Watauga Democrat
September 1, 2008


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Michigan, you

are no LSU
By Steve Behr, sports editor

BATON ROUGE, La. — Just a quick note to the 2007 Michigan Wolverines:

I went to Michigan and I saw Michigan lose 34-32 to Appalachian State. I saw Appalachian State lose 41-13 to LSU Saturday at Death Valley.

Michigan, you’re no LSU.

In fact, very few teams are LSU. The Bayou Bengals are for real, especially their offensive and defensive lines.

They’re big. They’re fast. They’re smart.

Even their little guys, notably their linebackers and secondary, are fast.

“Speed was the difference,” Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards said. “They’re so much faster than Michigan was. It was just a problem of us executing. We knew they’d have tight coverage, but we couldn’t execute one-on-one like we wanted.”

LSU’s defense is the only one that has made Edwards look average. The ASU quarterback rushed for just 23 yards on 12 carries. His longest run was 11 yards.

When passing the ball, Edwards hit just 13-of-31 attempts for a respectable 155 yards and a 44-yard touchdown to Robert Weldon on a play that looked eerily similar to the 2005 pass that Kevin Richardson dropped.

Weldon’s touchdown was one of the few LSU mistakes that the Mountaineers exploited. The Tigers’ team speed usually covered for any of the other mistakes they made.

LSU’s linebackers were as quick as cats, which makes sense for a team named the Tigers. Their secondary struggled a bit on Appalachian State’s first drive, which went to the LSU 35-yard line, but made adjustments and covered everybody except for Weldon on his TD and, CoCo Hillary, who had nine catches for 80 yards, mostly on short routes.

“Even their safeties were filling in holes,” Edwards said. “They closed faster than we thought they would.”
“We got on them early and you could tell they were a little inexperienced,” Hillary said. “We found some holes, but after a while those guys caught on, just like any athlete would do.”

The good news is the Mountaineers won’t face a better defense for the rest of the season — by far. They got through the game injury free, which is good for when they host Jacksonville this Saturday.

As Michigan did not define ASU’s quest for a third national championship, Mountaineers coach Jerry Moore said the loss to LSU won’t define 2008.

“Our goal is to win the Southern Conference,” Moore said. “I think we wasted four hours (Saturday) if we don’t leave here thinking we can be a better football team.”


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