|Fourth-down magic runs out for Tigers against Wildcats|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 13 October 2007 16:28|
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -Les Miles and No. 1 LSU finally ran out of fourth-down magic. And the Tigers' hopes of a national championship may have gone bust along with it.|
When running back Charles Scott was stopped by Kentucky's Braxton Kelley on fourth down in the third overtime, sealing the Wildcats' 43-37 upset, it marked the first time this season the Tigers gambled and lost on fourth down.
LSU was 5-for-5 on fourth down in last week's comeback win over Florida, and with just two yards to go, Miles didn't hesitate on how to attack one of the Southeastern Conference's worst run defenses.
``We'd gone to formation a little earlier, and felt like we were in an advantage call,'' he said. ``They made an adjustment. We got one. We should have had two.''
The Tigers had been a perfect 7-for-7 on fourth down this season before Scott fell inches short against the Wildcats, setting off a mad celebration at Commonwealth Stadium, leaving the Tigers stunned and further muddling the national title picture.
``I thought it was close,'' said Scott, who wept in the tunnel as the echoes of ``Go Big Blue'' filled the hallway near the visitors' locker room.
It was, but Scott's stumble was hardly the only mistake made by the Tigers (6-1). LSU squandered a 13-point lead by failing to do the things that had propelled them to No. 1 for the first time since 1959.
LSU's running attack stalled in the second half, and the Tigers had trouble keeping Kentucky's high-powered offense at bay. After rushing for 184 yards in the first half, the Tigers had just 103 the rest of the way. LSU's defense wasn't much better, allowing Kentucky to score the final six times it had the ball, including all three possessions in overtime.
``I'm surprised how well Kentucky moved the football. I'm surprised how ineffective we ran the football,'' Miles said. ``When you turn to need something, that's when it's got to be there for you. I felt like we lacked control of the ball late on the ground.''
Still, the Tigers had plenty of chances, and another Miles' gamble almost paid off with a win.
Tied at 27 with two seconds left in regulation, he sent kicker Colt David on the field to attempt a 57-yard field goal. A bold move considering David's career long was 45 yards. David nailed it, but it sailed wide left.
``I thought I hit it pretty good,'' David said. ``Then it started going a little left and it wasn't going to come back.''
Neither could LSU.
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