Saturday, October 3, 2009
LSU comes through ... again Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
ATHENS, Ga. -- Les Miles can’t say for sure that his LSU football team found itself in the final minutes Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
He’s seen it in bits and pieces all season long.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Charles Scott's 33-yard touchdown run sealed the game for LSU.
“I can only tell you this: We’ll be competitive, and we’ll play for victory, and this football team will look forward to playing the rest of the way,” Miles said following No. 4-ranked LSU’s 20-13 win over Georgia in the wildest finish of the season thus far in the SEC.
The Tigers (5-0) scored their only two touchdowns of the game in the final 2:53, both frantic drives capped by Charles Scott touchdown runs.
It’s been their theme all season long: When they have to get it done, they get it done.
“I think you saw our true identity tonight,” said Scott, who finished with 95 yards rushing after totaling just 179 yards in his first four games. “We stepped up to the plate. The world knows now that we deserve to be where we are.”
For more than three quarters, LSU couldn’t finish a drive on offense and was hanging on thanks to a defense that was one great A.J. Green play away from holding Georgia to a single touchdown for the entire game.
Green’s leaping 16-yard touchdown catch over LSU cornerback Chris Hawkins gave the Bulldogs a 13-12 lead with 1:09 to play. The reason the Tigers were able to stuff the Bulldogs’ running game was all the man coverage they played on Green and the Georgia receivers.
“Our cornerbacks played their behinds off,” LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard said. “They told us, ‘We’ve got your backs. Just go stop their run.’”
Even then, the Tigers needed one final thrust after an excessive celebration penalty on Green forced Georgia to kick off from its own 15. Trindon Holliday returned the kickoff 41 yards, and another 5 yards was tacked on because Georgia’s kickoff team lined up in an illegal formation.
That’s where Charles took over, but only after sophomore quarterback Jordan Jefferson sort of overruled offensive coordinator Gary Crowton. A pass was initially called on the play Scott scored on, but Jefferson convinced him during the timeout to give the ball to Scott.
Sure enough, Scott ripped through a huge hole, plowed over Georgia linebacker Marcus Dowtin and sprinted 33 yards for the winning touchdown.
“I said, ‘Let’s give it to Charles,’ and he came through,” said Jefferson, who came through himself on the drive before with several big-time throws.
It’s the kind of balance Scott has been waiting on all season.
“That’s us. We’ve got too many weapons on offense to stick to one dimension,” Scott said. “That’s our offense, the way we want to be.”