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"Lucky Les" is the Luckiest Coach in America

"Lucky Les" sure is Lucky
Photo via cfbexaminer

Les Miles is the luckiest coach alive.

I am not the only person who agrees with that statement.

When the clock struck zero for the first time, LSU fell to 4-1 in the season. The Tennessee Volunteers pulled the upset of the day in college football. Derek Dooley pulled of his signature win in front of the fifth largest crowd in the history of Tiger Stadium.   

But only Les Miles gets a second chance for the clock to run out.

The Tigers, like they did versus Ole Miss last year, had problems managing the clock when it mattered most. LSU had first and goal on the Vols two-yard line with 36 seconds remaining.

On the first play, Miles attempted a play action pass on first down with Jarrett Lee that fell incomplete. Lee said after the game the ball was targeted for Rueben Randle.

On second down, Miles subbed in struggling Jordan Jefferson to play quarterback. His number was called to the right side, where he was stopped at the one-yard line.

Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.    

Instead of clocking the football to stop the clock, LSU subbed out their goal line personnel for there three wide receiver set. The transition took an eternity, where the final seconds started clicking off the clock.

Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.

As time was running out, LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard said the play of the game was made. And the play he’s talking about was actually a miscue.

Center T-Bob Hebert snapped the football past Jefferson, resulting in a six yard loss. Time expires, and LSU losses another heart breaker.

Players rushed the field, game is over and Dooley runs a 4.3 forty off the field after shaking Miles’ hand.

But only the luckiest coach in America gets a second chance when he did not deserve one.

Tennessee had too many men on the field. Well I guess it’s better for me to say “two” many men on the field.

Because LSU changed personnel during the “first final play,” Tennessee failed to get organized on defense. The Vols had 13 men on the field when Jefferson missed the snap.

The next play, Stevan Ridley, who has cemented himself as the Tigers’ best offensive player so far this year, finished off a sweep to the left side for the game winning touchdown.

Later this week, I will explain why Ridley’s first five games should have him in the running for the Heisman trophy.

The reason why I waited to post this column is because I wanted to be able to attend the “Lunch with Les” conference. Miles took a brunt of the responsibility for LSU’s finish in the fourth quarter.”

“It’s my job to correct the management of the clock,” said Miles. When asked about what was different between this game and the fiasco versus Ole Miss last season, Miles said, “Use a down, not give up a down. That was not the mistake made at Ole Miss.”

But what really irritates me is the amount of pure luck he had in the final series. 

Let's start with personnel. We all know the personnel switching caused confusion for the Vols, which forced them to have 13 men on the field.  

Hebert saved the day for LSU
Photo via
That's not near as lucky as regular starting center P.J. Lonergan hurting his non-snapping hand earlier in the game. If that doesn't happen, Hebert doesn't enter the game at center. If he isn't in, I doubt the ball ever gets snapped. He admitted after the game he didn't want another Ole Miss to happen.

That is sooooo lucky. Unbelievably lucky. So freaking freaking lucky beyond luckiness lucky. And their is soooooo much more luckiness I can talk about, but I just don't have the time.

Hebert told me today at player interviews that sometimes "It is better to be lucky than good." Certainly in this case, that is the truth. 

5-0. Miles gets another victory. He goes in to Gainesville next Saturday to play the Florida Gators. 

If people live by the phrase "a win is a win," then "Lucky Les" is your type of a guy.   


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