Louisiana Tech at LSU 11-14-09

November 14, 2009

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Despite losing its leading rusher for the season and blowing an opportunity to challenge for a spot in the SEC title game, LSU is surprisingly optimistic about the final weeks of the regular season. A good health update on quarterback Jordan Jefferson may play a part in that outlook. The domination of its next opponent could be another reason. Jefferson and the No. 9 Tigers try to bounce back after a tough loss when they host Louisiana Tech on Saturday. LSU (7-2) was eliminated from a potential spot in the conference championship game with a 25-14 loss to No. 3 Alabama on Saturday. Of even greater concern, though, was losing Jefferson and leading rusher Charles Scott to injuries. Jefferson, who took a helmet to the chest in the first half, left for good after injuring his ankle in the third quarter. Backup Jarrett Lee, who relieved Jefferson, was expected to practice with the first team, but coach Les Miles was optimistic Jefferson would be practicing later in the week and could start Saturday.

Besides looking to overcome injuries, LSU also hopes to avoid a further collapse after its hopes of a division title were dashed with last weekend’s loss. Last year, the Tigers dropped two of their final three regular-season games following a close loss to Alabama.

With questions remaining on who will step up offensively for the Tigers, the pressure will be especially high on the defense, which entered last weekend ranked third in the SEC in scoring defense (12.1) and fourth in yards allowed (293.0). The Crimson Tide finished with 452 yards, including 176 rushing. After facing Louisiana Tech (3-6), the Tigers return to conference play with games against Mississippi and Arkansas – teams a combined 4-7 in the SEC. While Miles admitted that finishing second left a “nasty pit” in his stomach, he was expecting the team to embrace the chance to finish strong.

The Tigers will also try to avoid overlooking Louisiana Tech, which has lost its last three games, but all in tight fashion. After two straight road losses by a combined three points, the Bulldogs stayed competitive in a 45-35 loss to then-No. 5 and unbeaten Boise State on Nov. 6. The Broncos led 27-7 at the half, but Louisiana Tech pulled within 30-28 early in the fourth quarter on Ross Jenkins’ 5-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Morris. Boise State, however, scored touchdowns on its next two drives.

LSU had little trouble against Louisiana Tech when the two met in 2007 as the Tigers racked up 595 yards of offense in a 58-10 victory, which propelled them to the SEC title game. LSU, which has won 20 straight non-conference games, has won 17 of 18 all-time meetings in a series that spans more than a century.  Even with the injuries to LSU they will beat up badly on Louisiana Tech.

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By Lawrence Tate Associate Freepick1.com Editor

 


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