Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe

Shanks a lot

Tigers owe this win to Oregon St. kicker

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana State can thank an Oregon State kicker who could not make extra points for its season-opening victory.

Alexis Serna missed three extra points last night, including one that would have forced a second overtime, and No. 4 LSU escaped with a 22-21 victory over the Beavers.

"We've got a lot of work to do as a team," LSU coach Nick Saban said. "I think everyone knows that."

The defending BCS champion Tigers trailed throughout the game, were shut out in the first half, and behind, 15-7, with 1:38 left.

The Tigers seemed sure to lose when they drove to the Oregon State 2-yard line and failed to score with 3:39 left. But their defense gave them another shot.

The Tigers got the ball back for their final possession of regulation with 1:38 left. After JaMarcus Russell threw two incompletions, he hooked up with Dwayne Bowe for a 26-yarder then a 38-yard touchdown to cut Oregon State's lead to 15-13.

On the conversion, Russell ran to the left, stretched out the football, and leaped into the end zone to tie it at 15 and force overtime.

In the overtime period, LSU scored on its first possession. Marcus Randall, who started the game at quarterback, came in when Russell was injured, and ran for a 5-yard touchdown, giving LSU its first lead of the game, 22-15, with the extra point.

The Beavers weren't done.

Derek Anderson found Joe Newton with a 19-yard TD pass, pulling the Beavers to 22-21.

Serna, a redshirt freshman who kicked a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter, sent the extra point wide right, giving LSU the victory.

"I told him there is not a lot you can say," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "It feels bad." Randall got off to a rough start. His first pass was intercepted and he completed only 7 of 18 for 66 yards. He was replaced at the start of the second half by Russell, who was 9 for 26 for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

Anderson completed 5 of 6 passes, including a 6-yard touchdown toss to George Gillett, to put the Beavers up, 6-0, as Serna missed his first PAT. Serna's 40-yard field goal gave the Beavers a 9-0 lead at halftime. Anderson was 26 for 47 for 231 yards and three TDs. He had one INT and was sacked four times.Alley Broussard had a 15-yard run and Russell completed 5 of 7, including a 16-yarder to Skyler Green for a touchdown that cut Oregon State's lead to 9-7. The Beavers came back quickly, driving 65 yards with Anderson hitting Anthony Wheat-Brown for a 4-yard TD making it 15-7 -- Serna missed the PAT -- as the third quarter ended.

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives