Sunday, October 09, 2005
By Scooter Hobbs
Nashville, Tenn - Former Barbe center Ryan Miller, a redshirt freshman, got his first career start Saturday night against Vanderbilt in place of injured starter Rudy Niswanger.
But Miller suffered a hyperextended knee on the touchdown pass that ended the Tigersí first drive.
Although Miller was down for several minutes, the injury is not considered too serious longterm, but Miller was unable to return to the game.
Millerís start put two Lake Charles players in the Tigersí offensive line.
LSU had already reshuffled the offensive line for the game, with former Washington-Marion player Nate Livings moving from guard to tackle in place of Brian Johnson and Herman Johnson, also making his first start, at guard.
After Millerís injury, Niswanger, who the Tigers were apparently hoping to let rest his sprained ankle this week, did come in and play.
WOUNDED TIGERS: LSU backup offensive linemen Peter Kyakowski and Brett Helms missed a second straight game. Helms is expected back next week against Florida while Kyakowski could miss a couple more weeks.
Wide receiver Craig ďBusterĒ Davis returned after missing last week with a foot injury.
BIG D: LSU got its first safety of the season when defensive end Chase Pittman tackled Vandy quarterback Jay Cutler in the end zone late in the first quarter. Cutler was actually fortunate. He was ruled down just before fumbling onto the field of play, where LSUís Cameron Vaughn picked it and ran into the end zone.
It was LSUís first safety since the 2003 Southeastern Conference championship game against Georgia when the Tigers were credited with a team safety for smothering the Bulldogs punter in the end zone.
The last time an individual LSU player was credited with a safety, as Pittman was, came in 1995 when James Gillyard tackled Auburn quarterback Pat Nix in the end zone.
TOUGH SCORES: LSU has held Vandy to a touchdown or less in the last four games, including Saturdayís win.
DOWNWARD SPIRAL: At this rate, LSU will be playing in an Ice Bowl in a week or two. The Tigers opened the season at Arizona State with temperatures hovering near 100 degrees, returned home to find it in the low 90s for their home opener against Tennessee and last week at Mississippi State it had dropped to the mid-70s.
Saturday LSU and Vanderbilt kicked off ó with some fans bundled up ó with a temperature of 59 degrees and it got cooler as the game wore on.
HONORED COMMODORE: The No. 1 scripted inside the Vanderbilt star at both 25-yard lines was in honor of Kwane Doster, a Vanderbilt player who was shot and killed in his hometown of Tampa, Fla., over the summer.
TRAVELING TIGERS: LSU opened with three of its first four games on the road for the first time since 1993.
PURPLE PRESENCE: However, LSU fans appeared to make up almost one-third of the crowd of 37,309. Vanderbilt sent LSU more tickets to sell after the Tigers exhausted their first allotment.
MARCHING IN: LSU chose this game as the opportunity to bring the complete Golden Band from Tigerland. Most road games, the school brings only a 40 or 50-member pep band on the trips.
CAPTAINS: LSU game captains were WR Skyler Green and QB JaMarcus Russell on offense, DE Melvin Oliver on defense and P/PK Chris Jackson for special teams.
NEXT: LSU hosts Florida at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in a game nationally televised by CBS.