Published September 4, 2011 - 5:42pm
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Gone in sixty minutes were any doubts about LSU in 2011. You know that scene in Tombstone where Wyatt Earp points at a dead cowboy and tells the Clantons that he’s coming and Hells coming with him? That scene is essentially what the LSU / Oregon game was. Les Miles was Wyatt Earp, the Ducks were the dead cowboy, LSU’s other opponents are the Clantons, and Hell is being played by the LSU defense. Seriously…with this win, Les Miles just announced that is going to dictate his terms this whole season, and he will because he is armed with a brutal ground game, solid special teams and a defense that is going to be unrelenting and opportunistic.
Watching LSU defeat Oregon was like watching an Anaconda snuff the life out of its prey. It was slow, deliberate and painful. Aside for a last gasp to end the game, the Ducks were choked out in the 3rd quarter. By that time, the LSU defensive line was blowing into the Oregon backfield on every play while Spencer Ware and Michael Ford were chewing up yards on every carry. The size, speed and depth of LSU were too much for Oregon to overcome. This was also evident by the number of time Oregon went after the legs of LSU’s defensive players.
Gone in sixty minutes was the perception that LSU and Les Miles could be in trouble without the duo of Russell Shepard and Jordan Jefferson. The distractions only seemed to galvanize the LSU team. Les Miles’ wrecking crew brought Oregon to the woodshed and proved that it belonged in the BCS title hunt. Les Miles galvanized his team and proved that he is worth every cent being paid to him by LSU. The coach simply has no peers when given time to prepare his teams for a big game.
Gone in sixty minutes was the ghost of Jarrett Lee’s past. Although the performance (10-22, 1 TD) wasn’t awe inducing, it was all that the Tigers needed. Lee managed the game and protected the ball. He threw a great pass to Randle for a TD and moved the chains though the air as well. Lee’s stats would have been better if it weren’t for a handful of drops and penalties that brought back long passing plays. It is reasonable to believe that with more reps with the first team, Lee and the LSU passing attack should continue to improve.
Gone in sixty minutes was the loss of Patrick Peterson. LSU’s secondary showed why it is considered the best in the country, even after losing the top DB in college football. A big part of that was Tyrann Mathieu. Sporting Peterson’s No. 7, Mathieu became a one man wrecking crew. He made his presence felt on both defense and special teams. He had ten tackles and single handedly forced a fumble and returned it for a TD on punt coverage. Mathieu, along with Morris Claiborne, also contributed to 125 return yards.
Gone in sixty minutes was the idea that Oregon was a BCS contender. Chip Kelly and Oregon are now 0-4 against ranked non-conference BCS teams. The Ducks have had their wings clipped in all four games and were thoroughly dominated by LSU. The speed and talent accumulated in Oregon was no match for what is stockpiled in Baton Rouge. Case in point, LaMichael James being ran down from behind by the LSU defense – to drive that point home with a hammer, it was a defensive end that caught him (Mingo).