No. 2 Tigers Show Off Might, Beat No. 9 Hokies, 48-7
by Chris Macaluso
Special to LSUsports.net
BATON ROUGE — Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon expressed some trepidation in the week leading up to Saturday’s game against LSU in Tiger Stadium about the prospect of 92,739 fans screaming and the vaunted LSU defense staring him down. Turns out, Glennon had every reason to be afraid.
LSU’s offense dismantled the well-reputed Virginia Tech defense, amassing 598 total yards. LSU’s defense smothered speedy Virginia Tech offense, limiting the Hokies to a measly 149 total yards.
Added together, the result was a 48-7 thrashing of the ninth-ranked Hokies by the second-ranked Tigers before the largest crowd in Tiger Stadium history.
The Tigers dominated in every category of the stat sheet and from the opening kick, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions to effectively salt away the win. LSU improved to 2-0 on the young season while Virginia Tech was left to regroup after falling to 1-1.
LSU spilt the yards between rushing and passing almost directly down the middle, gaining 297 yards on 41 carries and 301 yards on a 22-of-32 performance by the quarterback combo of Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux. Flynn finished with 17 completions in 27 tries and a rushing touchdown. Perrilloux completed all five of his pass attempts, two of which were touchdown passes of 34 and 28 yards.
Keiland Williams paced the Tiger rushing attack by averaging an eye-popping 18 yards per carry on his way to 127 yards on just seven attempts, two of which were touchdowns. Jacob Hester contributed 81 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
Glennon was removed from the game in favor of freshman Tyrod Taylor in the second quarter after completing just 2-of-10 passes for 16 yards and an interception. Taylor faired a little better, completing 7-of-18 passes for 62 yards while accounting for the Hokies’ lone score on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He led Virginia Tech with 44 rushing yards on nine carries. LSU limited Hokie tailback Branden Ore to just 28 yards on 14 carries.
LSU methodically trudged its way through the sticky air on the game’s opening drive. After Virginia Tech’s much ballyhooed special teams pinned the Tigers at their own 13 on the kick off return, LSU marched 10 plays in 4:14 to take a 7-0 lead with 10:46 to play in the first quarter. A 28-yard shovel pass on the ninth play from Flynn to Hester highlighted the drive. Hester punctuated it one play later with a 4-yard dive through the middle of the Hokie Defense.
The Tigers scored again before the sting of the first touchdown wore off on the Virginia Tech sideline. LSU started at its 15-yard line this time, shook off the unfavorable field position and drove 85-yard in eight plays to take a 14-0 lead with 5:54 remaining in the first quarter. A 56-yard slant to Brandon LaFell was the drive’s long play. A 7-yard scramble by Flynn was its last.
LaFell led all receivers with 125 yards on seven catches.
In two seasons and one game under head coach Les Miles, the Tigers have outscored opponents in Tiger Stadium 157-7 in the first quarter.
LSU moved the ball past midfield again on its next drive but the Tech defense stiffened and forced the Tigers to punt. But, that just gave the Tiger defense a chance to do its part in helping increase the lead. Craig Steltz intercepted a Glennon pass at the Tech 31 on the third play of the ensuing drive giving Colt David the chance to boot a 30-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter to extend the LSU lead to 17-0.
LSU continued to absolutely dominate on its next possession as Williams needed just one play to extend the Tiger lead to 24-0. The sophomore tailback took an option pitch from Flynn along the right side at the 33, hurdled a blocker at the 40 then out-paced the Hokie defense on his way to a 67-yard touchdown trot.
The Tigers continued to pile up yards on their first possession of the second half as Flynn, LaFell and Hester advanced LSU to the Hokie 10-yard line before the drive stalled. David chipped in a 28-yard field goal to cap the 45-yard, 10 play drive and give LSU a 27-0 lead with 8:30 remaining in the third quarter.
Taylor and Ore finally led the Hokies past midfield and ultimately into the endzone on their second possession of the second half. Taylor scrambled for 37 yards in the 65-yard drive while Ore rushed for 10 and caught a 19-yard shovel pass. A one-yard plunge by the freshman signal caller ended the 8-play drive and cut the LSU lead to 27-7 with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter.
But, the Tigers showed no mercy as 2:54 later they answered the Hokies touchdown with one of their own. Tiger Back-up quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who had rushed three times earlier in the game, faked a dive into the line before retreating and completing a 34-yard rope to Early Doucet who was galloping at the 10-yard line with no defender within 20 yards. The touchdown pass came just one play after Flynn found Doucet on a 29-yard strike. The score extended LSU’s lead to 34-7 with 1:36 remaining in the third quarter.
And then, the Tigers piled on again. Williams added a 32-yard run to his already impressive yardage total to cap an eight-play, 87-yard drive that ate 4:20 off the clock. The David point after extended the LSU lead to 41-7 as the stands emptied.
Then, the Tigers scored again. Perrilloux delivered another accurate touchdown strike, this time to freshman receiver Terrance Tolliver from 28 yards out with 3:18 to play to give LSU its final margin of victory.
LSU vs. Virginia Tech
Sept. 8, 2007 ? Tiger Stadium (Baton Rouge, La.)
- LSU’s game captains were 6 Colt David, 7 Ali Highsmith, 9 Early Doucet, and 18 Jacob Hester.
- Virginia Tech won the toss and deferred to the second half. LSU received the opening kickoff.
- Tigers extending their consecutive starts streak today were: CB Chevis Jackson (28), LB Ali Highsmith (16), LT Ciron Black (15), CB Jonathan Zenon (15), LG Herman Johnson (12) and DT Glenn Dorsey (10).
- First-time starters for LSU in tonight’s game: WR Chris Mitchell.
- LSU has recorded at least one sack in 21 straight games after a first quarter sack by Curtis Taylor in tonight’s game. The last time LSU’s defense did not record a sack was against North Texas last season.
- LSU has outscored its opponents 113-7 over the last 10 quarters, including the 48-7 final margin tonight. Before the Hokies’ touchdown in the third quarter, opponents had not scored against the Tigers since Notre Dame did so in the second quarter of the 2007 Sugar Bowl.
- LSU has outscored it opponents 157-7 in the first quarter in the 15 home games under head coach Les Miles (15 home games), including the 14-0 score tonight. Alabama was the only team to score on the Tigers in the first quarter during that stretch.
- LSU extended several streaks tonight with the victory … The Tigers extended their overall winning streak to nine games, and as a result of losses by Boise State, BYU and TCU, LSU now holds the second-longest winning streak in the nation … Wisconsin holds the longest streak at 10 games, heading into tonight’s contest versus UNLV … The Tigers stretched their home winning streak to 14 games and 18 games at home against non-conference teams.
- LSU’s 598 yards of total offense is the most by the team since racking up 653 yards against Louisiana Tech on Nov. 1, 2003.
- The 48-7 win was the largest margin of victory by LSU over a ranked opponent since downing No. 16 Ole Miss, 61-17, on Dec. 5, 1970 in Baton Rouge. The Tigers were ranked No. 8 heading into that contest.
- The 48-7 win was also the largest margin of victory by LSU over a Top 10 team in school history.
- Tonight’s attendance of 92,739 is the largest in Tiger Stadium history surpassing the previous mark of 92,664 set on Oct. 22, 2005 against Auburn.
- FS Curtis Taylor‘s first-quarter sack was the first of his career.
- RB Jacob Hester scored the ninth rushing touchdown of his career on a 3-yard run with 10:46 left in the first quarter.
Hester’s 81 yards tonight is a career-high. His previous high was 70 against Miami in the 2005 Peach Bowl.
- QB Matt Flynn scored the second rushing touchdown of his career on a 7-yard run with 5:54 left in the first quarter. His other rushing touchdown came against Tulane in 2006.
Flynn’s 17 completions, 27 attempts and 217 yards in tonight’s game are all career highs.
- SS Craig Steltz recorded his fourth interception of the season and ninth of his career late in the first quarter.
Steltz recorded the second sack of his career and first of the season midway through the fourth quarter.
- PK Colt David made the 14th field goal of his career with on a 30-yarder on the first play of the second quarter.
David made his 15th career field goal on a 28-yard attempt with 8:30 left in the third quarter. He has now made 15 of 21 attempts in his career.
- RB Keiland Williams scored his third and fourth rushing touchdowns of this season and the eighth and ninth of his career tonight. The first was on a 67-yard run with 11:55 left in the second quarter and the second came on a 32-yard run with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter.
Williams’ 67-yard run was the longest of his career and the longest by an LSU player since Alley Broussard‘s 74-yard run vs. Iowa in the 2005 Capital One Bowl.
Williams’ 126 rushing yards marks a career-high for the sophomore. His previous high was 107 yards against Notre Dame in the 2007 Sugar Bowl. Tonight also marks the second 100-yard rushing game for Williams.
- With a reception late in the first quarter, WR Early Doucet extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 24.
Doucet pulled in the 17th receiving touchdown of his career on a 34-yard pass from Ryan Perrilloux with 1:36 left in the third quarter. The 17 career TDs moves the senior receiver into a sixth-place tie for career receiving TDs with Josh Reed and Ken Kavanaugh, Sr.
- P Patrick Fisher‘s 61-yard punt in the second quarter is his career long. His previous career best was a 59-yard kick in 2005.
- QB Ryan Perrilloux tossed the second touchdown of his career with s 34-yard strike to Early Doucet with 1:36 left in the third quarter.
- WR Brandon LeFell’s seven receptions and 125 yards in tonight’s game are both career highs for the sophomore.
LaFell is LSU’s first 100-yard receiver since Early Doucet collected 115 in the Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame.
- WR Demetrius Byrd made the first catch of his career on a 12-yard strike from Perrilloux with 6:00 remaining in the fourth quarter.
- WR Terrance Toliver scored his first career touchdown on a 28-yard pass from Perrilloux with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter.
The 28-yard reception was also the longest of Toliver’s career.
- DE Rahim Alem collected the first sack of his career with 0:55 left in the fourth quarter.
LSU HEAD COACH LES MILES
“We recognized we played a very quality opponent and we played well. We had no turnovers and our defense played really well from start to finish. Our offense paid attention to detail and executed.”
“I can tell you that we are not there yet. You can save the accolades for later in life because we have only won two games. We have a lot of football to play. I am very excited about how we prepared and I can tell you that this team knew that this was going to be an emotional game. They got a victory from us a few years ago and the opportunity to even that score was upon us. We understood that they are a quality team that could play well and they did. I can promise you this, don’t make too much of this win. It is all about what we have to get done in the future.”
On the offense…
“I think the plan to mix tailbacks and to mix styles of playing benefited us. Matt Flynn had a really good game with managing the game. He did some things that we need our quarterback to give us in terms of leadership. He didn’t play perfect, but he did well. I enjoyed the fact that we got our second-team quarterback (Ryan Perrilloux) in there and he played well. He has too. We are counting on a good quality quarterback no matter who is in the game. Perrilloux came in the game and gave us a nice little lift and was able to run the offense that we had gameplaned for our opponent. He did a very good job.”
On the running game…
“I enjoyed seeing the tailbacks do well. Hester was a tough cardinal running through the line early in the game. We got some great runs out of Keiland Williams. We gathered some good rushing yards on a very talented defense.”
On how the defense played…
“Defensively, week after week you can see it. It is about speed to the ball and attention to detail. Guys with our helmets were all around the football.”
On the special teams performance…
“Special teams was challenged today. I didn’t like the return yardage that came against our kickoff team. That will be easy to correct. It will take some work and effort but our guys will understand it and come to play. Virginia Tech had a great reputation of blocking kicks and that is something we were able to avoid. Not perfect, but it was a quality outing against a very good ball club.”
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
RB Jacob Hester
On whether the offense can improve …
“There were some red zone chances that we should have scored on that we only got field goals on, so we think we can get better. A lot of people said we weren’t going to score a lot, but like I said we still have to play a lot better. But, we had a good game.”
On whether or not they changed the game plan any from last week …
“No, it was pretty much the same stuff. Of course, you game plan for each team, but a lot of the plays were similar.”
On LSU’s defense …
“They are the best in the country. Practicing against them everyday only makes us better. They are fast, they don’t miss tackles, and Coach Pelini has got them really coached up.”
On Virginia Tech’s defense …
“Don’t let the score fool you. They played every down real hard.”
On facing Virginia Tech’s special teams …
“Going in, we knew it was going to be a big challenge for us. As a team, I think we stepped up and responded after a good week of practice.”
On what role LSU’s special teams played …
“I really think we helped our team win. We made a difference. I really think we took care of our third and helped the team out.”
WR Early Doucet
On whether LSU wanted to make a statement against Virginia Tech …
“I wouldn’t really say that we came out to make a statement. We just wanted to come out and play LSU football, which is getting on our opponents early and executing the plays being called.
“We want to have little or no mistakes in every phase, offense, defense and special teams, and I thought we played excellent tonight as a whole.”
On the quick start by the offense …
“The main thing is execution. You call the play, and you want to execute it to the best of your abilities. We came out and did that tonight.”
On scoring on consecutive drives …
“It always feels good, especially when you have that home crowd behind you. Being in Tiger Stadium is like no other feeling. We came out tonight and executed our offense the best we could, and we put up a lot of points.”
QB Matt Flynn
On the Tigers’ success against the Virginia Tech defense…
“We all came out, and we had a very good game plan. The coaches put together a game plan that was very good, and we felt very comfortable with it. The whole team just came out here ready to go, and things just kind of clicked. We made things happened today and we just felt really good about it, but we have to keep progressing.”
On the Tigers’ ability to neutralize the Virginia Tech linebackers…
“We had some good plays and we had a good game plan for them. We tried to keep away from the linebackers and we tried to run or pass, just the same. We just felt good about it and we came out here and executed. I have to give it up to Virginia Tech. They played very well, but we came out here and we executed well.”
LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
On the team’s first performance of the season in Tiger Stadium …
“It was great to be playing a big game in Tiger Stadium. A lot of people were rooting for us. You couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere.”
On the LSU defense …
“We go out there and play with passion every play. Every guy communicates with each other and we watch out for one another.”
DT Glenn Dorsey
On the team’s enthusiasm for this game …
“We know our fans come out for us and that the stadium was going to be wild. That motivated us to play hard. When we make plays, our fans go crazy and we love it. It is extra incentive for us to come out and play hard.”
On the record breaking attendance …
“It was such a different atmosphere and I hope it continues into the season. I don’t ever remember seeing so many people. Our fans really showed their support tonight.”
VIRGINIA TECH HEAD COACH FRANK BEAMER QUOTES
“I give all the credit to LSU. What a good football team. They really took it to us and played extremely well. They didn’t make mistakes or turn the ball over. We are certainly disappointed in how we played, but I think you can probably give LSU a lot of credit for that. One game doesn’t make a season, and I think in college football when you don’t play exhibition games and you don’t have scrimmages, you get into your early games and you learn a lot about yourself. They got us good tonight. We plan to come back, and I think we have the makings of a good football team. But we have work to do to get there, and that’s the bottom line right now.”
On the insertion of Tyrod Taylor into the game …
“We felt like we needed some change, and Tyrod can run away from some of those guys like he did. He made some good throws, and I thought the last one there to (WR Brandon) Dillard was a good play to get the ball and we ought to have the catch. I think he gives some athletic ability in our offense that we need. Our offensive line will continue to get better. I think Tyrod helps our offensive line with his ability. That’s why we made a move.”
On if he imagined his defense could give up 48 points …
“No, I didn’t think that, but again I’ll go back and give LSU credit. I thought they played great. They hit us; they executed. They have some good players. Their backs are good. Their receivers are good. Flynn was excellent. Their second quarterback (Ryan Perrilloux) got us a couple times. Their offensive line protected well. We only got to them one time. This is a good football team. Like I said going into this game, I’m not sure if this isn’t the No. 1 football team in the country.”
VIRGINIA TECH OFFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
QB Tyrod Taylor
On if he knew he would play…
“I wasn’t sure, they (the coaches) talked to me this week and told me to be ready. You never know when you can go in (the game).”
On his nerves when he entered the game…
“The first couple of snaps there was a little bit of jitters but as the game went on they went away.”
On what the coaches told him when he entered the game…
“Just to go out there and stay calm and make plays.”
On if he thinks he’s ready to contribute…
“I still have things to learn as far as picking up defenses but that comes with reps in practice and just working hard every day in practice.”
On if QB Sean Glennon spoke to him after he went in the game…
“Yes, after drives all the quarrterbacks and receivers get together to talk about what just happened on the field.”
On if he thinks he is now the leader of the offense…
“I can’t comment. That’s up to the coaches.”
On if he’s ready to start being the quarterback the rest of the way…
VIRGINIA TECH DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
DE Orion Martin
On LSU football team…
“They’re a great team. I guess we came out really flat and they got on top of us and we could not recover.”
On why the defense gave up so many yards…
“I’m not really sure. We are going to look at the film on Monday and see where we need to improve. We came out hard and wanted to win. LSU came out with some great plays early. We got behind and LSU moved quickly on the ball.”
On how the defense got behind…
“I think it was our position. We will look at the film on Monday and get ready for next week. We have never given up those many yards (598 yards) before. We need to improve in some areas and next week we are going to work hard to improve and hopefully win the next game.”
On the atmosphere in Tiger Stadium…
“It was almost like Lane Stadium and all the other places we have played. There was no difference we just couldn’t back and next week we will improve.”