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December 26, 2012

Quite a run for Tigers

On New Year's Eve in the Georgia Dome, LSU will square off against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

For the 13th consecutive season, the Tigers will be participating in a bowl game. Only six schools have a longer streak - Florida State at 31, Florida at 22, Virginia Tech at 20, Georgia and Georgia Tech at 16 and Oklahoma at 14.

It seems like a long time ago when LSU supporters were celebrating a trip to the 1995 Independence Bowl in Shreveport. There was a simple reason - no postseason appearances for the Tigers in the previous six years.

In fact, before the current streak began in 2000, LSU had participated in just three bowl games in 11 seasons - Independence Bowl in 1995 and 1997 and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in 1996. The Tigers won all three games under coach Gerry DiNardo.

Nick Saban was the coach for the first five years in the present streak with LSU winning three times - against Georgia Tech in the 2000 Chick-fil-A Bowl, Illinois in the 2001 Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma in the 2003 national title game.

Under coach Les Miles, the Tigers have continued the bowl streak with five victories in seven games. The two defeats have come in the past three seasons - against Penn State in the 2009 Capital One Bowl and Alabama in the 2011 national championship game.

In this span of 12 years, LSU has appeared in three national title games - winning against Oklahoma in 2003 and Ohio State in 2007. The Tigers won BCS bowl games in New Orleans against Illinois in 2001 and Notre Dame in 2006.

Only three games have been decided by fewer than 14 points. LSU defeated Oklahoma 21-14 in the 2003 national championship game and lost 30-25 to Iowa in the 2004 Capital One Bowl and 19-17 to Penn State in the 2009 Capital One Bowl.

Here is a review of these 12 LSU bowl games.

2000 season
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Atlanta, Ga.
LSU 28, Georgia Tech 14 - December 29, 2000

Skinny - Rohan Davey replaced an ineffective Josh Booty at quarterback and led the Tigers on a second-half rally which wiped out a 14-3 deficit. Davey threw touchdown passes of nine yards to Josh Reed and three yards to Tommy Banks. John Corbello kicked three field goals. Georgia Tech committed six turnovers.

Statistical leaders
LaBrandon Toefield - 22 carries, 78 yards
Rohan Davey - 25 attempts, 17 completions, 174 yards, 3 touchdowns
Josh Reed - 9 catches, 96 yards, 1 touchdown
Damien James - 8 tackles
Trev Faulk - 8 tackles
Bradie James - 2 fumble recoveries

Offensive MVP - Rohan Davey
Defensive MVP - Bradie James


2001 season
Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, La.
LSU 47, Illinois 34 - January 1, 2002

Skinny - Rohan Davey turned in another spectacular performance as the Tigers jumped to a 34-7 first-half lead. Davey passed for nearly 450 yards and three touchdowns, while Josh Reed had almost 240 receiving yards. Domanick Davis ran for more than 120 yards and four touchdowns. Davis also accounted for nearly 140 yards in kickoff and punt returns.

Statistical leaders
Domanick Davis - 28 carries, 122 yards, 4 touchdowns
Rohan Davey - 53 attempts, 31 completions, 444 yards, 3 touchdowns
Josh Reed - 14 catches, 239 yards, 2 touchdowns
Trev Faulk - 7 tackles
Ryan Clark - 5 tackles, 2 pass breakups, 1 sack

MVP - Rohan Davey

2002 season
Cotton Bowl at Dallas, Tex.
Texas 35, LSU 20 - January 1, 2003

Skinny - The Tigers had jumped out to a 17-7 second-quarter lead, but the Longhorns answered with four consecutive touchdowns. Chris Simms threw two touchdown passes, while Roy Williams caught a touchdown pass and ran for a touchdown. Marcus Randall completed less than 50 percent of his passes.

Statistical leaders
Domanick Davis - 13 carries, 85 yards
Marcus Randall - 45 attempts, 19 completions, 193 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Michael Clayton - 6 catches, 88 yards
Jack Hunt - 7 tackles
Bradie James - 7 tackles
Lionel Turner - 7 tackles
Corey Webster - 3 pass breakups, 2 tackles


2003 season
National championship game at New Orleans, La.
LSU 21, Oklahoma 14 - January 4, 2004

Skinny - The Tigers defense shut down the Sooners, who finished with just 154 yards of offense. LSU took the lead for good at 14-7 on an 18-yard touchdown run by Justin Vincent in the second quarter. Marcus Spears returned a pass interception 20 yards for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown in the third quarter. Jason White completed just 13 of 35 passes for 102 yards.

Statistical leaders
Justin Vincent - 16 carries, 117 yards, 1 touchdown
Matt Mauck - 22 attempts, 13 completions, 124 yards, 2 interceptions
Michael Clayton - 4 catches, 38 yards
Lionel Turner - 9 tackles, 2 sacks
Eric Alexander - 8 tackles, 1 tackle-for-loss
Melvin Oliver - 4 tackles, 2 tackles-for-loss, 1 sack, 1 pass breakup

MVP - Justin Vincent

2004 season
Capital One Bowl at Orlando, Fla.
Iowa 30, LSU 25 - January 1, 2005

Skinny - After rallying from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit, the Tigers allowed a game-winning touchdown on the last play of coach Nick Saban's final game as coach. Two JaMarcus Russell to Skyler Green touchdown passes put LSU ahead 25-24 with 46 seconds remaining. But, the Hawkeyes drove 71 yards in three plays for the winning touchdown. Drew Tate combined with Warren Holloway for a 56-yard scoring pass.

Statistical leaders
Alley Broussard - 13 carries, 109 yards, 1 touchdown
JaMarcus Russell - 15 attempts, 12 completions, 128 yards, 2 touchdowns
Dwayne Bowe - 8 catches, 122 yards
Travis Daniels - 7 tackles
Lionel Turner - 7 tackles
Kenneth Hollis - 5 tackles, 3 tackles-for-loss, 2 sacks


2005 season
Chick-fil-A Bowl at Atlanta, Ga.
LSU 40, Miami 3 - December 30, 2005

Skinny - The Tigers dominated the Hurricanes from start to finish. LSU scored 17 consecutive points in the second quarter to take a 20-3 halftime lead. In the second quarter, Matt Flynn threw touchdown passes of 81 yards to Craig Davis and four yards to Joe Addai. Chris Jackson kicked one of his four field goals in the second quarter. The Tigers gained 468 yards, while they held Miami to 153 yards. Flynn started at quarterback since JaMarcus Russell was injured.

Statistical leaders
Joe Addai - 24 carries, 130 yards, 1 touchdown
Matt Flynn - 22 attempts, 13 completions, 196 yards, 2 touchdowns
Craig Davis - 5 catches, 99 yards, 1 touchdown
Melvin Oliver - 5 tackles, 2 tackles-for-loss
Ali Highsmith - 5 tackles

Offensive MVP - Matt Flynn
Defensive MVP - Melvin Oliver

2006 season
Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, La.
LSU 41, Notre Dame 14 - January 3, 2007

Skinny - JaMarcus Russell thoroughly outplayed Brady Quinn in a battle of two highly-touted quarterbacks. Russell passed for more than 330 yards and two touchdowns, while Quinn completed just 15 of 35 passes for less than 150 yards with two interceptions. The Tigers snapped a 14-14 tie on a five-yard scoring run by Russell late in the second quarter. LSU pulled away in the third quarter on two field goals by Colt David and a 58-yard touchdown pass from Russell to Brandon LaFell. The Tigers finished with 577 yards of offense.

Statistical leaders
Keiland Williams - 14 carries, 107 yards, 2 touchdowns
JaMarcus Russell - 34 attempts, 21 completions, 332 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Early Doucet - 8 catches, 115 yards
Chevis Jackson - 6 tackles, 1 pass breakup
LaRon Landry - 6 tackles, 1 interception
Jonathan Zenon - 2 tackles, 2 pass breakups, 1 interception

MVP - JaMarcus Russell


2007 season
National championship game at New Orleans, La.
LSU 38, Ohio State 24 - January 7, 2008

Skinny - The Tigers spotted the Buckeyes ten first-quarter points before roaring for a convincing victory to capture their second national title in five seasons. LSU scored 31 straight points to seize control of the game by the middle of the third quarter. During that stretch, Matt Flynn threw touchdown passes to three different receivers - Richard Dickson, Brandon LaFell and Early Doucet. Jacob Hester ran for a touchdown and Colt David kicked a field goal.

Statistical leaders
Jacob Hester - 21 carries, 86 yards, 1 touchdown
Matt Flynn - 27 attempts, 19 completions, 174 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception
Early Doucet - 7 catches, 51 yards, 1 touchdown
Ali Highsmith - 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Kirston Pittman - 7 tackles, 1 sack
Ricky Jean-Francois - 6 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, .5 sack, 1 blocked kick, 1 quarterback-hurry

Offensive MVP - Matt Flynn
Defensive MVP - Ricky Jean-Francois


2008 season
Chick-fil-A Bowl at Atlanta, Ga.
LSU 38, Georgia Tech 3 - December 31, 2008

Skinny - A Tigers defense, which had struggled during the final month of the regular season, came up big against the Yellow Jackets' triple-option attack. Sparked by linebacker Perry Riley, who made 11 tackles, LSU kept Georgia Tech out of the end zone all night. The Tigers scored 28 second-quarter points to take a 35-3 lead into halftime. In the second-quarter outburst, Charles Scott ran for two touchdowns, Jordan Jefferson hooked up with Richard Dickson on a scoring pass and Keiland Williams had a touchdown run.

Statistical leaders
Charles Scott - 15 carries, 65 yards, 3 touchdowns
Jordan Jefferson - 25 attempts, 16 completions, 142 yards, 1 touchdown
Richard Dickson - 4 catches, 50 yards, 1 touchdown
Perry Riley - 11 tackles, 1 tackle-for-loss
Kelvin Sheppard - 6 tackles
Tyson Jackson - 2 tackles-for-loss

Offensive MVP - Jordan Jefferson
Defensive MVP - Perry Riley

2009 season
Capital One Bowl at Orlando, Fla.
Penn State 19, LSU 17 - January 1, 2010

Skinny - It was a bad dream revisited for the Tigers. Five years earlier, LSU rallied in the fourth quarter only to lose to Iowa on the final play of the Capital One Bowl. Once again, the Tigers erased a double-digit deficit and lost in the last minute. Trailing 16-3, LSU went ahead on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Jefferson to Brandon LaFell and a one-yard scoring run by Stevan Ridley. But, the Nittany Lions put together a 12-play, 65-yard drive which culminated in a 21-yard field goal by Collin Wagner with 57 seconds left in the game. The contest was marred by a very sloppy field due to morning thunderstorms.

Statistical leaders
Stevan Ridley - 12 carries, 13 yards, 1 touchdown
Jordan Jefferson - 24 attempts, 13 completions, 202 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Terrence Toliver - 6 catches, 81 yards
Chad Jones - 8 tackles, 1 tackle-for-loss, 1 pass breakup, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked kick
Jacob Cutrera - 7 tackles, 1 sack
Danny McCray - 5 tackles, 2 pass breakups


2010 season
Cotton Bowl at Arlington, Tex.
LSU 41, Texas A&M 24 - January 7, 2011

Skinny - Jordan Jefferson hooked up with Terrence Toliver for touchdown passes of 42, 2 and 41 yards and both Stevan Ridley and Spencer Ware had 100-plus yard rushing games. The Tigers, who gained 446 yards, fell behind the Aggies 10-0. LSU then outscored Texas A&M 35-7 to assume a comfortable lead early in the third quarter. All three Jefferson-to-Toliver touchdown passes came during that stretch. Jefferson and Ridley also ran for touchdowns. Future first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill was picked off three times by true freshen - Tyrann Mathieu, Eric Reid and Tharold Simon.

Statistical leaders
Stevan Ridley - 24 carries, 105 yards, 1 touchdown
Jordan Jefferson - 19 attempts, 10 completions, 158 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception
Terrence Toliver - 5 catches, 112 yards, 3 touchdowns
Kelvin Sheppard - 8 tackles
Tyrann Mathieu - 7 tackles, 2 forced fumbles,1 interception, 1 pass breakup, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack
Eric Reid - 7 tackles, 1 interception

Offensive MVP - Terrence Toliver
Defensive MVP - Tyrann Mathieu


2011 season
National championship game at New Orleans, La.
Alabama 21, LSU 0 - January 9, 2012

Skinny - After upsetting the Crimson Tide during the regular season in Tuscaloosa, the Tigers had the misfortune of being matched up with the same team in the national title game. LSU had problems moving the football as it didn't cross midfield until the fourth quarter. The Tigers were held to 92 yards of offense. The LSU defense did a good job as it held Alabama out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter on a 34-yard Trent Richardson run. But, the Tide had built a 15-0 lead on five Jeremy Shelley field goals.

Statistical leaders
Kenny Hilliard - 5 carries, 16 yards
Jordan Jefferson - 17 attempts, 11 completions, 53 yards, 1 interception
Odell Beckham - 5 catches, 38 yards
Eric Reid - 11 tackles, 1 pass breakup
Michael Brockers - 7 tackles, .5 tackle-for-loss, 1 pass breakup
Bennie Logan - 6 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, 1 sack


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