Scott sorely missed in second half

Charles Scott (BethBonner)

Trindon Holliday nearly broke away for a 79-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against Kentucky. The only thing that got in his way was teammate Jared Mitchell.

Instead of a touchdown run that may have gotten the Tigers off to a more explosive start, Holliday had to settle for a run of 17 yards and LSU endured an incomplete pass, a rush by Jacob Hester for 3 yards, a pass for 9 more yards, and a 6-yard sack before Charles Scott took a delayed handoff from Ryan Perrilloux through the heart of the Wildcats defense and picked up 55 yards to give LSU a first-and-goal from the Kentucky 1-yard line.

 

That play ended the first quarter, but Scott was given the nod again once play resumed and scored on the opening play of the second quarter to put the Tigers within an extra point of tying the Wildcats. Scott would continue to impress prior to halftime, adding a 13-yard run off of a pitch from Matt Flynn for a touchdown that put LSU ahead, 17-7.

 

By halftime, Scott had rushed for 91 yards on just five carries. It almost seemed a certainty that headlines across Louisiana, if not the nation, were going to read something in the vein of "Great Scott!" after the Tigers' seventh victory of the season. But neither of those things came to pass. LSU fell in triple overtime, and Scott, who was poised to have a career night as a Tiger, simply vanished for much of the third and fourth quarters.

 

LSU head coach Les Miles stated following the game he was "surprised at how ineffective we ran the football," and that there was "no real reason" why the game plan shifted away from giving Scott rushing opportunities. In all, Scott rushed seven times for 94 yards against the Wildcats, his last attempt being a 1-yard gain that was 1 yard short of a first down. Unfortunately for the Tigers, that run was the last play of the game – a fourth-and-two in the final extra period of the night that saw Scott met head-on by Kentucky linebacker Braxton Kelley where a running lane for him should have been. A missed blocking assignment negated the hole. Instead of picking up a first down, Scott was picking himself up off of the ground to kneel and contemplate the loss of a perfect season.

 

"They had two fullbacks in motion to the right, and they had a down block on the end," Kelley said. "The fullback got to the ball, and I didn't get blocked at all. I ran through the gap in the middle and made the tackle. I knew it was fourth-and-two, and I could tell they were going to run the ball by the way they were set up. I had to make a play in the backfield, and there was no doubt in my mind that he (Scott) hadn't gotten any yardage."

 

According to Scott, Kelley came out of nowhere on what was a designed power play utilized to pick up short yardage. Even so, Scott was a little surprised by the outcome.

 

"I thought I was close," Scott said of the final play. "I thought I was real close, and they didn't measure. So …"

 

Shortly after that, Scott could see Kentucky's fans storming the field. It was then Scott knew the game was over and that he quietly said to himself, "Aw, man."

 

Scott did add two receptions to his offensive output in the second half, but they only accounted for 6 yards. The second of those passes came with under half a minute to go, facing a third-and-10 from the Kentucky 41. LSU attempted a bubble screen-type pass to Scott, but the Wildcats didn't bite. The result of the play was a gain of a yard and set up Colt David's 57-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation that missed wide left.

 

Despite an incredible first half, Scott stated he wasn't taken aback about not being heavily utilized in the Tigers offensive attack in the second half.         

 

"It wasn't really frustrating," Scott said. "I played a lot in the first half, and I kind of knew they were going to mix it up a lot in the second half. So it really didn't surprise me."

 

Factoring in his seven carries for 94 yards against Kentucky, Scott has rushed 38 times for 208 yards in 2007, an average of 5.5 yards per carry. In a single half last Saturday, he doubled the number of touchdowns he has for the season. In LSU's running-back-by-committee system, he will no doubt be looking for more – and will not be looking back to the field at Commonwealth Stadium and what might have been.

 

"It hurts," Scott said of losing to No. 17 Kentucky. "It hurts a lot. But, I mean, you've just got to push through. You've got to come back next week and work even harder. This feeling right here, you never want to feel it again. So it's going to be motivation for us to win."

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