College Football

Buckeyes or Tigers? On Monday we’ll find out….

Alex Ferguson previews Monday’s college football National Championship Game between LSU and Ohio State… THIS SEASON…    

Has been a rollercoaster one for both 11-1 Ohio State and 10-2 LSU. While Ohio State went through much of the college football season with people questioning their high ranking because of a lack of opposition, the Buckeyes proved how good they really were by destroying Penn State 37-7 on the road. Although they lost to Illinois at home to ruin their own unbeaten season, they came back by beating Michigan 14-3 – again away from the friendly confines of Columbus, Ohio.
For LSU, this season was breathless. Although they started well by destroying both Mississippi State and Virginia Tech, the middle of the season was breathless. After losing in triple overtime to Kentucky, the Tigers squeaked by Florida, Auburn and Alabama before losing yet another triple overtime game, this time to Arkansas. But thanks to the relative parity in the SEC, the Tigers still reached the SEC Championship, where they beat Tennessee 21-14.


LSU seem to have the advantage, bearing in mind they’ve got two competent quarterbacks in fifth-year senior quarterback Matt Flynn and sophomore Ryan Perrilloux, who combined for nearly 3,000 yards and 25 Touchdowns. Perrilloux’s pretty nifty with his feet, too, putting up 200 yards rushing.
The quarterbacks will certainly be helped by the excellent Early Doucet, Demetrius and Brandon LaFell – who will all go to the NFL.
Rushing-wise, Jacob Hester scored the winning touchdown against Florida, and has been one of the centers of LSU’s success this year, pounding for over 1,000 yards and 11 TDs. Speedsters Keiland Williams and Trinton Williams provide the “lightning” to LSU’s “Thunder”, and Ohio State will be on the ropes trying to stop the trio.
For Ohio State, junior Todd Boeckman’s been sensational at the helm of the Buckeyes, throwing for over 2,000 yards and 23 TDs. He’s helped by skilled receivers in Brians Robiskie and Hartline, while Ray Small and Jake Ballard have also been admirable.
However, the Buckeyes depend on a strong running game – which they have thanks to Chris and Maurice Wells, who caused defenses non-stop problems, running for over 2,000 yards and 17 TDs total.  If Chris Wells doesn’t fumble for 60 minutes – something he’s struggled with for most of the year – LSU will be hard pushed to stop him.

EDGE: LSU….just


Ohio State were the best team in the NCAA in terms of giving up yards, giving up only 15 touchdowns all season long.
James Laurinitis, Vernon Gholston, Larry Grant and Marcus Freeman are all fearsome defenders for a Buckeyes defense that was miserly in terms of giving up yards and touchdowns, ranking best in both categories.
And although LSU was third in the nation in the categories, the Tigers never really recovered from an injury to defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey in the win against Auburn was key for the Tigers, who never really recovered. Craig Steltz, Chevis Jackson and Jonathon Jackson grabbed 21 interceptions, but that belies the fact that the speed of SEC receivers proved problematic for the Tigers throughout the year.



LSU’s Trinton Holliday, who returns kicks for the Tigers, can run the 100m in around 10 secs, and scares the daylights out of opposition coaches and fans alike when he grabs the ball and runs. If Ohio State manage to kick the ball away from him all night, then the Buckeyes should win the field position battle. If not, then LSU will live in the Buckeyes’ side of the field.
OSU’s Brian Hartline is a pretty useful punt returner for the Buckeyes, too.



Ohio State will be looking for revenge on the SEC after losing the 2007 National Championship Game to Florida last January……..After losing two games in overtime, LSU will want to show why they were ranked as one of the country’s top teams at the start of the year……LSU are playing New Orleans, just a stone’s throw away from their home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana…

PREDICTION: LSU 38, Ohio State 31

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