Monday, November 17, 2008
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LSU comes back from 28 points down to beat Troy

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[November 17, 2008]  BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU roared back from 28 points down to beat Troy, completing the biggest comeback in school history when Charles Scott scored with 4:50 left to put 19th-ranked LSU ahead for good in a 40-31 win Saturday night.

RestaurantTroy went up 31-3 midway through the third, but LSU (7-3) answered with a touchdown late in the quarter and then ran off 30 points in the fourth to avoid an embarrassing loss.

LSU had touchdowns on three consecutive possessions to cut Troy's lead to 31-24 with 10:33 left.

The go-ahead score was set up when a punt bounced off the leg of Troy's Jorrick Calvin and the Tigers recovered at the Trojans' 16. Scott scored four plays later in front of a two-thirds empty Tiger Stadium.

The Tigers led 33-31 after Scott scored and Colt David missed the kick. Quinn Johnson scored his second touchdown with about two minutes left to finally put the Trojans at a safe distance.

Levi Brown completed 34 of 72 passes for 312 yards and two TDs for Troy (6-4), which scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and was seeking its second victory against an SEC team. LSU avoided its first loss to a Sun Belt team in 33 games.


The comeback started when true freshman quarterback Jordan Jefferson touched the pylon on a fourth-down bootleg to cut the deficit to 31-10 with 1:26 left in the third quarter. As the Tigers gathered momentum, Brandon LaFell caught a 33-yard touchdown pass at the 14:00 mark of the fourth quarter and fullback Johnson followed with a score from the 1.

LaFell had career highs with 12 receptions and 126 yards. Jarrett Lee, booed and benched for Jefferson in the first half, returned at the start of the second and finished with 20 completions in 34 attempts for 216 yards.

Brown threw for just 26 yards in the fourth quarter. He threw incomplete on fourth-and-1 from the LSU 40 with Troy protecting a 31-17 lead.

Nothing in the first half indicated LSU would come back in the second. Troy drove 88 yards on 16 plays for a touchdown the first time it had the ball, then scored another touchdown on its second series.

[to top of second column]

The Tigers failed to pick up a first down on five consecutive series after Colt David's 52-yard field goal cut the deficit to 7-3. During that futile stretch, Lee had an interception returned for a touchdown for the seventh time this season, with linebacker Terrence Moore returning an easy pick 22 yards for a 24-3 lead.

The game was supposed to be played Sept. 6 before Hurricane Gustav blew through Baton Rouge, postponing it more than two months. The Tigers, coming off a disheartening overtime loss to Alabama, committed a litany of mental mistakes.

LSU's offense and defense were penalized once each illegal substitutions in the first quarter. Trindon Holliday tried to field a bouncing punt, let it slip through his hands and barely recovered the ball before getting swarmed.

The last play of the first half summed up the first 30 minutes. With LSU trailing 24-3, Miles elected to let the clock run down to 3 seconds on fourth-and-1 from the 24 and attempt a 42-yard field goal, but holder Brady Dalfrey dropped the snap.

Fans began leaving the stadium soon afterward, missing a spectacular finish. LSU's biggest comeback at home had been 20 points, when the Tigers rallied from a 34-14 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Houston 35-34 in 1996.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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