Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Unthinkable is Now a Reality: Part 3 (of 9)

October 6
#9 Florida

This game could of easily been called the Game of the Century had Florida not lost to Auburn the previous week 20-17, nonetheless I still think the game lived up to the hype. Urban Meyer had never lost 2 consecutive games while at Florida. Could LSU beat an even more pumped up Florida team on what would become the biggest crowd in Tiger Stadium history? Gameday was present so the magnitude of this game was beyond comprehension. Florida jumped on LSU early. The Tigers did not have Early Doucet who was out with an injury. That was huge considering LSU missed some early first downs that lead to Tebow immediately getting the ball back. LSU was down 10-0 before fans could get into their seats. Late in the second quarter Tebow rushed into the end zone to put the score at 17-7 Florida. LSU would drive down the field and missed a crucial 43-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter.

During that first half I can specifically remember talking to my friends how Tim Tebow just won the Heisman by the way he played in the first 30 minutes of the game. He was deadly in the pocket and even more dangerous when running. No one ever tackled #15 on their first try. He was picking LSU apart.

Tebow's "Call Me" Gesture Back Story: For those of you who watched the game I am sure you saw Tebow make the gesture of "call me" to the LSU Student Section. Allow me to give you some details on the whole story. Facebook is a social networking website many college students use. Tim Tebow used his username and wrote a comment on a Florida girl's Facebook page. After leaving his comment Tebow left his phone number as well.

And as you might guess someone found out about him putting his number on this girl's Facebook page and just like that LSU Faithful were calling up Tebow and leaving intense trash-talking messages. Tebow was simply playing along when he taunted the student section, which is perfectly fine.

But there was one problem.

Do not taunt an opposing team's student section then cry after the game. I am sorry, but you would not tease a person and then cry if they teased you back.

Best quote following the game against Florida: "Tim Tebow drinks milk on Fridays, I think drink his tears on Saturday."

In the second half LSU got the ball right off the bat to march down and cut the score to a margin of 17-14, but before the offense could rest Tebow found an absolutely wide-open Gator.

24-14. Gulp and the 4th quarter was upon us.

In the 4th quarter LSU cut the lead to 3 when Lesticles opted to go for it on 4th down inside the Florida 5. Perrilloux to the Byrdman.

24-21. Hope was still alive.

LSU would get the ball back with about 8:30 left in the game. LSU would end up scoring a TD on a drive that took over 8 minutes. Incredible. 2 for 2 on 4th down the Tigers were on that drive. The one at midfield and the one deep in Gator territory. Both were because of amazing second efforts by Jacob Hester. When Hester finally did get into the end zone on 3rd and Goal, I think my heart stopped.

I am sure I was not the only one who experienced that.

This was the single most nerve-racking game I have ever experienced in Tiger Stadium. When it was announced USC had lost to Stanford the place went nuts. So nuts the decibels in the student section reached 129.8, close to a jet engine (130). After the game, Lee Corso talked about how that game had everything you want in an epic college football showdown. The home team was trailing, field goals where missed, big turnovers happened, gutsy fourth downs were called, and a dramatic come from behind win was lead by the Tigers.

It seems like so long ago when that game happened but just to get that feeling back I had in that stadium after LSU pulled off the impossible, wow, it was just indescribable.

It is what Tiger Stadium is all about.

I still get goosebumps thinking how LSU was down by 10 with 10 minutes remaining and they hung together and pulled out the victory when all hope seemed lost.

Play of the Game: Again, many plays took place in that game for the Tigers that I could claim as the "Play of the Game." The one that sticks out the most was the final of the five fourth downs LSU converted. Tigers could of kicked a field goal to tie the game, but Les Miles wanted the win. On 4th and 1 deep in Gator territory LSU went for it. It looked like Hester got stopped in the backfield and in the student section I was sure he did, but in a last ditch effort #18 dove and just made the first down. Unbelievable.

As painful as it is to remember, the next game I will talk about will be the heartbreaking loss at Kentucky in triple overtime...

1 comment:

~MM~ said...

I believe this game was probably my favorite over all college game last season, certainly my absolute favorite LSU game.

This game stands out the most for me partially because I actually got to see the game (up here in Wolverine land we, or at least I, seldom get to see the SEC games live), but mainly because this game was so chock full of surprises.

Among other thing, Les Miles made some unbelievable calls that when applying a risk/utility balancing test would have likely failed every time yet call after call they made it.

As if the twin fourth down successes you mentioned weren’t enough, lets not forget the call to use the final LSU timeout to review a play that was such a long shot that I believe everyone thought Les had lost it.

Florida had just completed a much needed first down when the review was called for. After watching replay after replay from every angle possible and still not being able to see it (the Gator foot on the side line), I remember thinking “that call was so incredibly close, what was Miles thinking and was it worth risking your final time out for?” As it turned out – that call would not only deprive the Gators’ of the first down, but after coming back to a no gain third down and a punt, LSU would ultimately scored. That very easily could have been the call that turned the game around for the Tigers.

You were definitely not alone in that heart stopping moment!!!

In addition to edge of your seat events of the game itself, we in TV land had learned minutes before the announcement in Tiger Stadium of USC's loss and while we couldn’t hear the actual announcement, you just knew every Tiger fan in that stadium now knew LSU had a real shot at the National Championship. It was like watching a volcano erupt before your very eyes and seeing all that adrenalin pouring out of it. With my own heart pounding out of my chest, I could feel the energy in that stadium over a thousand miles away. It was nothing short of brilliant. Definitely an amazing moment in time.

Cheers ~