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Friday, October 01, 2010

Dooley’s Tech teams better than his first Tennessee outfit

BATON ROUGE – The last time Derek Dooley directed a strong football team in Tiger Stadium it was LSU back in 2004.

Former LSU head coach Nick Saban used to appoint two of his assistants as head coaches of the two LSU teams for the annual spring game. Dooley, a running backs coach, had added assistant head coach to his title after the 2003 national championship and got one of the teams. Jimbo Fisher, LSU’s offensive coordinator, had the other one. Saban stood at midfield during the game.

Bent on establishing toughness on the offensive line, which lost starters Stephen Peterman and Rodney Reed from the ’03 team, the rising young son of Georgia legendary coach Vince Dooley kept calling runs up the middle after a first-and-goal situation inside the 3-yard line. Run after run failed. Finally on fourth down, Dooley yelled for his squad to, “Go for it.” Then Saban yelled louder from midfield, “Hey Vince, you don’t have Herschel Walker in the backfield.”

Dooley laughed hysterically. It was a rare glimpse of Nick Saban - stand-up comedian. Dooley will likely find no reason to laugh today when he coaches a Tennessee team that may not be better than the Louisiana Tech teams he brought to Tiger Stadium in 2007 and 2009. No. 10 LSU (4-0, 2-0 SEC) hosts Tennessee (2-2, 0-1 SEC) at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.

Dooley became a head coach like his father before him less than three years after that scrimmage when Tech hired him, largely because of his connection with Saban's name. In ’07, his Tech team lost 58-10 at LSU, which went on to win the national title while the Bulldogs finished 5-7. Dooley had a breakthrough season in '08 in Ruston, going 8-5 with an Independence Bowl, but he didn’t get the chance to play LSU, which went 8-5 in a breakdown season.

Dooley’s '09 Tech team finished just 4-8 but it played LSU well, losing 24-16. Tech led 13-10 at the half and was within 17-13 midway in the fourth quarter. Tech outgained LSU 322-246 as LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee completed 7 of 22 for 105 yards in place of the injured Jordan Jefferson. Had Dooley's defensive backs knew how to catch, he may have won. He won't have a chance today.

Poor recruiting by Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer in his final seasons – 35th nationally in 2008 and 23rd in 2006 – has taken its toll. Coach Lane Kiffin leaving after one season in 2009 did not help either. Dooley had to kick off several players for disciplinary reasons. At the moment, Rocky Top has its worst football team since Johnny Majors went 5-6 in 1988. LSU will have no trouble winning tonight whether it passes well or not.


1.PATRICK PETERSON ON OFFENSE – This is going to be fun. LSU coach Les Miles revealed Wednesday that Peterson has been practicing on offense since early this season. This is the perfect game to let the Heisman hopeful play tailback, receiver and Wild Tiger quarterback. It’s on CBS and LSU should win easily enough to let Peterson do just about anything in addition to playing cornerback and returning kicks. Maybe he can throw a pass to himself.

2.MORE THAN 100 YARDS PASSING - LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson will surpass the century mark for the first time since the opener. Alleluia! Tennessee is among the worst in the SEC in pass defense.

3.MORE OR LESS BOOING OF LES – LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has asked Tiger fans not to boo today in light of the scene late in last week’s game as Jefferson and the offense stumbled around.

“Tiger Stadium is at its best when it roars as one voice in support of the Tigers,” Alleva wrote in a letter to fans on LSU’s website Friday. “But when some are vocally disapproving of our own players or coaches, it is detrimental on many levels. It impacts the morale of the players. It reflects poorly on our reputation. It sends a poor message of sportsmanship to the young people in the crowd , and it delivers a negative message to recruits in attendance.”

Can it also lower ticket prices?

4.MORE THAN 200 YARDS RUSHING – Tennessee is also one of the SEC’s worst at defending the run.

5.TRAFFIC – Don’t get caught in it and miss kickoff of No. 1 Alabama and No. 7 Florida at 7 on CBS.

PREDICTION: LSU 31, Tennessee 6.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Saturday that we all have been looking for.
If Saban beats Florida,Alabama will start cursing like there is no tomorrow.
Who said,"That Fame is Fleeting."
LSU has been slipping down hill slowly,because the LSU football program was at a high talent level.
Now today, the LSU football team is playing football game beside a cliff of death.
Les Miles was the wrong man...I think in the next weeks, to come, LSU will start losing...And the thousand of people who were mad before at 4-0,will just stop caring any more.
I seem to feel to,neither will you.
Americans like winners.

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guilbeau is a decent writer ... but a poor predictor re: his 5 things to look for. He was proved wrong today - Lee did get quality playing time, and he was better than Jefferson.
He was right, though - Ridley is the man. But Ridley was a terrible choice for a fade route.
He is also wrong - LSU will not win a big game w/o a passing threat. Lee may be the answer, but he's still a risk.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am speechless,Les Miles is really a escaped mental person, tell the LSU people, that he is a college football coach..And LSU believe him..I feel sorry, for every thing LSU..Wow!!!

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can we help...Three million Louisiana people, at $5.00 a head=$ 15,000,000 million dollars.
And buy the bum out!!!

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is to late for tears, tiger fans,the people running LSU are incompetent.
LSU Les Miles, is a public embarrassment,and there is noting any one can do about it.
unless a rich, LSU supporter behind the sens, pays off Les Miles, and LSU can start over.

1:56 PM  

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