It looked like clock-management snafu 2.0 for Les Miles.
Fifteen seconds and no timeouts on the 3-yard line. There was confusion on the field for the LSU offense. They needed to spike the ball, yet quarterback Jordan Jefferson looked back at the sideline in utter confusion.
Players were running on and off the field and 90,000 fans were screaming for something, anything to happen.
Jefferson finally runs back to the shotgun and hikes the ball. The snap is bad! Jefferson has to scramble to pounce on the ball but it’s too late. Zero seconds. The game is over. The Tennessee Volunteers had pulled off the upset in Death Valley.
But wait … there’s a flag on the field.
Tennessee had too many players on defense. Replay third down. There’s a mad scene on the field as officials try to get the players back on their respective sides and Vols coach Derek Dooley is about ready to explode.
LSU takes the field and runs a toss play to running back Stevan Ridley. It’s a touchdown. LSU wins 16-14.
Not 2 minutes before, the Tennessee sideline was celebrating with the utmost jubilation. Now, a stunned look of helplessness casts a shadow over Dooley’s team.
Even if you hate the Vols, your heart has to go out to them. Dooley has undertaken one of the hardest jobs in the country and was thisclose to winning his first SEC game in one of the toughest places to play in the country.
“It’s just another week in the SEC,” says Miles after the game.
It’s also one of the luckiest.