Note: Prior the the game, the press box at Tiger Stadium was dedicated in honor of former LSU Sports Information Director Paul Manasseh.
By Chris Macaluso
Special to LSUsports.net
BATON ROUGE -- LSU entered Saturday’s game in Tiger Stadium with the best total defense in all of college football. Alabama had the nation’s 15th-best defense before the game.
So, when the two teams dealt each other blow after offensive blow in the first half and scored a combined 35 points in the first half, it left more than a couple of the 92,588 of the shivering fans wondering when the two teams they expected to see play would show up.
The Tiger defense finally stiffened in the second half and pressured Alabama just enough to hold the Crimson Tide scoreless for the last 30 minutes of the contest to hold on for a 28-14 win that ran LSU’s overall record to 8-2 and its conference record to 4-2. Alabama fell to 6-5 overall, 2-5 in the SEC after losing last week to Mississippi State. Ahead for Bama is a shot at redemption against beyond bitter rival Auburn. LSU has a chance to improve its post-season stock and hold onto slim SEC Championship game hopes when it hosts Ole Miss.
The LSU defense had held opponents to a slight 215 yards per game entering the contest, but Alabama paid that fact no mind, gouging the Tigers for 369 total yards, the bulk of that thanks to the arm of John Parker Wilson who finished with 22 completions on 33 attempts for 291 yards, two touchdowns and a costly interception that cost the Tide a scoring chance in the third quarter. Wilson also fumbled inside the LSU 10-yard line in the waning moments of the first half when a touchdown would have tied the game at 21.
But, all of Alabama’s offensive urgency didn’t make up for LSU’s offensive precision. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell was spectacular and efficient in completing 18-of-21 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers ran the ball well also, compiling 211 rushing yards. Keiland Williams was responsible for 79 yards on just nine carries. Jacob Hester added 64 yards also on nine carries, while Russell contributed 36 as well.
Tiger receiver Early Doucet followed his excellent performance last weekend at Tennessee with another team leading effort, hauling in seven catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Alabams’s D.J. Hall led all receivers with 143 yards on eight catches.
“When things are going back and forth like that you have to trust that your defense is going to do the job, which they did,” Russell said. “I am proud of how the team performed tonight.”
In all, LSU amassed 418 yards against an Alabama defense that was giving up slightly more than 277 a game. The lone touchdown of the second half came halfway through the third quarter when Russell and Hester teamed up on a 17-yard screen pass. But, the Alabama offense kept fighting back and the Tide’s hopes of a comeback didn’t really deflate until Russell connected on a 15-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe on third down with 6:00 to play in the game.
LSU received the opening kick for the first time this season and quickly turned the possession into points. The Tigers expertly and flawlessly eased down the field in five plays capped by a 38-yard touchdown run by Williams who burst through the right side of the Alabama defense then outran the defensive backs to the corner of the north endzone. The quick jaunt gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead after a 73-yard drive that consumed just 1:26.
The Crimson Tide responded by moving the ball to the LSU 32-yard line in eight plays. LSU’s defense stiffened and allowed the Tide to surge no farther forcing place kicker Jamie Christensen to the field for a 49-yard field goal attempt with a stiff breeze at his back. But, the breeze only helped push the ball wide left and the scoring threat was quelled.
LSU needed just five plays to insert the dagger deeper. Russell dropped back, took three steps up to avoid the Bama rush then found Doucet on a screen pass wide open in the right flat. Doucet raced up the east sideline, broke a tackle at the 5-yard line then skipped into the endzone to give the Tigers a two touchdown advantage with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter.
This time, the Alabama response was much more fruitful as the Tide seamlessly attacked the Tiger defense on the ground and in the air. Wilson aided the drive early with a 13-yard scramble from the LSU 30. Wilson then finished the drive on its eighth play with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Kenneth Darby who snuck out of the back field and found single coverage along the sideline. The 75-yard march ate 3:45 off the clock and cut the Tiger lead to 14-7 with 3:37 to play in the first quarter.
But, Bama’s glee evaporated shortly thereafter as Russell again piloted the Tiger offense straight down the field with little difficulty. LSU decided to take its time on the drive, making it last 10 plays and 4:55 in opposition to the first two drives that both lasted less than 2:00. Tailback Alley Broussard bruised Bama defenders on a 16-yard run on the drive’s ninth play giving Russell a chance to find Bowe in the south endzone just across the goal line and just out of reach of the Alabama defender. The point after gave LSU a 21-7 advantage with 13:33 to play in the half.
Wilson and his teammates took no time to sulk as they moved right back down the field against the suddenly porous Tiger defense that came in leading college football in total defense. Wilson extended the Alabama push on a 3rd-and-9 at his 21-yard line with a 41-yard strike to Hall. Five plays later, Wilson tossed a six-yard strike to Nikita Stover to cut the LSU lead to 21-14 with 9:04 remaining in the half.
Alabama caught the Tigers unaware on the ensuing kickoff with a dribbling onsides effort that was recovered by the Tide at the 50-yard line. But, LSU’s defense thwarted Bama’s attempt to dissolve the lead by forcing the Tide to punt after picking up a first down but, thanks to penalties and pressure a total of just two yards.
The Crimson Tide appeared ready to tie the score in the waning seconds of the first half after driving inside the Tiger 10-yard line with little more than 30 seconds to play after taking control of the ball at their 36 with 1:21 remaining and moving the ball well into scoring distance in six plays. But, Tiger cornerback Daniel Francis blitzed and knocked the ball from Wilson’s hand. Defensive end Chase Pittman corralled the bounding ball at the LSU 18, preserving the 21-14 lead.
“That was a team victory,” said LSU Coach Les Miles. “I think in the first half the offense was spectacular going down the field and moving the football against a very quality defensive front from Alabama.”
LSU cracked the scoring column first in the second half thanks to Russell’s arm and legs. After losing 17 yards on a sack during a flee flicker attempt and facing a 3-19 at his 33-yard line, Russell scrambled out of the pocket for 25 yards, giving LSU a first down at the Alabama 32. Three plays later, Russell kept the ball on an off-tackle run for a first down at the Bama 17, setting up his chance to lob the ball to Hester at the 14-yard line. Hester dashed left and right and hurdled a defender at the two yard line before leaping into the endzone with 7:14 remaining in the third quarter. The nine-play, 78-yard drive extended the LSU lead back to two touchdowns and eased the crowd’s trepidation.
Wilson and the Tide bounced right back as the Bama quarterback connected on passes of 23 and 35 yards during a seven-play drive that gave Alabama an excellent chance to cut into the LSU lead. Alabama was facing a 3rd-and-10 at the LSU 24 when Wilson arm was hit by blitzing safety LaRon Landry causing the ball to flutter right to Tiger cornerback Chevis Jackson at the 12-yard line, ending the Bama drive.
Alabama gave themselves a good scoring chance again at the beginning of the fourth quarter after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on LSU during a punt gave the Tide a first down at the LSU 45. Eight plays later, Wilson faced a 3rd-and-9 at the LSU 19 and was sacked for a four-yard loss by Ricky Jean-Francois giving Christensen a chance at a 40-yard field goal. But, much like he had done in the first half, Christensen pushed the attempt left, preserving LSU’s 14-point cushion.
LSU vs. Alabama
Nov. 11, 2006 – Tiger Stadium (Baton Rouge, La.)
1. LSU’s game captains were 2 JaMarcus Russell, 30 LaRon Landry, 41 Chris Jackson and 52 Ryan Willis.
2. Alabama won the toss and deferred to the second half. LSU received the opening kickoff.
a. LSU failed to win the toss for the first time this season. The Tigers had won the toss in the nine previous games this season. 3. WRs Josh McManus and Brandon LaFell both made their first career starts tonight. LSU started the game in a 4-wide formation.
4. With the touchdown run by Keiland Williams, LSU has now scored on its first possession of each of the seven home games this season.
5. Tigers extending their consecutive starts streak today were: FS LaRon Landry (45), CB Chevis Jackson (23), DE Chase Pittman (16).
6. Tonight’s attendance of 92,588 is the second largest in Tiger Stadium history. The record is 92,664 set on Oct. 22, 2005 against Auburn.
7. LSU has recorded at least one sack in 16 straight games after a second quarter sack by Marlon Favorite in tonight’s game. The last time LSU’s defense did not record a sack was against North Texas last season.
8. LSU has outscored its opponents 115-14 in the first quarter this season, including the 14-7 score tonight. Florida and now Alabama are the only teams to dent the scoreboard in the first quarter against LSU.
9. LSU has outscored its opponents 108-7 in the first quarter of home games this season, including the 14-7 score tonight.
10. LSU has outscored its opponents 181-23 in the first half at home this season, including the 21-14 score tonight.
11. The Tigers have outscored their opponents in home games this season by a margin of 302-50.
12. Defensively, the Tigers have allowed only four touchdowns in 24 quarters in Tiger Stadium this season.
13. LSU has won four straight games over Alabama for the first time in program history.
14. The Tigers stretched their winning streak to 27 straight games over unranked opponents.
15. LSU has now won 13 straight games played in the month of November. The last time the Tigers lost in November was a 21-20 last-second defeat to Arkansas in 2002.
16. WR Dwayne Bowe pulled in a 20-yard reception in the first quarter to extend his consecutive games with a reception streak to 22 straight games.
a. Bowe scored his ninth receiving touchdown of the season and his 23rd of his career on the 19-yard reception from Russell with 13:33 left in the second quarter.
b. Bowe moved into a tie for sixth-place on LSU’s single season receiving touchdown list with nine.
17. RB Keiland Williams scored the second rushing touchdown of his career on a career-long 38-yard run with 13:34 left in the first quarter.
a. Williams collected a career-high 79 yards rushing on nine carries.
18. With four PATs today, PK Colt David has extended his consecutive successful PAT streak to 75 straight. The streak puts him into second place in school history in consecutive extra points made
19. With a tackle in the first quarter, FS LaRon Landry extended his tackles in consecutive games streak. The senior has now made a tackle in 49 straight games.
a. Landry recorded a pass break up in the second quarter to move into second-place on LSU’s career pass break up list with 35. He now only trails Corey Webster’s record of 49.
20. WR Early Doucet pulled in the sixth receiving touchdown of the season and the 13th of his career on a 30-yard pass from JaMarcus Russell with 7:33 left in the first quarter.
a. Doucet recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career with his 101 yards tonight. His previous career-high was 94 against Vanderbilt in 2005.
b. Doucet’s 101 yards marked the fourth 100-yard receiving game by an LSU receiver this season. Dwayne Bowe (twice) and Craig Davis also produced 100-yard receiving games this season.
21. QB JaMarcus Russell tossed his 19th, 20th and 21st touchdowns of the season and the 43rd, 44th and 45th of his career on a 30-yard strike to Early Doucet with 7:33 left in the first quarter, a 19-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe with 13:33 left in the second quarter and a 17-yard strike to Jacob Hester with 7:14 left in the third quarter.
a. The three touchdowns tonight moved Russell into third-place on LSU’s single season TD passes list, passing Tommy Hodson.
b. Tonight marks the fourth time this season (and his career) Russell has tossed three touchdown passes in a game.
c. Russell moved into sole possession of fifth place for most career wins by a signal caller in school history with his 22nd career win tonight.
22. The duo of JaMarcus Russell and Dwayne Bowe have now connected on 20 TD passes and sit in second-place on LSU’s career list for pass-catch TD combos. The pair trail record holders Tommy Hodson-Wendell Davis (21).
23. DE Chase Pittman collected the first fumble recovery of his career late in the second quarter.
24. RB Jacob Hester scored his third receiving touchdown and his ninth overall of the season on a 17-yard pass from JaMarcus Russell with 7:14 left in the third quarter. The receiving TD was the sixth of Hester’s career.
25. CB Chevis Jackson pulled in the second interception of the season and third of his career late in the third quarter.
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE FOOTBALL NOTES
PREGAME NOTES: The Alabama captains for the LSU game were center Antoine Caldwell (Montgomery), defensive back Ramzee Robinson (Huntsville) and fullback Le’Ron McClain (Northport) ... Alabama won the toss and deferred to the second half ... LSU received and defended the east goal ... The actual kickoff time was 6:47 p.m. (ET) ... Attendance was 92,588, the second largest crowd in Tiger Stadium history.
GAME PARTICIPATION: Alabama dressed 70 players for its game with LSU with 54 playing at least one snap in the first half. On defense, Bobby Greenwood (Prattville) and Eric Gray (Trinity) earned their first starts of the season. Marcus Carter (Fort Payne) also drew a start for the first time since the Ole Miss game on Oct. 14 as Rashad Johnson (Sulligent) started the previous three games. It was his eighth start of the season. Keith Brown (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) returned to the starting lineup after a three-game absence since he was injured against Ole Miss. Marlon Davis (Columbus, Ga.) made his second start of the season and third time in his career. He also started against Florida International two weeks ago. Antoine Caldwell (Montgomery), Chris Capps (Jonesboro, Ga.) Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) and Wallace Gilberry (Bay Minette) each extended their Alabama longest start streaks to 23 straight games. Chris Harris (Tuscaloosa) has played in more games (41) than any other Alabama player without a career start.
LSU SERIES: Alabama and LSU met for the 70th time on Saturday with Alabama holding a 43-22-5 lead in the series after the Tigers earned a 28-14 victory.
* Mike Shula, now in his fourth season as the head coach at Alabama, has a 26-22 career record. He is 13-18 in SEC games.
* John Parker Wilson (Hoover) became the seventh quarterback in Alabama history to pass for over 2,000 yards in a season. He moved passed Mike Shula, Freddie Kitchens and Scott Hunter in to fourth on the single season list with 2,287 yards. He is 16 yards shy of Brodie Croyle for third on the charts.
* Wilson finished the game with career highs of 22 completions (35 att.) and 291 yards. He threw two touchdowns and one interception. He completed passes to eight different receivers in the game.
* Wilson also moved into fourth on the single season list with 313 pass attempts, fourth with 180 completions and tied for third with 14 touchdown passes. He already holds the single season record with seven straight 200 yard passing games to begin the season.
* The 200-yard game for Wilson was his eighth 200-yard passing game of the season. The mark is tied for the most in a single season by an Alabama quarterback. Gary Hollingsworth also tallied eight 200-yard games in 1989. Wilson set a school record with seven-straight 200-yard passing games to start the season. The eight games with over 200 yards puts Wilson in fifth on the career charts. Brodie Croyle and Andrew Zow are tied for the record with 14 200-yard games.
* Two Alabama wide receivers rank among the top-10 all-time in receptions and receiving yards in school history. DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) is third with 121 receptions and second with 1,861 yards. Keith Brown is eighth with 1,481 yards and 10th with 91 receptions.
* Hall finished the game with eight catches for 142 yards. He extended his school records to seven 100-yard receiving games in a season and 10 in his career.
* Will Oakley (Ponte Vedre Beach, Fla.) set career highs with four catches for 51 yards. His previous best was 33 yards earlier this season against Ole Miss.
* Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) recorded his second career touchdown reception in the first quarter on a 29-yard pass from Wilson. It was his longest career reception. His previous long was 17 yards against Florida in 2005. The 29 yards also matched his career high for total receiving yards in a single game.
* Nikita Stover (Hartselle) caught a six-yard pass in the second quarter for his first career touchdown. The touchdown came on his sixth career catch.
* Following Stover’s touchdown reception, Alabama’s Jeffrey Dukes recovered an onside kick, the first for the Crimson Tide since Oct. 18, 2003, when Thurman Ward recovered an onside kick in the fourth quarter against Ole Miss.
* Matt Collins (Clay) recorded his first career sack in the third quarter when he brought down JaMarcus Russell for a 17-yard loss.
* Wilson’s fumble on the last play of the first half was the first fumble Alabama has lost since the Arkansas game, spanning 363 offensive snaps.
* Keiland Williams’ 38-yard touchdown run on the Tiger’s opening drive was the longest touchdown run of the season allowed by Alabama. It was the second longest run allowed after a 45-yard scamper by Florida’s Chris Leak on Sept. 30.
* The touchdown run was only the second time in 11 games this season that the Crimson Tide allowed a touchdown on its opponents opening drive. Mississippi State scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass last weekend. It was the third time an opponent scored on its opening drive. Hawai’i posted a field goal in the season opener on Sept. 2.
* The Tigers scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions in the game. The three drives totaled 20 plays for 221 yards, an average of 11 yards per play. LSU scored 14 points in the first quarter while Alabama had only allowed 23 points in the opening stanza in the first 10 games.
* LSU had two plays of 30 or more yards against the Crimson Tide. Alabama had only allowed 11 offensive plays of over 30 yards in its first 10 games. Hawai’i, Duke and Mississippi State each had two plays of over 30 yards against the Crimson Tide.
NEXT GAME: Alabama will play conclude its regular season next Saturday, November 11 at 2:34 p.m. in Bryant-Denny Stadium when they host in-state rival Auburn ... The game will be televised by CBS, marking the eighth television appearance this season for the Crimson Tide and fifth time on CBS.
LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES
"That was a team victory. I think in the first half the offense was spectacular going down the field and moving the football against a very quality defensive front from Alabama. The defense played well but kept extending drives based on penalties and missed opportunities. The second half we come and the defense plays well and the offense maintains drive. We can run the clock out. We ran the football a little better and I felt good about that. I felt like our special teams came on some tough situations and made some nice punts and fielded some nice punts. If we continue to play like that we will get a chance to do the things we want to do. Now, one at a time, Ole Miss,"
On LB Darry Beckwith and SS Jessie Daniels being out with injuries...
"Beckwith appears to have a little sprain. I don't know the length of time, but we were certainly sorry to see him leave the game. Jessie Daniels will probably be back next week. With guys out you make adjustments. Jacob Cutrera goes in at mike linebacker and we put Perry Riley in some at the sam, so we had some young linebackers stepping in there and playing a lot of football for us. There is no loss of productivity in the change of safeties. We bring in (Craig) Steltz and he is quality. We will be fine there. We look forward to Jessie (Daniels) getting back, but (Craig) Steltz as the starter doesn't bother us."
On the secondary's play...
"I think there may have been a couple of good calls in pass interference, but you have to play aggressive there. You can't just sit back there on your heels and give cushion and let a guy catch a ball in front of you. You have to challenge him and we did that. I don't know that we got every call there, but we certainly improved our productivity going into the second half. And give Alabama credit; they had a tough loss to a Mississippi State team that has a really gotten better and is going to play big in the back end of their schedule. They came in here and they gave us everything they had, every fake, every deep ball, every third and one, changed some play calling, got aggressive and knew that they needed to do that to stay in this game. They have good players. That is a quality football team, and we did what we needed to do tonight. I am proud of this football team. This team is gaining speed. This team is going to be tough to reckon with."
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
WR DWAYNE BOWE
On tonight’s game...
“It was a great night and everybody just came out ready to play. It was a great atmosphere and we were able to stay focused after our big road win at Tennessee. We proved that we weren’t satisfied with the Tennessee win and we still want more.”
On how the offense did tonight...
“I would give us a B- because we still have some mistakes we have to work on. We have to make sure we play hard for all 60 minutes.”
RB JACOB HESTER
On tonight’s game...
“Tonight was a littler different because they kept coming after us. We are use to handling business early at home. Even though they scored 14 points on us, our defense did a great job shutting them down in the end. At the beginning it seemed like we were going score for score with them.”
On QB JaMarcus Russell...
“To me, he is one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the nation - if not the best. Every game he is getting better and better. He is a great leader for this offense because when he is working hard it makes to rest of us want to work hard. We know that he is capable of doing whatever he puts his mind to, which is why we put all our faith in him.”
QB JAMARCUS RUSSELL
On tonight’s game...
“When things are going back and forth like that you have to trust that your defense is going to do their job, which they did. I am proud of how the team performed tonight.”
On how he has been running more the past two games...
“I am always trying to catch them off guard because they never expect me to run. When I see a hole and there is nothing open down field I just want to make any play I can to help this team win.”
Defensive Player Quotes
DB Chevis Jackson
On the game as a whole...
“Alabama came out and they played a nice game. We gave up a couple touchdowns and made some adjustments at half time. We came out and played some shutout football at the end.”
On the defense...
“I like the way we are right now. We play together as a group. No one is selfish. We don’t care who makes the plays as long as they get done.”
On his interception...
“Coach told me to get my head in the game, so that’s what I did. I went out there and made the play.”
DE Chase Pittman
On the win tonight...
“We knew it was going to be rough and it was. We fought hard in all four quarters. They got the ball moving on us, and most people can’t do that. We came in at half time after the coaches told us what we needed to correct and we played our game.”
On the team...
“I think we are already heading in the right direction we just have to keep moving that way. We have a lot of talent and the best coaches. When you put that all together we are a force to be reckoned with.”
On the future Ole Miss game...
“We will enjoy this one tonight and tomorrow. We will come on Monday and start preparing then. I’m sure Coach Pelini has a good scheme in mind.”
S Craig Steltz
On the game as a whole...
“We came out and gave up a few big plays and a couple touchdowns especially in the first half. Then we came back with a couple of adjustments and shut them out at the end of the game.”
On the momentum of the game...
“Anytime you give up a big play your back is against the wall, but then it’s our turn to make the plays. The guys did a great job tonight and Coach Pelini put us in great positions, even though we gave up a couple pass interferences the guys didn’t give up and we kept fighting.”
On Alabama’s team...
“You know every time Alabama comes in Tiger Stadium it is going to be a great game. They lost a couple tight games this year, but we knew they were coming to play.”
ALABAMA HEAD COACH MIKE SHULA QUOTES
On how his team kept fighting...
"I thought our kids probably had as good a look in their eye before the game as they ever had. Unfortunately they went down and scored. We come back and just get stopped. We tried to kick a long field goal because it was with the big wind behind us trying to get points on the board. They go down and score again and kept moving. I thought our offense did a nice job mixing things up, communicating well. We got some points on the board in the first half, and we had an opportunity there right before the first half. They made a play. They blitzed us, yet we were real close. We worked hard on the blitz and prepared hard on it. Our quarterback (John Parker Wilson) did a lot of good things tonight, and he will continue to improve with his experience in situations like that. And we'll be better because of it, and he'll be better because of it."
On if the misdirection plays bought Wilson more time...
"Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn't. When you do some misdirection things, we probably didn't do as much as you thought or much different than other games. He made a bunch of plays on his own, moving around. We got some guys open down the field. Our offensive line did a good job protecting on early downs, but we just didn't score enough touchdowns."
Alabama Offensive Quotes
QB John Parker Wilson
On how they changed plays to get back in the game ...
“Nothing new, we really didn’t change a whole lot. We had no new protection and no new schemes. I think the guys blocked a lot better. They came out with fire in their eyes and I didn’t get hit too many times.”
On what happened on the fumble...
“I was just trying to step up and make a play and I was holding the ball a little too long and the guy just knocked it out of my hands. LSU then recovered the ball. That’s just one of those things; you just have to hold the ball a lot higher.”
On how LSU scored so quickly ...
It’s tough, we fall so hard. We have stuck together all week and we came out here and played as a team and played together. It’s hard to lose a game like this. The guys came out and played hard. Now it’s time for us to get ready for next week.”
On the new play used tonight...
“We said we were going to use this play for awhile. We saw tonight that we might have the chance to make it happen. Hall made a great catch, it was a tough play and he made it happen.”
On DJ Hall ...
“I really can’t say enough about him. He gets open and plays hard. He always shows up at practice. He’s a huge leader of our offense. He always goes out and plays the game. He always goes out and gives it 110 percent. No matter what happens I have complete trust and faith that he is always going to be there and get open for me to pass to him. ”
WR DJ Hall
On the injury during the game...
“I fell on my shoulder and re-injured the past week.”
On recovering from this loss...
“It’s hard to say because we played harder than we have ever played. I guess with a real team like LSU , you can’t drop the ball because they will pick it up immediately. I think we did a great job executing and calling great plays. We just didn’t finish like we should have.”
ALABAMA DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
LB Juwan Simpson
On the game...
We came in expecting to play a lot better than we did. They came out hot, made some great plays, scored a couple of touchdowns. We just wanted to stay in there and our offense came out playing good and we just wanted to stay in the game and give our offense a chance to come back and win.
On LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell...
His receivers did a great job of finding a way to get open. He is not the type of quarterback that you would expect to run, but he’s done a great job this year of getting open and finding a way to scramble. He did that a couple times today on third down and that killed our momentum. They came out and got on us early but we just wanted to stay in there and fight hard and give our offense a chance.
DE Wallace Gilberry
On the loss...
Win or lose we will still go home with smiles on our faces, but unfortunately we came away with a loss. That’s one of those things you just have to swallow.
On LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell...
He’s incredible. He’s definitely the best quarterback I’ve faced and this team has faced all year. He makes perfect throws, he’s big, he’s very elusive. On film he looks slow, but he’s very deceiving. He gets those long strides and he’s moving. My hat goes off to him and his team. He led them in the right direction tonight.