LSU Comeback Was Epic Battle

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Comebacks Now In Vogue

By John Ventola

What a week! Local college and professional football teams were involved in epic, comeback battles before emerging victorious, seemingly setting a pattern that would carry over to other top professional football and baseball games.

Comebacks in athletics seemed to be everywhere in the last six days.

First, and I dare say, foremost, was the unbelievable comeback by LSU as it defeated

LSU

LSU Comeback Best Ever Against Quality Opponet

Auburn 27-23 Saturday. This blogger has witnessed many games in Tiger Stadium since my first one in 1954, but never have I seen the Tigers mount such a turnaround against a quality opponent. Sure, I can remember a Kevin Faulk-led rally in the late ‘90s against a marginal opponent, but this was against the 10th ranked team in the country.

In a post last Friday, I wrote that the LSU-Auburn contest would determine if the Baton Rouge breed of Tigers rallied for the remainder of the season after disappointing losses earlier to Mississippi State and Troy. Kudos to Coach Ed Orgeron and his staff for not panicking when LSU fell behind Auburn 20-0 early in the second quarter. However, the entire roster is to be congratulated for not “throwing in the towel” and digging deep for superlative efforts in all aspects of the game.

It does not mean they are ready for Alabama quite yet, but the heart (have to admit that I sensed that ‘one heartbeat’ phrase as the Bengals rallied to victory) and ability to stay the course were really outstanding. Where some athletes—–even at the college level—-might play tentatively and just try to not get hurt, LSU players fed off each other, encouraging teammates to make big play after big play.

Young offensive linemen kept a talented Auburn group off Danny Etling long enough to allow him to hit DJ Chark with a short hitch pattern late in the second quarter (Chark sidestepped a defencer to turn it into a big gain down the sideline), and then throw a

SEC

Chark, Gage, and Defense Lead Way

beautiful touchdown pass to a diving Russell Gage in the corner of the end zone (yeah, that is when I first felt that heartbeat).

Chark’s scintillating touchdown punt return made the comeback reachable and caused some Auburn coaches to look around and hit “Les Miles-mode” (try not to lose, instead of trying to win). Question? Can anyone who saw the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s game say they envisioned Auburn only completing TWO passes in the entire second half.

Helluva comeback. It was great to watch, even though the hot afternoon and early Auburn onslaught proved to make things uncomfortable early. Must admit, I rubbed it in to some “fair weather” Tiger fans who left early because of the “extreme heat” and missed probably the greatest LSU comeback ever.

The next day, the New Orleans Saints rushed out to a 45-10 lead, suddenly finding the offense that has slowly disappeared after the Super Bowl victory in 2009. Then another comeback, one not cheered by Louisianans in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, was

drew

Drew On Money But Cam Snuffs Comeback

unleashed by visiting Detroit. The Lions scored four touchdowns to cut the Saints’ margin to 45-38 before Cam Jordan duplicated the effort of a Detroit defender only minutes earlier, batting a pass and stepping into end zone with the interception. The touchdown clinched the Saints third consecutive victory.

Comeback weekend for LSU and New Orleans. Fortunate that the Saturday version had enough steam to finish off the contest with two late, clutch field goals, and Sunday’s edition had a Cam that gave a Dam to stuff out that one. Two tremendous victories—hopefully it will lead to better things for both teams going forward.

While football (at least the two biggies in Louisiana) were comeback dominated last weekend, major league baseball (perhaps enjoying an uptick in popularity due to the NFL’s “kneeling” pattern) decided to keep the mo-jo generated by last year’s Cubs World Series victory (remember, their comeback was overcoming a 3-1 Series lead by Cleveland), and the New York Yankees and Houston Astros are each playing comeback baseball while

baseball

Verlander Keeps Astros Comeback Alive

enjoying their individual home ballparks as they head into a deciding seventh game for the American League pennant.

Houston took the first two games (each 2-1 wins) at home before the Yankees rallied and took three straight at Yankee Stadium, shutting down a usually potent Astros offense while discovering their own swagger at home.

Did the Astros fly home and go through the motions last night? Of course not, it is comeback week. Houston 7, New York 1.

Might be wishful thinking on my part, but since the comeback syndrome seems to be benefitting mostly Deep South teams, I predict the Astros will win their first AL pennant Saturday (their 2005 pennant was when they were a member of the National League).

A fitting comeback, for a team—-and a city that deserves some good things as it recovers from summer flooding that devastated the area.

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ByJohn


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