LSU wins SEC title; sets eyes on BCS championship

LSU wins SEC title; sets eyes on BCS championship

Credit: AP

LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (7) returns a punt for a touchdown as Georgia's Kosta Vavlas (48) and Ricky Lowe (88) defends during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

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wwltv.com

Posted on December 3, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 3 at 9:19 PM

For the second straight week LSU started slowly but eventually pounded a highly thought of opponent into submission.

This time they left a deflated Georgia Bulldog team in their wake, taking the SEC Championship and punching their ticket to the BCS title game in New Orleans on January 9 with a 42-10 victory.

"When you're given the number one tag early in the season, the best way to wear it is to beat everybody," said Les Miles after the game. "After the first half, when we went into the locker room, there was no question the resolve was there, we couldn't wait to get back out of the locker room."

With LSU struggling offensively in the first half, Tyrann Mathieu took the team under his wing and almost single-handedly turned the game around Saturday

"I think my team looked forward to me making that big time play and turning the game around," he said. "We've been through a lot and we've overcome a lot."

Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter and with LSU's offense struggling without a single first down, Mathieu took in a punt at the LSU 38 and brought it back 62 yards to make it 10-7.

At that point the Tigers' defense started to shut down Georgia's offense and the game went to halftime at that score.

In the second half, Georgia fumbled on its first series and Mathieu recovered on the Bulldogs 29.

The Tigers drove the short field for a 15-yard Kenny Hilliard touchdown to make it 14-10.

After the Bulldogs were held once again, Mathieu took in another punt on the LSU 36 and made one of the more breathtaking punt returns that didn't result in a touchdown in Tiger history...stopping, reversing field and literally having all the Georgia defenders on edge, Mathieu was tripped up at the Bulldogs' 17.

A few plays later, Hilliard toted it in again from four yards out to make it 21-10.

By then, the worn down and beaten up Bulldogs stopped putting up a fight. LSU's next possession went 70 yards and ended with a Jordan Jefferson eight-yard toss to Hilliard to make it 28-10.

In the fourth quarter LSU added a 93-yard drive that ended with a 48-yard run by Alfred Blue that made it 35-10.

A late interception by Morris Claiborne was returned for a touchdown to make it 42-10.

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