Cats Upset Top-ranked LSU in Triple Overtime

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky became the latest team to shake up the national title race.

Andre Woodson found Steve Johnson open in the end zone for a 7-yard score in the third extra period and the No. 17 Wildcats stunned No. 1 LSU 43-37 Saturday.

Johnson was open because defender Jonathan Zenon tripped and fell down, and Woodson double-pumped before firing a strike.

LSU had a chance to tie, but couldn't get a first down on four straight running plays. Charles Scott was stopped a yard short on a fourth-and-2 run and Kentucky had it's first victory over a No. 1 team since 1964, when it beat Mississippi.

``Whenever it starts to look dark, that's when they dig down and find something extra,'' Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said.

No highly ranked team seems to be safe in this season of surprises. It started with Appalachian State knocking off then-No. 5 Michigan in Week 1.

In the last two weeks, nine teams ranked in the top 10 have lost, including No. 2 USC falling 24-23 to Stanford last week.

That helped LSU become a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 this week, a week after reaching the top spot for the first time since 1959. Looks like the Tigers' stay at No. 1 will be a short one.

Maybe No. 2 California or No. 3 Ohio State will the next No. 1 when the polls and the first Bowl Championship Series standing of the season come out Sunday.

Fans at Commonwealth Stadium stormed the field, in a scene reminiscent of 2002 - the last time these teams played in Lexington. Only that time, it was a false alarm because Devery Henderson scored on a 75-yard tipped pass as time expired in what is still known in Baton Rouge as the ``Bluegrass Miracle.''

``It proved we're a team that obviously earns a lot more respect now,'' Woodson said in the middle of the on-field celebration. ``We've come a long way from being a doormat in the SEC to competing with the best teams in the SEC and getting some wins.''

It was the first time in nearly four years the No. 1 team was beaten during the regular season. On Dec. 6, 2003, Kansas State beat top-ranked Oklahoma 35-7 for the Big 12 title.

Early on Saturday, it didn't seem like this game was heading to a miracle finish. It didn't seem like the Tigers would need one.

But starting with a minute left in the third quarter, Kentucky scored 13 straight points to tie it at 27. Both teams scored rushing TDs in the first OT and field goals in the second.

Woodson wasn't sharp early but completed 21 of 38 passes for 250 yards, throwing for three TDs and running in another. He largely had to carry the load with top rusher Rafael Little sidelined with a bruised thigh.

Woodson, who earlier this season broke Trent Dilfer's major college record of 271 consecutive passes without an interception, had two picked off Saturday.

The Wildcats took an early 7-0 lead after Woodson's tipped, wobbly pass was grabbed in the end zone by T.C. Drake.

The Tigers didn't wait long to answer. Two long runs - 27 yards from Trindon Holliday and 55 yards from Scott - set up Scott's first TD, a 1-yard plunge, to tie the game at 7. The Tigers tacked on another TD from Scott - from 13 yards out, late in the first half.

Kentucky closed the deficit to 17-14 at halftime when Woodson found Steve Johnson on a 50-yard post, then scrambled 12 yards untouched into the end zone.

Until late in the game, Kentucky did little against LSU's top ranked defense, which had allowed fewer than 200 yards a game.


WBKO 2727 Russellville Road Bowling Green, KY 42101-3976 Phone: 270-781-1313 After Hours Hotline: 270-781-6397 Fax: 270-781-1814
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 10529692 - wbko.com/a?a=10529692