The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana on November 8, 1992 · Page 17
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The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana · Page 17

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Alexandria, Louisiana
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Sunday, November 8, 1992
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Page 17
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Scoreboard, B-2 Outdoors, B-8 2)pQ Sunday November 8, 1992 Alabama figures to move ud Bob iL-Jr Tompkins lJKvf"J The Town Talk For LSU, 'the rut is deep' BATON ROUGE A decade ago, LSU's 20-10 upset of Alabama in Birmingham, Ala., prompted Bear Bryant to wonder out loud if he should "hang it up" as the Crimson Tide's head coach. Bryant did retire after that season, and the Tigers' victory that day heralded a great future and helped LSU's Jerry Stovall become national Coach of the Year. Ten years, two athletic directors and three head coaches later, LSU's football team is at the bottom of the Southeastern Conference and in the throes of the worst season in the school's history. Ten years after that awesome win over Alabama, LSU's unprecedented eighth loss came here at Tiger Stadium on a beautiful, crisp autumn Saturday to third-ranked Alabama, 31-11'. And the man who's coaching Alabama, a team that will move to No. 2 in the pools and could vault past second-ranked and idle Miami to No. 1 considering top-ranked Washington's 16-3 loss to 12th-ranked Arizona, is the Bryantesque Gene Stallings. He's in only his third year as Bama's coach, but Stallings is the man the Bear wanted to be his heir. How far, how different the scene 10 years later. Yet, all wasn't gloom and disgust on this day. The measure of where LSU is now compared to then, though, is the Tigers were convincingly whipped and dealt a record seventh straight loss while they had one of their better efforts of the season. Snappy drive They scored a field goal on a snappy, six-play opening drive ignited by a 45-yard kickoff return by Gary Pegues. James Gifiyard's sack of Alabama quarterback Jack Barker in the Tide's end zone was a crowd pleaser; and, speaking of crowds, a surprisingly large crowd of just less than 77,000 showed up, possibly as many as 17,000 of whom were Alabama fans. LSU rushed and passed for 239 total offensive yards against the No. 1 defense in the country; one that was allowing 167 yards per game. And the Tigers blocked a punt that led to a touchdown and had four quarterback sacks, a season high. But the Tigers, using three different quarterbacks, including senior Chad Loup for the first time since Game 2, suffered four turnovers and made three penalties, including one that really hurt when LSU was on the brink of scoring a touchdown. They also gave up some big plays to Alabama's offense, including a 56-yard run to tailback Chris Anderson. The loss drops the Tigers to 1-8 overall and 1-6 in the SEC with two games remaining, against Tulane Nov. 21 and Arkansas Nov. 27. A loss to Arkansas would give LSU a record number of conference losses in a season. Coming off a nightmarish 32-0 loss last week to Ole Miss, the task of preparing for No. 3 Alabama wasn't any tougher than E laying a lesser opponent, said SU coach Curley Hallman. Played for Stallings "We were playing a team I'd like to play," said Hallman, who grew up not far from the University of Alabama and played for Stallings at Texas A&M. "We needed to play a great one like Alabama." Hallman is a cooler postgame character in the twilight of his second year at LSU's helm than he was a year ago. He's less prone to outbursts or irritation. While stressing he "never ever" feels good after any loss, he said his team was "well prepared and gave a good effort." One of the miscues that helped spoil LSU's upset bid was an offsides penalty in the second quarter. LSU had just accepted an offsides penalty by Alabama to give the Tigers a third-and-goal situation at the 4. Had the Tigers declined the penalty, LSU would've had a fourth-and-goal at the 1 following a 7-yard run from the 8 by tailback Robert Davis. "We wanted it fourth-and-goal," said Hallman, "but that See TOMPKINS, B-5 Tide hands LSU its 8th loss of '92 By Glenn Guilbeau Staff reporter BATON ROUGE Alabama is dreaming of No. 1, and LSU has bottomed out. Such are the remains from the No. 3 Crimson Tide's 31-11 victory over LSU No. 2 in the humorous Bottom Ten poll here Saturday afternoon before 76,813 at Tiger Stadium. Both teams figure to move up in the respective polls. Alabama improved to 9-0 as No. 1 Washington fell to No. 12 Arizona 16-3, and No. 2 Miami was idle. . LSU, meanwhile, lost for a school record seventh consecutive time, and at 1-8 it is the first eight-loss Tiger football team in history. This and the fact that Brown University currently No. 1 in the Bottom Ten lost to Harvard Saturday should move LSU to the top, Bottom spot. LSU coach Curley Hallman knows he's at the bottom, and it's getting lower. "The rut's deep," he said. "We'll keep working through this together and keep trying to turn this thing around." Leads SEC West Alabama, 6-0 and atop the SEC West, won its third in four years in Tiger Stadium its home away from home and is 11-0-1 here since 1969. The Tigers, 1-6 and last in the SEC West, actually played much better than in last week's embarrassing, 32-0 loss to Ole Miss. And it could've been closer without two first half Jamie Howard interceptions and a Robert Davis fumble that set Alabama up at the LSU 17 for its first TD and a 10-3 first quarter lead. Then in the second quarter, Antonio London blocked a 26-yard Pedro Suarez field goal. LSU had reached a third-and-goal on the 4 before the kick, but a false start by tackle Kevin Mawae . pushed the Tigers' ' . w f I :-VP !" .-'I'a.-.V ' . ''"' : r ( "A ' , MA 1 if X V V . i if . M o. iiii.itrri.ii - 'Sk j( ' I ( - Stephen Reed Staff photographer LSU kicker Pedro Suarez holds his head as Alabama's Anto- Suarez's short field goal attempt in the first half. LSU holder nio London celebrates after the Crimson Tide blocked Chad Loup (16) looks on. back. "It was loud in that end zone," Howard said as if he was playing on the road. That was the south end zone and it was covered with red. LSU managed to take a 3-0 lead three minutes into the game before all the 17,000 Alabama fans could get settled on Suarez' 35-yard field goal. This was the Tigers' first points on a game opening drive since the fourth week of the season. A sack of Alabama quar- on its first possession of the terback Jay Barker by James Gillyard in the end zone got the Tigers within 10-5 late in the opening quarter before the Tide took a 17-5 halftime lead. After Alabama made it 24-5 second hall, Lbu even attempted its traditional cleanup of the scoreboard in the late going. See ALABAMA, B-5 Arizona didn't miss this time Cats beat No. 1 Huskies, 16-3 Scoreboartt Saints' struggle not like Patriots' TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Earlier this season, Arizona's Steve McLaughlin just missed a last-second, 51-yard field goal that would have beaten top-ranked Miami. On Saturday, he got another chance against a No. 1 team and this time didn't miss. McLaughlin kicked three field goals and Arizona's "Desert Swarm" defense shut down Washington as the No. 12 Wildcats stunned the Huskies 16-3. The loss snapped Washington's 22-game winning streak and almost certainly ended the Huskies' bid for a national championship. No. 2 Miami, which didn't play Saturday, should regain the No. 1 ranking and become the frontrunner for its second straight title. Miami started the season No. 1, but dropped to No. 2 after barely beating Arizona 8-7 at the Orange Bowl on Sept. 26. "We were determined to prove that the Miami game wasn't a fluke," Arizona fullback Billy Johnson said. "Coach (Dick) Tomey told us we shouldn't be surprised to beat Washington. We just had to raise our level of play a little." Washington, which was averaging 29 points per game, never reached the end zone against Arizona's dominating defense, the nation's stingiest against the run. The Huskies' only points came on a 24-yard field goal by Travis Hanson in the third quarter. "We have not lost in so long, that this loss hurts real, real bad," Washington linebacker Dave Hoffman said. Arizona (6-2-1, 4-1-1 Pac-10) held the Huskies to 90 rushing yards, less than half their average, and limited Washington (8-1, 5-1) to its lowest point total since a 31-3 loss to BYU in 1985. Nobody appreciated the defensive effort more than Arizona quarterback George Malauulu, who lost four fumbles, had two passes intercepted and injured his shoulder in last year's 54-0 loss to Washington. "Every time the defense came off the field waving their arms in the air, it lifted us," said Malauulu, who scored the game's only touchdown on a 1-yard keeper with 48 seconds left. McLaughlin provided most of the offense with his three field goals a 34-yarder in the first quarter and a pair of fourth-quarter kicks covering 20 and 30 yards. "It wasn't a matter of redemption (for the Miami game) or anything like that," McLaughlin said. "My roommate and I said to each other Top 25 No. 12 Arizona 16, No. 1 Washington? No. 3 Alabama 31, LSU 11 No. 4 Michigan 40, Northwestern 7 No. 5 Texas A&M 40, Louisville 18 No. 6 Florida State 69, Maryland 21 No. 7 Nebraska 49, No. 13 Kansas 7 No. 8 Notre Dame 54, No. 9 Boston College 7 No. 10 Syracuse 28, Virginia Tech 9 No. 21 Stanford 23, No. 11 Southern Cal9 No. 14 Florida 24, Southern Mississippi 20 . No. 16 Colorado 28, Oklahoma State 0 No. 17 North Carolina State 31, Virginia 7 Clemson 40, No. 18 North Carolina 7 No. 19 Mississippi State 10, Arkansas 3 Texas Christian 23, No. 20 Texas 14 No. 22 Ohio State 17, Minnesota 0 No. 25 Washington State 28, Arizona State 18 SEC Vanderbilt 20, Kentucky 7 Ole Miss 17, Memphis St. 12 State South Carolina 14, Louisiana Tech 13 Navy 20, Tulane 17 Grambling 44, Alabama St. 19 Sam Houston 42, NSU 19 NLU 41, Eastern Washington 31 Florida A&M 16, Southern 6 Northern Illinois 23, USL 15 McNeese St. 28, SF Austin 3 North Texas 31, Nicholls St. 3 all week that we were definitely going to win the kicking game, and we did." The victory, Arizona's fifth in a row after a 1-2-1 start, kept alive the Wildcats' slim hopes for a Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth. Washington can still clinch its third straight league championship by winning its final two games. Saints-Pats, noon, CBS (10 36) FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) The mystery of the incredible, shrinking football team resumes Sunday when Inspector Mora and his tough New Orleans Saints come to town. But will there be anyone left for them to play? The winless and luckless New England Patriots are disappearing piece by precious piece. The Saints, tied for the NFC West lead at 6-2, should leave them in even worse shape. New Orleans' Jim Mora, though, plays the pessimistic coach's role when discussing his team's tight finishes and scoring problems. "Every game has been a struggle for us," he said. Struggle? Consider what the Patriots have endured. They have lost all eight games, their head coach, their best offensive player, their starting quarterback and five defensive starters. Their determination may be next to go. "This team can go one or two ways, fold up and quit or rally together," defensive end Brent Williams said Wednesday after coach Dick MacPherson was hospitalized with acute diverticulitis. He is expected to miss at least two weeks. Dante Scarnecchia, an assistant coach who will handle MacPherson's duties, said "ev- Please see ATKINS, a related story, B-6 erything' should function as normal," a curious prospect considering what normal has been for the Patriots. New England, already the See SAINTS, B-5 Sad thoughts The Atlanta organizers are pushing golf as a medal sport for the 1996 Olympics. That whirring sound you hear is the ancient Greeks spinning in their graves. Still, the idea has merit, with some tinkering. Like if golf can be combined with, say, skeet shooting. Ron Ostler San Francisco Chronicle Inside FOOTBALL: Ex-LSU QB Tommy Hodson knows about losing. B-6. BASKETBALL: Who will be the next person to bring magic to the NBA? B-7. Sam Houston found a 'home' at Turpin By Michael A. Lough Staff reporter NATCHITOCHES When Sam Houston State vents, it really vents. The Bearkats hadn't won a football game in this state since 1986. Why, in 76 years of football, the school had won only a half dozen games in Louisiana in 34 tries. Saturday, though, Sam Houston looked right at home, where it's usually all but unbeatable. The Bearkats definitely looked at home. Sam Houston State blocked three punts and defensively controlled the line of scrimmage to rout Northwestern State 42-19 before 5,650 at Turpin Stadium and a regional television audience. What they saw was the first road win for a team in this series since 1985, and they saw NSU lose its fourth straight TV game at home. Northwestern, down 35-7, scored a late third quarter and early fourth quarter touchdown to make it more respectable. Sam Houston, still holding on to at-large playoff hopes, improved to 6-2-1 overall and 3-2 in the Southland Conference while Northwestern dropped to 5-4 and 2-3 in the conference. If the Bearkats weren't sacking quarterback Brad Brown, which they did four times, they were almost taking the ball out of punter Jason Hernandez' hands before he could kick. "Poor coaching," said NSU head coach Sam Goodwin. "They blocked three in the last two weeks, we knew they were gonna come at us. I coach the punt team, I thought we'd be able to protect, I thought we'd be able to run the fake. "We screwed 'em all up." Sam Houston turned two of the blocks which came on back-to-back NSU possessions into quick touchdowns. Orlando Williams carried in Jarvis Mayes' block with 9:25 left in the third quarter. Six minutes later, Trey Woods stuffed the kick and Shawn Thomas carried it in 39 yards. Earlier, the Bearkats couldn't turn a Jeff Moody stuff into points. "I've always felt that the punt block can be one of the biggest plays in foot ball and we've always worked hard on it," said SHSU head coach Ron Randle-man. "It certainly paid off for us today." Randleman credited the addition last season of Willie Fritz as an assistant to the improvement on blocks. Mayes agreed. "Last year, Coach Fritz came in and changed the name of our unit from the punt return team to the punt block team," said Mayes. "We take a lot of pride in that label." Obviously. NSU had gone 17 games and 99 punt attempts since one was blocked. "After they blocked the first one, that got their confidence up," said Fer- See HOME. B-5

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