Sun, Jan 01, 2006 - Page 24 News List

Tigers blow away hapless Hurricanes

COLLEGE BOWL GAMES Quarterback Matt Flynn, a sophomore filling in for injured starter JaMarcus Russell, completed 13 of 22 passes for 196 yards with no interceptions for LSU


UCLA's Michael Pitre, bottom, dives to score a touchdown after a five-yard reception against Northwestern defenders Bryan Heinz, center, and Eddie Simpson during the second half of the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, on Friday. The Bruins defeated the Wildcats 50-38.


LSU gave Matt Flynn all the help he needed to be successful, and then toyed with Miami before dealing the Hurricanes their most lopsided bowl loss.

Flynn threw two touchdown passes, Joseph Addai rushed for 130 yards and the No. 10 Tigers humbled Miami's proud defense, even running a couple of fake kicks after the game was a rout, romping 40-3 in the Peach Bowl on Friday night.

Trash-talking between players grew into a postgame brawl in the LSU tunnel, and Larry Coker, coach of No. 9 Miami, said two of his players were knocked unconscious.

There were shoves and punches between players immediately after the game as the teams left the field by the same tunnel. Georgia State Patrol officers intervened, and minutes later Miami's Andrew Bain, apparently dazed, was escorted by officers back out of the tunnel.

Coker said Bain and Miami's Khalil Jones were knocked unconscious, and the coach said no players were detained by police. No players were hospitalized.

"I don't know what happened and I don't condone it," Coker said.

LSU's Jacob Hester, who ran for 70 yards and a touchdown said trash-talking, some involving LSU receiver Dwayne Bowe, a Miami native, began as good-natured fun.

"We had a guy who is from Miami who was kidding around with one of his boys," Hester said. "Miami thought it was something serious. They came in the tunnel and they were swinging, but it was just a joke between friends."

After a few minutes, the entire LSU team was back on the field celebrating the win with fans.

Miami players weren't available for comment after the game.

Flynn, a sophomore filling in for injured starter JaMarcus Russell, completed 13 of 22 passes for 196 yards with no interceptions.

"I was just trying to get the ball to the athletes around me," Flynn said.

Flynn also rushed for 39 yards and was named the offensive MVP.

"Our players come into the final game of the season with a new quarterback, a very capable quarterback," said LSU coach Les Miles. "I felt they had to control the line of scrimmage for him and find a back who would scrap for yards and play dominant defense and that's what they did."

Led by Flynn, LSU (11-2) rebounded from its worst game of the year, a 34-14 loss to Georgia in the Dec. 3 Southeastern Conference championship game, returning to the Georgia Dome and delivering one of its strongest performance of the season.

LSU scored on eight straight possessions in a streak that started with a field goal late in the first quarter.

Even with a lopsided lead, LSU attempted to add to the rout, faking a field goal while leading 34-3 late in the third quarter and then failing on a fake punt with a 40-3 lead late in the game.

Miles said he called for the fake field goal but his players called for the fake punt.

Coker wasn't affected by the trickery.

"They can call whatever play they want to," he said. "It is our job to stop it."

LSU piled up 468 yards, the most allowed by Miami this season. The Hurricanes (9-3) entered leading the nation in pass defense and ranked third in total defense.

The Tigers were just as impressive on defense, holding Miami to 153 yards and six first downs -- none in the second half. Kyle Wright completed only 10 of 21 passes for 100 yards.

LSU's dominant performance negated Miami's plan to utilize cornerback Devin Hester as a multiple threat on offense.

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