Halftime: LSU 24, Ohio State 10
Almost a spitting image of last year's game, one that saw the Bucks jump on top of Florida with a kick return for a touchdown. Tonight, it was a 65-yard run by Beanie Wells, followed by a Ryan Pretorius field goal to make it 10-0. Panic, no. LSU used some trickery (unbalanced line) to get tight end Richard Dickson into the end zone, following a Colt David field goal, to tie it at 10. From there, it was practically all LSU.
Key play of the half: Ricky Jean-Francois blocking an Ohio State field goal that would have made it 13-10.
The Buckeyes had what seemed to be an emphatic answer to LSU's tying score, only to get bogged down in the red zone. Three points would have stemmed the tide for at least a short amount of time, but the defensive lineman who only saw his first action of the season in the SEC Championship Game had other ideas. From there, LSU made it 17-10 and a Chevis Jackson pick eventually led to the final points of the half, a Jacob Hester touchdown plunge.
Also, LSU caught a break when Chad Jones fumbled a punt deep in his own territory, only to have Harry Coleman save his hide by recovering it. Coleman was also the blitzer who forced the rushed throw that was picked off by Chevis Jackson.
Trend to keep an eye on in the second half: Bo Pellini calling blitz after blitz in obvious passing situations.
Todd Boeckman for the half was 6-13, 111 yards and 1 INT. The Tigers have been able to get pressure on Boeckman, forcing an interception, a fumble (recovered by Ohio State) and some rushed throws. The Buckeyes can afford to stick with the run at the start of the second half, but if they get any further behind, look for the LSU defense to pin its ears back and go pell-mell after Boeckman.
Only one key injury, and that was a stinger to S Craig Steltz. It's unknown at this point whether or not he'll be able to return.
Also, we haven't seen too much of Ryan Perrilloux, which makes me wonder if Gary Crowton has something up his sleeve for the opening drive of the third quarter, maybe an attempt at an early knockout blow. Ohio State has outgained LSU 234-197, due primarily to a couple of big plays. LSU has the edge in time of possession, first downs and most importantly, turnover margin.
One thing for each team to do in the second half:
Ohio State: Cut out the mental errors (penalties, turnovers).
LSU: Stop the run. If Beanie Wells is ineffective, this one could be over in a hurry.