As the media filled a small room in the bowels of Commonwealth Stadium, Miles gathered his thoughts, searching for the right words to say.
His team, almost a unanimous No. 1
in every poll, had just lost to
Praised for his gutsy calls time
and again on fourth down against
"You have to be ready to play anytime you go on the road in this conference," Miles said, stern-faced and tight-lipped, voice trembling ever so slightly. "You see this brought to life again today."
All week the Tigers were showered
with praise in the wake of the
Saturday they found out the hard way.
The Wildcats rallied from a
13-point, third-quarter deficit to force overtime. Through three extra periods,
As Charles Scott lay on the ground
in agony after being stopped a yard short of a first down in the third overtime
"We have to keep fighting," Scott said. "It hurts a lot. We have to push through it. This feeling right here is what we don't want to feel again."
The initial shock of losing did hurt.
The Tigers' 13-game winning streak, longest active in the nation, had come to a screeching halt. After waiting 48 years to ascend to the nation's top spot again, LSU relinquished the No. 1 ranking after just two games.
Sure the initial sickness of losing
hurt immediately – that and the thousands of ecstatic
LSU had the game in the bag … REALLY!
That wasn't the case, though.
Instead, LSU gave up a 51-yard pass from Woodson to Steve Johnson, which set up a 12-yard Woodson touchdown run some 44 seconds after the Tigers' final score of the first half.
Halftime score: 17-14.
LSU took the ball in the second half and scored that initial touchdown. That touchdown came on the heels of a Chad Jones interception of Woodson that had Wildcat fans teetering on the edge of throwing in the towel. They also added a field goal, making the score 27-14.
The problem with that 30-yard Colt David field goal was that it should have been a touchdown, which would have extended the lead to 31-14. But Matt Flynn's third-down pass skipped off the hands of Keith Zinger in the end zone and LSU had to settle for three.
At that point, simply a
three-and-out stop by the Tigers defense might have broken
You could feel the tide turning at that point, and LSU was lucky to hold the Wildcats to a pair of field goals that only allowed Kentucky to tie the score 27-27.
The Tigers looked as if they might win the game in the most dramatic of fashions when David put a good foot into a 57-yard field goal attempt with two seconds remaining. But his kick missed by three painful feet wide left with plenty of distance to seal the victory.
A defensive holding penalty gave Kentucky new life in the third extra stanza and Woodson threw a touchdown pass to Johnson for the go-ahead and eventual winning score, but LSU held on the required two-point try and could pull out the win with a touchdown and two-pointer.
But, as you know, that didn't happen as Scott came up short.
Lost in the midst of all this drama were a plethora of dropped passes, many by LSU wideout Brandon LaFell. Fans are beginning to question Matt Flynn's ability at quarterback, but had his receivers held onto passes that were dropped the game might not have been close.
When LSU wasn't dropping passes, the Tigers were committing mindless and untimely penalties. Many times LSU was tagged with pass interference penalties, not to mention Tyson Jackson's unnecessary roughing-the-passer personal foul in overtime.
There is plenty of blame to go around, but the Tigers still did enough to win the game.
All of this was taken into consideration on Sunday when the polls were released and LSU had dropped to only five in both the AP and Coaches Polls. The Tigers are actually No. 4 in the initial BCS poll, which was also released on Sunday.
So do not fret, Tiger fans. Sure,
LSU lost. And yes, they lost to
If that team is to be LSU, it all
begins on Saturday with
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.