What a confusing, disappointing game from start to finish. LSU looked awful most of the game. Ole Miss owned the stat sheet. Dexter McCluster had his way with the LSU defense. And yet LSU could have won the football game. It's hard to describe to someone who didn't watch the game how unlikely an LSU win would've been. And yet they almost did win. You, know. Except for the WTF moment at the end.
There's so much to talk about in this game. The refs played a role - again. LSU's defense gave up big yardage and could not get to the QB - again. Jordan Jefferson reprised his role as heart-breakingly close to being an SEC QB but not quite - again. Lafell dropped passes - again. And Les Miles and his coaches could not avoid looking unorganized and incapable of handling the clock in the clutch - again.
Ole Miss deserved to win this football game. They dominated both sides of the football. But they made mistakes. And LSU, for much of the game, capitalized on those mistakes just enough to stay within striking distance. The last mistake - McCluster letting an onside kick go past him and right into Lafell's hands - could have lost the game for them. Except. For. Coaching. Confusion.
There is no way Coach Miles can avoid taking the blame for this loss. On multiple levels. But primarily for waiting almost 20 seconds to call an obvious timeout. For letting the clock wind down from 27 to 9 seconds after a sack took the Tigers out of field goal range on third and long. There is just no excuse.
The result: an improbable completion for a first down, inside the 20 with no timeouts and the clock stopped with :01 left. In college, the clock starts again as soon as the chains move and the ref blows the whistle. And Coach Miles wasn't ready. The FG team wasn't on the field. Jordan Jefferson didn't take the snap until time expired. And he tried to spike the ball anyway, which wouldn't have worked with :01 seconds left.
Some idiots on the message boards are already foaming at the mouth, calling for firing Coach Miles, etc.
But, Coach Miles - WTF was that? You have to accept responsibility for that loss on your own shoulders. Those kids, some of them playing hurt, gave the team a chance to win a very improbable victory. And the 18 seconds or so that just drained off the clock for no apparent reason were the root cause of their failure.
I'm not all that surprised by the loss. I have maintained from season's start that this was a 9-3, maybe 8-4 team in the regular season. Mostly because of big changes on the OL and troubles at QB.
What I am surprised at is that the coaches are the ones losing football games.
As for Gary Crowton and the offense. The stats speak for themselves. The playcalling has been consistently ineffective all season. The talent is being misused. Russell Shepard has been wasted for all intents and purposes other than a year of experience running into defensive traps. Honestly, I can't see how Crowton stays. His only defense is that LSU has not had an SEC caliber QB all year. It's a weak defense. I smell some changes at offensive coordinator.