Miscues Hinder Yellow Jackets in Chick-fil-a Bowl Loss
Dec. 31, 2008
ATLANTA (AP) -- Charles Scott ran for three touchdowns and LSU took advantage of Georgia Tech's special teams mistakes in a 38-3 victory win over the Yellow Jackets in the Chick-fil-a Bowl on Wednesday night.
LSU outscored the No. 14 Yellow Jackets 28-0 in the second quarter and led 35-3 at halftime. Scott, who had 65 yards rushing, had two touchdowns in the decisive quarter.
A year after winning the national championship, LSU (8-5) lost three of its last four regular-season games but regrouped for its dominant bowl victory.
The biggest special teams plays all fell in LSU's favor. LSU recovered an onside kick and a Georgia Tech fumbled punt return and made a fourth-down stop on the Yellow Jackets' surprising fake punt from Tech's 22.
LSU turned the fumbled punt and stop on the fake punt into quick touchdowns while outscoring Georgia Tech 28-0 in the second quarter.
As if to affirm its mastery of special teams, LSU pulled off a successful fake punt in the fourth quarter, with punter Brady Dalfrey running for 21 yards for the first down. LSU led 38-3 when coach Les Miles called for the fake, and Georgia Tech fans booed the decision.
Georgia Tech (9-4) was denied its first 10-win season since 1998.
The Yellow Jackets lost three turnovers, including a fumble by quarterback Josh Nesbitt on a fourth-down run from the LSU 10 with 2:37 remaining.
LSU freshman quarterback Jordan Jefferson, making only his second start, was 16 of 25 passing for 142 yards and a touchdown. Jefferson, who completed his first nine passes, added nine carries for 33 yards.
Scott scored on runs of 1, 2 and 4 yards. Backup tailback Keiland Williams added an 18-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left in the first half.
The Tigers' defense, a weakness most of the season, was rarely fooled by Georgia Tech's spread option attack.
Nesbitt completed a pass to top running back Jonathan Dwyer for 40 yards on the Yellow Jackets' first play, but that was the only first down of the opening drive.
The Yellow Jackets held the ball for 13 plays on their next drive, but LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson deflected a third-down pass for Demaryius Thomas from the Tigers' 7. Georgia Tech had to settle for Scott Blair's 24-yard field goal after holding the ball for more than 7 minutes.
Blair's opening kickoff for Georgia Tech bounced out of bounds, setting the stage for the Yellow Jackets' special teams problems.
After Scott's second touchdown run gave LSU a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter, the Tigers recovered Josh Jasper's onside kick. Stefoin Francois recovered the ball at the LSU 45.
LSU had to punt four plays later, but Andrew Smith fumbled the punt at the Georgia Tech 19. Ron Brooks recovered for the Tigers, setting up Scott's third touchdown run for a 21-3 lead.
Georgia Tech attempted a fake punt on a fourth-and-8 play from its 22, but defensive end Derrick Morgan gained only 2 yards.
Only two plays later, Jefferson completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Richard Dickson.
The three touchdowns gave Scott 18 for the season, one behind LaBrandon Toefield's school-record 19 in 2001.
Colt David's 53-yard field goal late in the third quarter was the longest in the bowl's history.
Nesbitt completed a 47-yard pass to Marcus Wright, leaving the Georgia Tech at the LSU 16 as the third quarter ended. The Yellow Jackets couldn't take advantage of the big play, as Nesbitt was sacked by Lazarius Levingston on fourth down from the 13.
Nesbitt was 8-for-24 passing for 150 yards with an interception.
The Tigers improved to 5-0 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, including a similarly lopsided 40-3 win over Miami in the 2005 game.