2008 BCS National Championship Game

2008 BCS National Championship Game

Name=2008 BCS National Championship Game

Date=January 7, 2008
Visitor School=Louisiana State University
Visitor Name Short= Louisiana State
Visitor Nickname=Tigers
Visitor Record=11-2

Visitor Coaches=2
Visitor BCS=2
Visitor Coach=Les Miles
Visitor Total=0
Home School=Ohio State University
Home Name Short=Ohio State
Home Nickname=Buckeyes
Home Record=11-1

Home Coaches=1
Home BCS=1
Home Coach=Jim Tressel
Stadium=Louisiana Superdome
City=New Orleans, Louisiana
Odds= LSU by 5½ cite web |url=http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=750671 |title=Rivals.com Bowl Viewer's Guide |author=Fox, David |accessdate=2007-12-17 |date=2007-12-13 |work=Rivals.com]
MVP=Offensive: LSU QB Matt Flynn
Defensive: LSU DE Ricky Jean-Francois
Referee= Jon Bible (Big 12 Conference officiating crew)
Anthem=Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Halftime=Allstate Alumni Kicker Challenge,
Ohio State's marching band,
LSU's Marching band
Attendance=79,651 [ [http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-09-lsujan09,1,3750337.story Chicago Tribune] ]
US Network=FOX
US Announcers=Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis and Chris Myers
Ratings=14.4cite news | url=http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/college_football/20080108-1255-fbc-bcs-ratings.html | title=BCS title game ratings down from last year | publisher=signonsandiego.com | date=January 8, 2008 | accessdate=2008-01-09]
Intl Network=
Intl Announcers=

The 2008 Allstate BCS National Championship Game was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Monday, January 7, 2008, and featured the #1 and #2 college football teams in the United States as determined by the BCS Poll (a combination of polls and computer formulas) to decide the BCS National Championship for the 2007 NCAA Division I FBS football season.

The game featured #1 Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes hosting #2 SEC champion LSU Tigers. (Though the #1 team is considered the host school, LSU had a considerable "home field advantage" due to its proximity to New Orleans, being only 70 miles north.) It also featured the second postseason matchup between head coaches Jim Tressel and Les Miles in five years. The first occurrence was the 2004 Alamo Bowl, when Tressel's Buckeyes defeated Miles' Oklahoma State Cowboys 33-7.

Team selection

Prior to the last weekend of the regular season, it looked like the national championship game would be played between Missouri and West Virginia. However, Missouri lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game and West Virginia was shocked by their arch-rival Pitt in the Backyard Brawl. This threw the BCS and college football world into upheaval. By virtue of winning the Big Ten and having only one loss, Ohio State looked to be guaranteed a berth in the BCS championship game. After much speculation, LSU was revealed to be the number two team in the ratings, and therefore the Buckeyes' opponent in the title game.

Pre-game buildup

After intense media speculation, including a report on ESPN which indicated that he was on the verge of taking the Michigan job [ [http://awfulannouncing.blogspot.com/2007/12/kirk-herbstreit-stands-behind-his-miles.html Awful Announcing: Kirk Herbstreit Stands Behind His Miles Source ] ] , LSU head coach Les Miles announced just before the SEC championship game on December 1 that he was staying. [ [http://awfulannouncing.blogspot.com/2007/12/cbs-clears-up-whole-miles-controversy.html Awful Announcing: CBS Clears Up The Whole Miles Controversy By Actually Talking To Him ] ] Shortly thereafter, he agreed to a contract extension at LSU. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3144459 ESPN - LSU extends Miles' contract through '12 - College Football ] ] Rich Rodriguez eventually took the job in Ann Arbor.

As for the Buckeyes, two cornerbacks, Donald Washington and Eugene Clifford, were reported to be suspended for this game for violating team rules. However, Ohio State's athletic director said on December 27 that the reported suspension of Washington was erroneous. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/bowls07/news/story?id=3171133 ESPN - Report: Buckeyes' starter Washington eligible to play - College Football ] ]

Game summary

First quarter

LSU won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. After receiving the opening kickoff, Ohio State started slowly on offense before Chris "Beanie" Wells broke off a 65-yard touchdown run for the first score of the game. LSU went three-and-out deep in their own territory and punted on their first possession. Ohio State quickly added a field goal by Ryan Pretorius to go up 10-0. LSU then marched efficiently down field, but their 14-play/65-yard drive stalled in the red zone and Colt David kicked a 32-yard field goal. The first quarter ended with LSU on offense and trailing, 10-3.

econd quarter

LSU scored early in the period with a 12-yard Matt Flynn touchdown pass to tight end Richard Dickson, evening the score at 10. The drive was aided by two penalties totaling 28 yards by Ohio State's defense. LSU's Ricky Jean-Francois then blocked a 38-yard Pretorius field goal attempt on Ohio State's next possession. Momentum appeared to be shifting to LSU's sideline. LSU began the ensuing drive from their 34. The Tigers marched 66 yards in 3:28; a 10-yard Brandon LaFell touchdown reception from Flynn culminated the drive. On the next Buckeye possession, quarterback Todd Boeckman was intercepted by cornerback Chevis Jackson who returned the ball 34 yards into Ohio State territory. LSU moved down to the goal line and running back Jacob Hester punched the ball in to give the Tigers a 14-point lead. A short Buckeye drive led to a punt and LSU was content to go into halftime having scored 24 unanswered points.

Third quarter

LSU started the second half with the ball and a 24-10 lead. The Ohio State defense appeared to have forced a punt on LSU's first drive, but a roughing the punter penalty by Buckeye linebacker Austin Spitler gave LSU a first down. The Tigers parlayed the personal foul into a touchdown, as Early Doucet later received a short pass from Flynn and broke a series of tackles at the five-yard line and walked into the endzone. Ohio State seemed to be fading but with 3:50 left in the quarter, Flynn was intercepted by cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, who returned the ball 21 yards to the LSU 11. Three "Beanie" Wells runs brought the Buckeye offense down to the five and Boeckman proceeded to throw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Brian Robiskie on fourth down, pulling the Buckeyes to within 31-17.

Fourth quarter

After LSU punted early in the quarter Ohio State put together a solid drive, reaching the LSU 34. However the offense stalled and the Buckeyes were forced to go for it on fourth-and-seven. Boeckman dropped back to pass and was hit on his throwing arm just before the arm could start to come forward. The hit—made by LSU linebacker Ali Highsmith—caused a fumble and LSU recovered in Ohio State territory. The play was reviewed to determine if it was a forward pass but the ruling on the field was upheld and LSU got the ball with 10:37 left in the game. The Tigers then went three-and-out, but on Ohio State's next possession Boeckman was intercepted by safety Curtis Taylor. With 5:37 remaining, LSU's fate as National Champions was essentially sealed. The Tigers added another touchdown, a five-yard strike from Flynn to Dickson (his second TD reception of the game). Ohio State then scored on a late touchdown pass from Boeckman to wide receiver Brian Hartline before failing to convert an onside kick. LSU ran out the clock and celebrated their 38-24 BCS National Championship Game win.

Historical implications

This was the first national championship in the BCS era to feature two teams that had previously won a BCS national championship. Louisiana State became the first school ever to win two BCS championships. The Tigers had previously defeated Oklahoma, 21-14, in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, which served as the 2003 season's BCS championship game.

The Tigers are also the first team to earn a national championship despite losing two games in that season since the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 1960. [ [http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/national_championships/poll_results.php?year=1960 College Football Data Warehouse - 1960 Final AP and Coaches Polls ] ]

Ohio State is now 0-9 against SEC teams in bowl games.



* QB Matt Flynn: 19/27, 174 yds, 4 TD, Int
* RB Jacob Hester: 21 rush, 86 yds, TD
* WR Early Doucet: 7 rec, 51 yds, TD
* TE Richard Dickson: 4 rec, 44 yds, 2 TD

Ohio State

* QB Todd Boeckman: 15/26, 208 yds, 2 TD, 2 Int
* RB Chris Wells: 20 rush, 146 yds, TD
* WR Brian Hartline: 6 rec, 75 yds, TD

ee also

* 2007-08 NCAA football bowl games


External links

* [http://www.bcsfootball.org/bcsfootball/ Official BCS Website]
* [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hNvFtaPc_FtfKPQdRSx0x5n6ITCgD8U1HC581 Associated Press Game Article]
* [http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=ncf&id=3186035 ESPN.com Game Article]

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