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|LSU digs for national title|
LSU will play for its second national championship in four years–-its third since 1958–when the Tigers take on Big Ten power Ohio State Monday night in the Louisiana Superdome.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised by Fox and heard locally at KNOE FM 101.9.
Ironically, the Superdome was the setting four years ago (Jan. 4, 2004) when the Bayou Bengals held off Oklahoma 21-14 to capture the Bowl Championship Series title. That year, USC was named the No. 1 team in the land by the Associated Press.
While the Tigers and their faithful followers claimed a first national championship since Dwight Eisenhower occupied the Oval Office, LSU was forced to share the limelight with the Trojans from the PAC 10.
A co-champions designation won't be necessary this year if LSU caps off a topsy-turvy 2007 campaign, which saw the Tigers' national title hopes all but washed away some seven weeks ago following a triple-overtime loss to Arkansas in the final regular season game of the year. It was LSU's second loss of the season, presumably knocking the Tigers out of the national title hunt.
Little did anyone believe Missouri and West Virginia--No. 1 and No. 2 respectively at the time--would fall in each team's conference championship games, setting up a BCS title bout between LSU and the Buckeyes.
For LSU coach Les Miles, this has to be a gratifiying experience especially after all the hoopla surrounding Miles possibly taking the Michigan job when the Tigers were in the SEC title game against Tennessee.
"Ohio State is a tremendous football team and well coached," Miles said. "It has no flaws. They are tremendous in special teams. They are highly-ranked on defense in many categories. I followed (James) Laurinaitis around because I was fortunate enough to go with Glenn Dorsey as he won several national awards. On offense, they (Ohio State) seldom make mistakes," Miles said. "They have a tremendous running back (Chris Wells) who ran for 200 plus yards in their last outing. He is a strong running back that runs hard and fast. They have a big traditional Ohio State offensive line. (Former LSU running back) Terry Robiskie's son (Brian) is a tremendous player there and is their leading receiver."
The Tigers (11-2) come into the fray against Ohio State sporting some unusual happenings during the season which included overtime losses to Kentucky and Arkansas.
The Tigers beat five ranked teams in the quest for the SEC crown, all by a touchdown or less in one The Tigers (11-2) come into the fray against Ohio State sporting some unusual happenings during the season which included overtime losses to Kentucky and Arkansas.
The Tigers beat five ranked teams in the quest for the SEC crown, all by a touchdown or less in one of the toughest schedules in the country.
This marks the third year in a row the Tigers have gone at least 10-2 since Miles has been at the helm.
"We are expecting a real quality, competitive game," Miles said about the Buckeyes.
Flynn and Trindon Holliday both missed the SEC title game due to injuries.
Junior backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux filled in for Flynn twice this season and was a winner both times.
Hester and Early Doucet have also been sidelined with injuries and both are expected back in the lineup against Ohio State.
"Early and Jacob mean so much to this team," Miles said. "Jacob is tremendously competitive and eh's a guy who has an eye for making a play."
Last season, LSU won the Sugar Bowl game defeating Notre Dame, 41-14.
Hester was the leading runner this past season with 1,017 yards on 204 carries and 11 touchdowns.
Three Tigers had over 400 yards receiving with Brandon LaFell on top with 641 yards on 48 catches and three touchdowns.
The senior quarterback Flynn threw for 2,233 yards on 332 attempts and scored 17 touchdowns this past season.
Ohio State has won 30 of its last 32 games.
The Buckeyes have the No. 1 ranked defense in the nation allowing 10.7 points per game.
On two occasions, Perriloux replaced Flynn when the verteran signal caller was sidelined with injuries.
Quarterback Todd Boeckman was a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award.
Wins over Michigan 14-3 and Michigan State 24-17 were highlights of the year.
The only Buckeye loss came at the hands of Illinois 28-21.
Last season, Ohio State lost to Florida in the BCS title game 41-14.
Ohio State is the only Big Ten representative to play for the national championship since the BCS inception in 1998.
Ohio State defensive tackle Nader Abdallah is the only Louisiana player on the squad.