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Texas Connection Leads LSU in 33-29 Victory, Tigers Now 6-0

Terrence Toliver LSU
Photo via Fox Sports
Does this shot remind you of the Byrd catch versus Auburn in '07?
Is LSU really atop the SEC West? Can Christopher Nolan write a script better than this season for LSU? Am I in "Limbo" right now? 

The answers are yes, no and maybe/probably so. But the only answer that matter is the first one, as the Tigers defeated the Florida Gators in "The Swamp" 33-29.

The Tigers move to 6-0 on the season, and will have McNesse State next Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. LSU moves up three spots in the AP Top 25 to No. 9, with Auburn and Alabama right in front of them at No. 7 and 8 respectfully.

And even though "Lucky Les" had to pull another rabbit out of his hat to win it at the end, the game shouldn't have been that close. LSU is a better football team than Florida and Saturday night proved it.

The LSU defense was dominant in victory. Defensive tackle Drake Nevis lead the charge with two sacks, giving him 5 1/2 this year. Kelvin Sheppard raked in eight tackles and Morris Claibourne intercepted his third pass of the season.

Special Teams really hurt LSU, which is uncharacteristic of Tiger football. Patrick Peterson muffed an early punt which resulted in points, and the LSU kickoff unit allowed a kick return go for a touchdown. This didn't help LSU, especially when the defense stifled Urban Meyer's plans for the Gator offense.

But the key to this game was the LSU offense. The two quarterback system proved effective against the Florida defense, as Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee both were stellar.

Jefferson reached the century mark for the first time since North Carolina and also provided two rushing touchdowns. Lee shined when his team really needed him most, as he lead LSU to their second come-from-behing SEC win is as many weeks.

But the star that shined the brightest was almost a forgotten commodity in the LSU offense.

LSU wide receiver Terrence Toliver, who finished second in my LSU Game MVP voting, showed why he can have a future playing on Sundays.

Toliver caught six passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. He also did a great job of getting yards after catch, as his first touchdown came when he spun off a few Florida tackles to score from 38 yards out in the second quarter.

He would then make his biggest contribution in the fourth quarter after LSU made converted a fourth down play in "Lucky Les" conventional fashion.....

On the next play, Florida brought a blitz Lee read perfectly. The 6'5'' Toliver was then Man-to-Man on cornerback Janorice Jenkins. Lee hit Toliver in the numbers on a slant route which Toliver would then drag Jenkins to the three yard line.

Lee is on point for the LSU offense
Photo via
With no timeouts, LSU showed great awareness of the clock down by three on first and goal. LSU called a fade route to Toliver on first down, which fell incomplete on what looked to be a missed pass interference call.

Since LSU liked the matchup Toliver had against Florida corner Jeremy Brown, offensive coordinator Gary Crowton dialed up the same play. Even though Florida brought another defensive back to help against inside routes, Toliver broke Brown's outside leverage for the go ahead touchdown on a perfect fade route pass from Lee.

Toliver and Lee have a special connection, one that was first displayed when LSU defeated Tennessee. Lee hit Toliver on a fourth and 14 to keep the game winning drive alive for LSU. After that game, they both explained to me the exact intricacies of the "Tampa 2" defense on that play.... in separate interviews.

Toliver also told me after the Tennessee game that he remembered how great Lee was back in their high school playing days in Texas. Toliver played in Hempstead, TX while Lee played up the road in Brenham.

I asked before the West Virginia game if LSU could get involved in the Tiger offense. I didn't know at the time it took, as ESPN would call it, a "revolving door" quarterback system for it to happen.

Toliver is an elite playmaker at receiver. But for a receiver to be elite, there must be a quarterback to throw it to him. If Lee continues to put out big time results, "The Texas Connection" could slow down the revolving door really quickly.


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