferson's quick feet, laser arm and unerring decision-making and Stevan Ridley's three touchdown runs enabled LSU to come back three times in the final 20 minutes to improve its record to 10-1.

Jefferson completed 13-of-17 passes for a career-best 254 yards including a 27-yard shuffle pass by freshman running back Michael Ford, a future star, for a touchdown. Jefferson ran for 45 yards on nine carries, including a three-yard touchdown run to vault LSU ahead with 12:22 to go.



Ridley, from Natchez, scored on a pair of two-yard runs during the first half. Then, he rumbled in from seven yards out for the go-ahead score with 44 seconds left in the game. He racked up 69 of his 89 yards in the first half.

LSU (10-1, 6-1 SEC) completed an undefeated season in Tiger Stadium for the 13th time in school history. The Tigers also won 10 games for the fourth time under coach Les Miles.

The Tigers will complete the regular season against No. 13-ranked Arkansas in Little Rock on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.

LSU had lost its past two games to Ole Miss (4-7, 1-6) and the loss took the Rebels out of bowl eligibility with a game with Mississippi State remaining.

"He's alive!" Miles exclaimed about Jefferson's performance. "I'm going to tell you right now, I'm going to keep the electricity plugged in."

"There was a time where I was 8-for-8, and I just felt like I couldn't be stopped," said Jefferson. He said he started feeling better about himself after a solid performance in LSU's 24-21 victory over Alabama on Nov. 6. "I just had a hot hand and with Coach (Gary) Crowton being aggressive and opening the playbook, it just kept me comfortable and consistent throughout the game."

LSU needed every bit of Jefferson's excellence on Saturday as Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who had defeated the Tigers the last two years with inventive play-calling, gambled four times on fourth down (facing distances of 10, 8, 1 and 1 yards) The Rebels apparently hadn't heard the Tigers' defense was No. 1. in the SEC, They ignored all the hype the defense was getting.

Nutt's gambles paid off, but Jefferson's 27-yard shovel pass to Ford gave the Tigers a 35-30 lead.

Back came Ole Miss, going 80 yards in five plays, the payoff a busted coverage in which quarterback

 

Jordan Jefferson played like the quarterback for whom LSU has been searching for all season and directed the No, 5-ranked Tigers to a pinball 43-36 SEC victory over rival Ole Miss on Saturday at Death Valley.

Jefferson's quick feet, laser arm and unerring decision-making and Stevan Ridley's three touchdown runs enabled LSU to come back three times in the final 20 minutes to improve its record to 10-1.

Jefferson completed 13-of-17 passes for a career-best 254 yards including a 27-yard shuffle pass by freshman running back Michael Ford, a future star, for a touchdown. Jefferson ran for 45 yards on nine carries, including a three-yard touchdown run to vault LSU ahead with 12:22 to go.

Ridley, from Natchez, scored on a pair of two-yard runs during the first half. Then, he rumbled in from seven yards out for the go-ahead score with 44 seconds left in the game. He racked up 69 of his 89 yards in the first half.

LSU (10-1, 6-1 SEC) completed an undefeated season in Tiger Stadium for the 13th time in school history. The Tigers also won 10 games for the fourth time under coach Les Miles.

The Tigers will complete the regular season against No. 13-ranked Arkansas in Little Rock on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.

LSU had lost its past two games to Ole Miss (4-7, 1-6) and the loss took the Rebels out of bowl eligibility with a game with Mississippi State remaining.

"He's alive!" Miles exclaimed about Jefferson's performance. "I'm going to tell you right now, I'm going to keep the electricity plugged in."

"There was a time where I was 8-for-8, and I just felt like I couldn't be stopped," said Jefferson. He said he started feeling better about himself after a solid performance in LSU's 24-21 victory over Alabama on Nov. 6. "I just had a hot hand and with Coach (Gary) Crowton being aggressive and opening the playbook, it just kept me comfortable and consistent throughout the game."

LSU needed every bit of Jefferson's excellence on Saturday as Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who had defeated the Tigers the last two years with inventive play-calling, gambled four times on fourth down (facing distances of 10, 8, 1 and 1 yards) The Rebels apparently hadn't heard the Tigers' defense was No. 1. in the SEC, They ignored all the hype the defense was getting.

Nutt's gambles paid off, but Jefferson's 27-yard shovel pass to Ford gave the Tigers a 35-30 lead.

Back came Ole Miss, going 80 yards in five plays, the payoff a busted coverage in which quarterback Jeremiah Masoli connected on a 65-yard strike to wide  open Markeith Summers to put Ole Miss ahead 36-33 with 4:57 left.  However, Summers made the bonehead play of the game, flipping into the end zone from the three-yard when he was way ahead of the field, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

"We need to play smarter and that's the bottom line," said Nutt.

LSU could have taken the penalty on the PAT, but decided to play defense as the Rebels tried a two-pointer that would have would have given them three-point lead, Masoli failed to make the two-point conversion on a run, keeping the score  36-35.

Miles' decision to take the 15 yards on the ensuring kickoff came up golden, as most of his major decisions have this season. With a short field, Patrick Peterson returned the ensuing kickoff from his 15 to the LSU 49.

Crowton called eight straight running plays and Ridley got the game-winning score with a seven-yard run around right end.

"Ten victories in any season is a very significant milestone in any season," said Miles, smiling. "Now we get to play for 11,"

"It just makes me feel good hearing all those Tiger fans chant my name after the game," said Jefferson, the subject of many other creative chants this season.

"It's just a sign of relief".

What the Tigers had to say about the game:

Head coach Les Miles (Opening statement) "I have to give a lot of credit to Gary Crowton (offensive coordinator). He has taken a lot of criticism this year,and he called a magnificent game today. He operated the offense extremely well.

"The defense has trouble with running quarterbacks. That Jeremiah Masoli was as hot as a firecracker.Patrick Peterson, I hope he comes back,or I hope  he goes. It really is sad to think that he may have played his last game in Tiger Stadium. However, that is no announcement. That is a decision he will make as we go forward, but that was a magnificent game he played today,

(On quarterback Jordan Jefferson) "If you remember a year ago when we played Ole Miss, he had a sprained ankle. He had his ankle taped up pretty well. When we looked at the film, we saw that he was limited somewhat. He made a great contribution today, I really kind of sensed it as he had a very good week and I could sense that Jordan was going to play well.

(On the last scoring drive) "We were running well. We had Michael Ford going,, establishing him and we had the weak option going. The combination of  those two plays allowed us to go right dwon the field, and we scored on a nice power play. Our offensive line played well."

Quarterback Jordan Jefferson (On the last drive) "We were very confident, Our main goal was to wind some of the time down. We just had some backs come in and run the ball like we needed to. Coach Crowton gave us some great plays to run in that drive, and we were just trying to make sure we were staying  away from a repeat of last year."

Running back Michael Ford  (On getting the ball more) "It just kind of worked out that way.You just take practice like a game, every rep you go out there and do your best. When the game comes, you never know what might happen."

(On having a touchdown called back) "It was very disappointing. I couldn't believe they called it back. I was determined to get another one. I thought I was in bounds, I thought it was a touchdown, but the officials said I was out of bounds so I guess I was."

Tight end Deangelo Peterson (On the offense bailing the defense out)  "The whole year our defense has been helping us out, We knew that Ole Miss was going to come in here and run the same plays Auburn did. We had to help out as much as we could and I think we did that"

Cornerback Patrick Peterson (On LSU's offense) "The offense and Coach Gary Crowton put together a well-rounded game plan. Jordan Jefferson was on fire. Michael Ford and Stevan Ridley were clicking on all cylinders. They wanted this game, executed to their full potential and put up 43 points."

On his conversation with Jefferson) 'He is excited right now. He's my roommate, so I see him everyday, but he's definitely happy that he had this big game. He came to play, prepared all week long and definitely put  up some numbers tonight."

Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (On the importance of the win) "This is a big win. For me personally, this is the last time playing in Tiger Stadium. It meant everything. With Ole Miss, we knew.The team we saw here, and the team we played last week, wasn't going to be the team we play this week. We saw that tonight."

(On missing tackles) "It wasn't too big a problem because when one guy missed, the next one would make the tackle. That wasn't that big of a problem, but maybe one or two times it really hurt us. That is probably the best running back we've gone against this season.  I didn't realize he was that fast. When he got the edge, he took it. I tip my hat off to Brandon Bolden."



LSU HONORED five of its former standouts in the second quarter of Saturday's game: Pro Fotball Hall of Fame members JimTaylor and Y.A. Tittle; College Football Hall of Fame members Jerry Stovall and Tommy Casanova; and Heisman Trophy winner and College Hall of Fame member Billy Cannon...Junior cornerback Patrick Peterson maybe has played his final game in Tiger Stadium because he is projected as a top five pick in the NFL Draft. "Thanks for the memories Patrick," said PA announcer Dan Borne as the conclusion of the game.

connected on a 65-yard strike to wide  open Markeith Summers to put Ole Miss ahead 36-33 with 4:57 left.  However, Summers made the bonehead play of the game, flipping into the end zone from the three-yard when he was way ahead of the field, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

"We need to play smarter and that's the bottom line," said Nutt.

LSU could have taken the penalty on the PAT, but decided to play defense as the Rebels tried a two-pointer that would have would have given them three-point lead, Masoli failed to make the two-point conversion on a run, keeping the score  36-35.

Miles' decision to take the 15 yards on the ensuring kickoff came up golden, as most of his major decisions have this season. With a short field, Patrick Peterson returned the ensuing kickoff from his 15 to the LSU 49.

Crowton called eight straight running plays and Ridley got the game-winning score with a seven-yard run around right end.

"Ten victories in any season is a very significant milestone in any season," said Miles, smiling. "Now we get to play for 11,"

"It just makes me feel good hearing all those Tiger fans chant my name after the game," said Jefferson, the subject of many other creative chants this season.

"It's just a sign of relief".

What the Tigers had to say about the game:

Head coach Les Miles (Opening statement) "I have to give a lot of credit to Gary Crowton (offensive coordinator). He has taken a lot of criticism this year,and he called a magnificent game today. He operated the offense extremely well.

"The defense has trouble with running quarterbacks. That Jeremiah Masoli was as hot as a firecracker.Patrick Peterson, I hope he comes back,or I hope  he goes. It really is sad to think that he may have played his last game in Tiger Stadium. However, that is no announcement. That is a decision he will make as we go forward, but that was a magnificent game he played today,

(On quarterback Jordan Jefferson) "If you remember a year ago when we played Ole Miss, he had a sprained ankle. He had his ankle taped up pretty well. When we looked at the film, we saw that he was limited somewhat. He made a great contribution today, I really kind of sensed it as he had a very good week and I could sense that Jordan was going to play well.

(On the last scoring drive) "We were running well. We had Michael Ford going,, establishing him and we had the weak option going. The combination of  those two plays allowed us to go right dwon the field, and we scored on a nice power play. Our offensive line played well."

Quarterback Jordan Jefferson (On the last drive) "We were very confident, Our main goal was to wind some of the time down. We just had some backs come in and run the ball like we needed to. Coach Crowton gave us some great plays to run in that drive, and we were just trying to make sure we were staying  away from a repeat of last year."

Running back Michael Ford  (On getting the ball more) "It just kind of worked out that way.You just take practice like a game, every rep you go out there and do your best. When the game comes, you never know what might happen."

(On having a touchdown called back) "It was very disappointing. I couldn't believe they called it back. I was determined to get another one. I thought I was in bounds, I thought it was a touchdown, but the officials said I was out of bounds so I guess I was."

Tight end Deangelo Peterson (On the offense bailing the defense out)  "The whole year our defense has been helping us out, We knew that Ole Miss was going to come in here and run the same plays Auburn did. We had to help out as much as we could and I think we did that"

Cornerback Patrick Peterson (On LSU's offense) "The offense and Coach Gary Crowton put together a well-rounded game plan. Jordan Jefferson was on fire. Michael Ford and Stevan Ridley were clicking on all cylinders. They wanted this game, executed to their full potential and put up 43 points."

On his conversation with Jefferson) 'He is excited right now. He's my roommate, so I see him everyday, but he's definitely happy that he had this big game. He came to play, prepared all week long and definitely put  up some numbers tonight."

Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (On the importance of the win) "This is a big win. For me personally, this is the last time playing in Tiger Stadium. It meant everything. With Ole Miss, we knew.The team we saw here, and the team we played last week, wasn't going to be the team we play this week. We saw that tonight."

(On missing tackles) "It wasn't too big a problem because when one guy missed, the next one would make the tackle. That wasn't that big of a problem, but maybe one or two times it really hurt us. That is probably the best running back we've gone against this season.  I didn't realize he was that fast. When he got the edge, he took it. I tip my hat off to Brandon Bolden."



LSU HONORED five of its former standouts in the second quarter of Saturday's game: Pro Fotball Hall of Fame members JimTaylor and Y.A. Tittle; College Football Hall of Fame members Jerry Stovall and Tommy Casanova; and Heisman Trophy winner and College Hall of Fame member Billy Cannon...Junior cornerback Patrick Peterson maybe has played his final game in Tiger Stadium because he is projected as a top five pick in the NFL Draft. "Thanks for the memories Patrick," said PA announcer Dan Borne as the conclusion of the game.

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  

 

Website: www.louisianasportstalk.com

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