7:30 PM ET, December 30, 2005
Georgia Dome, ATLANTA, GA
ATLANTA -- Miami waited until after the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to put up a fight.
Miami and LSU players exchanged punches in the tunnel as they left the field Friday night after the Tigers' 40-3 victory, the Hurricanes' most-lopsided bowl loss.
Matt Flynn threw two touchdown passes in his first start for No. 10 LSU (11-2) and the Tigers attempted two late fake kicks against the No. 9 Hurricanes (9-3).
Georgia State Patrol officers intervened in the brawl, with one officer holding a Taser while trying to prevent more players from entering the tunnel.
Minutes later, Miami's Andrew Bain, appearing to be dazed, was escorted by officers out of the tunnel, but no players were detained by police, Miami coach Larry Coker said at the time.
Khalil Jones was taken to a hospital for observation, Coker said Saturday morning.
"I don't know what happened and I don't condone it," Coker said the night before.
While players surged to the tunnel, LSU coach Les Miles was surrounded by reporters on the field.
"It really did surprise me to find out there was a problem," Miles said.
LSU tailback Joseph Addai, who ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and added a touchdown catch, insisted the Tigers "try to play with class."
"We play with our helmets and you see it on the scoreboard," Addai said.
"We had a guy who is from Miami who was kidding around with one of his boys," Hester said. "Miami thought it was something serious. They came in the tunnel and they were swinging, but it was just a joke between friends."
After a few minutes, LSU players were back on the field celebrating the win.
Miami players weren't available for comment after the game.
Led by Flynn, LSU scored on eight straight possessions starting with a field goal late in the first quarter. Flynn completed 13 of 22 passes for 196 yards with no interceptions and was selected the offensive MVP.
"I was just trying to get the ball to the athletes around me," Flynn said.
Flynn also rushed for 39 yards and was named the offensive MVP.
"Our players come into the final game of the season with a new quarterback, a very capable quarterback," said LSU coach Les Miles. "I felt they had to control the line of scrimmage for him and find a back who would scrap for yards and play dominant defense and that's what they did."
Led by Flynn, LSU (11-2) rebounded from its worst game of the year, a 34-14 loss to Georgia in the Dec. 3 Southeastern Conference championship game, returning to the Georgia Dome and delivering one of its strongest performance of the season.
LSU scored on eight straight possessions in a streak that started with a field goal late in the first quarter.
Even with a lopsided lead, LSU attempted to add to the rout, faking a field goal while leading 34-3 late in the third quarter and then failing on a fake punt with a 40-3 lead late in the game.
Miles said he called for the fake field goal but his players called for the fake punt.
Coker wasn't affected by the trickery.
"They can call whatever play they want to," he said. "It is our job to stop it."
LSU piled up 468 yards, the most allowed by Miami this season. The Hurricanes (9-3) entered leading the nation in pass defense and ranked third in total defense.
The Tigers were just as impressive on defense, holding Miami to 153 yards and six first downs, none in the second half. Kyle Wright completed only 10 of 21 passes for 100 yards.
LSU's dominant performance negated Miami's plan to utilize cornerback Devin Hester as a multiple threat on offense.
On Miami's first possession, Hester lined up at tailback and receiver and also took a direct snap at quarterback. Hester had a 24-yard run on the possession to set up a field goal. But overall, the junior and the Hurricanes were contained.
LSU had its largest margin of victory in a bowl game, easily surpassing its 45-26 win over Michigan in the 1995 Independence Bowl. Miami's previous most lopsided loss in a bowl game was a 29-0 loss to Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 1994.
Addai scored on a 4-yard pass from Flynn in the second quarter and a 6-yard run in the third.
With the game tied at 3-3, a key fourth-down stop by LSU's defense early in the second quarter gave the Tigers momentum.
On fourth-and-1 from the LSU 35, Wright faked a pitch to his left and then ran right, where he was hit by LSU's Melvin Oliver short of the first down.
The Tigers seized the opportunity as Flynn connected with Craig Davis for a 49-yard touchdown pass over Miami cornerback Randy Phillips.
After Jackson's 47-yard field goal pushed LSU's lead to 13-3, the Tigers added another touchdown late in the half on Flynn's pass to Addai.
Addai went over 100 yards rushing on his second carry of the second half. He rambled 25 yards to the 6, setting up his scoring run on a pitch to the left one play later.
With Addai suffering from cramps, Hester filled in on the Tigers' second touchdown drive of the quarter. Hester's dive over the top from the 1 with 5:27 left in the period pushed the lead to 34-3.
The Tigers faked a 46-yard field goal late in the quarter, with Jackson running 12 yards to the Miami 17. Colt David's 35-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter pushed the lead to 37-3. Jackson added a 50-yard field goal with 8:20 left to play.
It was over when... Jacob Hester's 1-yard touchdown run gave LSU a 34-3 lead with 5:27 left in the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... LSU quarterback Matt Flynn. Though running back Joseph Addai deserves an honorable mention, Flynn was unflappable for the Tigers in the absence of JaMarcus Russell, completing 13-of-22 passes for 197 yards and 2 TDs against 0 INTs.
Stat of the game... 152. That was the total number of yards that Miami was able to muster on offense.
The Fan Pick
45.6% of Bowl Pick'em players picked LSU to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||1-12||9-17|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-2|
|FG||8:45||JON PEATTIE 21 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 63 yards.
|FG||0:58||CHRIS JACKSON 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 59 yards.
|TD||11:47||CRAIG DAVIS 51 YD PASS FROM MATT FLYNN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 64 yards.
|FG||4:57||CHRIS JACKSON 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 56 yards.
|TD||0:18||JOSEPH ADDAI 4 YD PASS FROM MATT FLYNN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||11:54||JOSEPH ADDAI 6 YD RUN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 53 yards.
|TD||5:27||JACOB HESTER 1 YD RUN (COLT DAVID KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 57 yards.
|FG||13:59||COLT DAVID 35 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 51 yards.
|FG||8:20||CHRIS JACKSON 50 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 13 yards.