POSTED: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 11:12pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 9:50pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — As the final seconds clicked off the scoreboard in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday night, LSU fans watched in shock as the Tigers suffered their first defeat of the season and perhaps the most devastating loss in the programs history.
LSU’s storybook season was almost complete. The Tigers overcame adversity time and time again, both on the field and off. It looked as though nothing could stop Les Miles from winning his second BCS title. That script, the final chapter, must have gotten lost in the mix in the month LSU had to prepare for Alabama.
Final Score: LSU 0, Alabama 21
Total Yards: LSU 92, Alabama 384
First Downs: LSU 5, Alabama 21
Quarterbacks: LSU - Jordan Jefferson - 52 yards passing, 1 interception, 1 fumble
Alabama - A.J. McCarron – 284 yards passing, no turnovers
No matter what stat you look at, LSU was the second best team on the field. Alabama made sure the scoreboard showed it this time, as opposed to the first time the two teams met on November 5th.
Will we ever know why senior quarterback Jarrett Lee never got a chance to see the field? Probably not. Was there something behind the scenes going on that media and fans don’t know about? We may never know. Don't blame Jordan Jefferson. He went out trying his best. It just wasn't nearly enough.
Miles says he wasn’t ready to throw Lee out to the vicious and stingy Alabama defense and their pass rush. Ironically, Miles wasn’t hesitant to put Lee on the field his redshirt freshman year in which he threw 16 interceptions. Miles stood on the sideline that year watching seven of those picks turn into touchdowns for the opposition.
When Jefferson was arrested and suspended just before the 2011 season. Miles went to Lee, hoping he could guide the team. He did, and did so admirably. I tip my hat off to Lee, a standup guy, who always stood in front of my camera and talked into my microphone no matter the situation.
Monday night just minutes following LSU’s loss he did the same. “I don’t know what the deal was,” Lee said. “I was prepared and just waiting on my opportunity.”
That opportunity never came.
This LSU team may be remembered most for their disappointing performance in the SEC title game, but there was much more to it.
They went 12-0 in the regular season. They were crowned Western Division and SEC Champions.
The Tigers beat eight ranked opponents. They took down three (#3 Oregon, #2 Alabama, #3 Arkansas) teams ranked in the top 3.
Unfortunately though, it may be the nightmare “Finish” that won’t sit well in their stomach.
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