Sunday, 10 October 2010 22:01

LSU, Miles Pull One Out Of The Mad Hatter Vs. Florida

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staton1"This team feels like it has a chance, that a hell of a team is being formed. There's nothing, but fight in them. They want more. We're a good team, we're developing, we think this team can really accomplish something."
-- LSU head coach Les Miles

Les Miles says he doesn't mind the criticism because that's part of the job, and none of it will matter if the Tigers keep on winning.

Everything the coach tried down the stretch worked on Saturday night at the Swamp as LSU (6-0, 4-0 SEC) stayed undefeated with a 33-29 victory over Florida (4-2, 2-2).

With less than a minute to play, LSU faked a 53-yard field goal before Jarrett Lee tossed a three-yard to Terrence Toliver with six seconds left as the Tigers completed a comeback victory over the No. 14-ranked Gators.

Both plays withstood official review and were upheld, as a wild- 10-play, 62-yard drive culminated with consecutive passes to in the direction of LSU's No. 1 receiver Toliver grabbed the second, planted a foot in the left corner of the end zone and tucked the ball away for a touchdown.

Moments prior, on fourth-and-3 from the 37, the Tigers used their last timeout to set up a would-be-tying field goal by Josh Jasper. Not-so-deep in the bag of tricks, Miles went back to a fake he ran against South Carolina in LSU's national championship season.

Tigers holder Derek Helton took the snap from center and tossed the ball over his head at Gators defenders put on the brakes. Unlike the fake four seasons ago (Matt Flynn to Colt David), the ball bounced off the turf and into Jasper's hands. The senior kicker tip-toed between the defenders for a 5-yard  gain and first down. At the Florida 31, Lee and Toliver hooked up for as 28-yard catch and run to the Florida 3. Toliver's sixth catch of the game gave the Tigers another victory.

Lee and starter Jordan Jefferson shared snaps, as Lee finished 9-of-11 for 124 yards and two touchdowns to Toliver. Jefferson was 7-of-12 for 100 yards passing, while adding 42 and two touchdowns on the ground.

Tigers running back Stevan Ridley rushed for 83 yards on a career-high 27.  Toliver had 111 yards receiving.

LSU outgained Florida 385-243 and had three sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception.

The Tigers remained one of two unbeaten teams in the SEC and snapped Florida's 12-game winning streak at home. The Tigers diminished the Gators' chances of winning the Eastern Division. And Miles escaped another week of insults.

The only thing that backfired on Miles was his decision to go for two early in the fourth. Jefferson got stuffed, and the Tigers had to protect a five-point lead down the stretch.

Florida wore orange jerseys for the first time since 1989 and had 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel on hand. Wuerffel, the former Saints quarterback, lives in New Orleans.
The Gators were looking for some orange-aid, but they ended up with another serving of humble pie.

"The fans and media didn't like us at 5-0," said  Miles. "Hopefully, they'll like us a little better at 6-0."

Off to its best start since 2007, LSU returns home to face McNeese State (2-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday.  TigerVision will broadcast the game. McNeese State will get $750.000 for playing in Tiger Stadium.


How the national media viewed the game

Mike Bianchi,
"What you gonna do?

"What can you do?

"Nine incredibly luck coaching lives.

"It happened last week  when Tennessee had the game in the bag but LSU received a gift from the gridiron gods when the Volunteers were whistled for have 13 men on the field during the last play of the game.

"And it happened again Saturday night against Florida. The Gators led by three 29-28 --when the Tigers line up for a desperation field goal on 4th and 2. That's when Les Miles turned into Les the Best. He called a fake field goal that was executed imperfectly, but worked incredibly, The Immaculate Imperfection.

"Lucky Les. He's the idiot at the Vegas blackjack table who hits 19 -- and pulls a two. Florida coach Urban Meyer traditionally doesn't believe in luck winning football games, but when asked after the game if Miles is blessed, the Florida coach replied curtly, "Next question”.

"When Miles himself was asked if he's more lucky than good, he responded, 'I don't give a rat's (rear end)."


Stewart Mandel, "Another week, another LSU game that came down to last-second game management, a crucial replay decision and a few inches -- only this time, Les Miles came out the genius on all fronts.

"Miles and the 12th-ranked Tigers are 6-0 after a 33-29 win at No. 14 Florida that provided another wild finish -- highlighted by an by an incredible ballsy play-call by the widely criticized coach. Down three with 35 seconds left, facing a 4th and 1 at the Florida 36,  Miles dialed up a vintage fake-field -goal play (he ran against South Carolina during the Tigers' 2007 title season), The only problem: Holder Derek Shelton's over- the- shoulder lateral to kicker Josh Jasper bounced first, making it dangerously close to an incomplete forward pass.

"The Tigers are still far from a finished product -- but who is in the SEC this year? Who knows -- maybe The Mad Hatter will just keep marching on to Atlanta."


SOME HITHER, OTHERS YON: Les Miles has been a newsmaker this week. ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe asked Miles about the nickname he was tagged with in 2007..."The Mad Hatter. "I understand it's the hat I wear," said Miles. "There's nothing mad underneath it." Pretty safe bet...South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, when asked about Miles and his oafish clock management during the Tennessee game:  “Sometimes you can win and still be a dummy." columnist Mike Bianchi: "Urban Meyer being outcoached by Les Miles is like Britney Spears outscoring Einstein on the physics quiz. It's like the church ukulele player beating Eddie Van Halen in Guitar Hero."...

Randy Rosetta, the "Love them, hate them or boo them ,one thing is certain about the 2010 LSU football team.

"There is plenty of entertainment value to go around.

"After a week of juggling criticism, ridicule and questions about when -- or if -- it was deserving of a lofty national rating, the Tigers understandably walked onto Florida Field with a point to prove Saturday night.

"Point proven."

Dead Pelican

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