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Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Best/worst in 2012: LSU

By Chris Low

LSU is up next in our look at the best and worst moments for all 14 SEC teams in 2012:

BEST

It was the third leg of what was the SEC's most grueling stretch of the season. It started with a 14-6 loss on the road at Florida, but LSU rebounded at home the next week with a 23-21 win over South Carolina. Then came a trip to Texas A&M the very next week, and LSU quickly fell behind 12-0. Kyle Field was rocking, and the Tigers looked like they were in huge trouble. But the defense rose up and forced five turnovers and kept Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel on the run in the second half. The Tigers intercepted him three times and generated enough big plays on offense to rally for a 24-19 win. The big blows were a diving 29-yard touchdown catch by Kadron Boone just before halftime and a 47-yard touchdown romp by freshman Jeremy Hill to put the game away with 3:12 remaining. Hill's touchdown came on the first play after Tharold Simon intercepted Manziel and returned it 10 yards into Texas A&M territory. It was the second straight gutsy win for the Tigers, who still had the fourth leg of their gauntlet remaining -- Alabama at home following a bye week.

WORST

There was so much that went right for LSU in its gut-wrenching 21-17 loss to Alabama. The Tigers fought back from a 14-3 deficit, a comeback that whipped the crowd at Tiger Stadium into a frenzy. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who had struggled all season along with the entire LSU passing game, came alive and began picking the Alabama secondary apart in the second half. When he hit Jarvis Landry with a 14-yard touchdown pass to put LSU ahead early in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Tigers were well on their way to handing the Crimson Tide their first defeat. But Alabama, which had been stopped in its tracks the entire second half, was able to muster one final drive, culminating with a 28-yard screen pass to T.J. Yeldon for a touchdown with 51 seconds remaining. Just like that, what had been one giant party on the Bayou turned into a huge downer for the Tigers and a second straight loss to the Crimson Tide.