The HIGHS and LOWS of playing football

By Mike Detillier
December 05, 2007 at 12:33 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Covering sports over the last 23 years has given me a good perspective of the highs and lows of what really goes on in the sports world.

When the LSU Tigers lost in triple overtime to the Arkansas Razorbacks 50-48 their chances of getting to the BCS Championship game seemed all but over with and to be honest, their ability to bounce back to win the Southeast Conference championship game even had to be questioned.

Last Saturday morning started with reports from different sources that LSU head coach Les Miles was leaving the school to take the head coaching job at Michigan. Hours later in a hastily talked press conference Miles told the college football world that the reports were incorrect and that in fact he had agreed to a contract extension to stay at LSU the previous night.

Despite having to take the field against Tennessee with an injured Glenn Dorsey at defensive tackle and starting quarterback Matt Flynn missing the game due to a shoulder injury, the Tigers were able to pull out a hard-fought 21-14 affair against the Volunteers to guarantee them their first SEC championship since the 2003 season, which was also the year they won the BCS national championship.

The Tigers were led to victory by former East St. John High School standout quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who completed 20 of his 30 passes for 243 yards and one touchdown. Perrilloux, who was voted the gameís Most Valuable Player, also got some help by two huge interceptions late in the game.

Senior cornerback Jonathan Zenon scored on an 18-yard run after intercepting an Erik Ainge throw with 9:54 left in the fourth quarter and middle linebacker Darry Beckwith intercepted another Ainge pass at the LSU 7-yard line with less than 3 minutes to The victory gave Les Miles his first SEC championship at LSU, but the best was yet to come.

Hours after the Tigers beat Tennessee, the Pittsburgh Panthers upset #2 West Virginia and Oklahoma routed top-ranked Missouri and guess what, LSU was back in the national title race.

Sunday night with all the votes in and the computer rankings calculated, the Tigers had indeed maneuvered themselves back into the national championship game against Ohio State, January 7, 2008 in the Superdome.

If this were a script for a television movie, it really wouldnít be believable, but this is the sports world and the season which started out with dreams of an SEC Championship and a national title shot has become reality.

Now, for the New Orleans SaintsÖ

The scene Sunday afternoon was similar to a playoff-type atmosphere.

The NFC South Division leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in town sporting a 7-4 record, but without starting quarterback Jeff Garcia in the starting lineup,

The raucous crowd of 72,000-plus saw that this was a winnable game against a talented, but hurting Buccaneers team, but the 5-6 New Orleans Saints gave them another distinctive moment of football that they will soon not forget.

Despite watching former Louisiana Tech quarterback Luke McCown carve up their secondary for 313 yards on 29 pass completions and wide receiver Joey Galloway, who is 36 years old, catching 7 passes for 159 yards, the Saints made two huge defensive plays that had them ahead late in the contest.

In one of the few bad passes thrown by McCown all day, Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie intercepted an arrant throw by McCown and the veteran cornerback raced downfield 53-yards for a touchdown and the Saints held a 21-20 late in the third quarter.




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