ATLANTA -- Miami waited until after the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to put up
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
"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,"
LSU tailback Joseph Addai, who ran for 130 yards and a touchdown
and added a touchdown catch, insisted the Tigers "try to play with
"We play with our helmets and you see it on the scoreboard,"
LSU's Jacob Hester, who ran for 70 yards and a touchdown, said
trash-talking began as normal banter and involved Tigers receiver
Dwayne Bowe, a Miami native.
"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
"I was just trying to get the ball to the athletes around me,"
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
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
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.