AUBURN, Ala. — From behind a door leading to the steamy, joyous, somewhere-circling-the-moon LSU locker room, Garth Brooks’ local favorite “Callin’ Baton Rouge” blared out in stereophonic delight.
AUBURN, Ala. — The pile formed at the LSU 30. Somewhere at the bottom lay Cole Tracy, the graduate transfer who had just kicked the game-winni…
Hello, Samantha dear, I hope you’re feelin’ fine …
If Samantha were an LSU fan, how could she not have been feeling fine after Saturday’s 22-21 upset of Auburn?
It was the kind of game they write songs about.
It’s the stuff of which legends are made.
The question is, after 3½ hours of sun-splashed, spine-tingling, push-comes-to-shove drama, which legend do you bestow with the LSU gymnasts’ stick crown?
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Is it LSU kicker “Ice” Cole Tracy, who hammered a game-winning 42-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired — the first game-winning score to finish an LSU game since its 2011 win at Alabama?
Is it LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who with his new team down 21-13 in the fourth quarter led the Tigers on two clutch scoring drives?
Could it be LSU coach Ed Orgeron, who before the season was the betting favorite to be sitting on the hottest seat in coachingdom but who now is simply, well, hot?
Gotta send my love down to Baton Rouge …
Baton Rouge, and most of Louisiana, is loving Orgeron now. Winning breeds romance.
AUBURN, Ala. — This is the entire reason coach Ed Orgeron brought Cole Tracy from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, to LSU.
Kicking woes in Baton Rouge? Not this year.
Someone reminded Coach 3-and-O of what he once said — to gain respect, you have to win big games.
“That qualifies as a big game for now,” Orgeron said at his postgame press conference, rocking back a bit in his chair in obvious satisfaction.
Back to Burrow, who was making just his third career start after transferring from Ohio State and his very first in hostile Southeastern Conference territory.
“Football is Joe Burrow,” he said during an ESPN interview that aired Saturday morning. “Football is life for us (the Burrow family).”
Football can feel like the life is draining out of you — especially when LSU and Auburn collide.
One of the fortunate byproducts of LSU landing a stunning victory on national television: Social media gets reintroduced to Ed Orgeron.
The Earthquake Game. The Interception Game. The Night the Barn Burned. Last year’s Comeback Game. What will they call this one?
Auburn fans will probably call it the Shafted by Referees Game for the critical pass interference penalties that went against their team on the game’s final drive. A couple of times it seemed the refs may have been buying what the LSU receivers were selling, but it is all part of the game.
LSU fans may call it some sort of miracle. After LSU took an early 10-0 lead, Auburn’s offense got under a full head of steam late in the second quarter and into the third as it surged back with 21 unanswered points. It looked like a 14th straight home win was assured.
With 10:38 remaining, LSU tried and failed at a fake punt near midfield, punter Zach Von Rosenberg’s jump pass for Foster Moreau sailing over his head. It looked like, to borrow a line from “Blazing Saddles,” the last act of a desperate man. It was after that perhaps overly aggressive play that Auburn went up 11 and appeared to put LSU’s lights out.
But Auburn has seen nightmare LSU comebacks before. LSU's defense held and held and held, allowing Tracy to make a chippy to cut the deficit to 21-13, then giving the offense a chance to come back with those two fourth-quarter scores.
“I just started trying to be a leader,” said Burrow, who drew cheers Saturday from Ohio State fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, when they showed him and Tracy’s game-winner on the enormous video boards before the Buckeyes played TCU.
“I didn’t think I played that great,” Burrow said. He was 15 of 34 for 249 yards and a touchdown and still no turnovers (LSU still has no turnovers through three games). Well, maybe not great, but plenty good enough for a great win.
When it came down to it, Burrow was on the LSU sideline, unable to bear to watch as Tracy trotted out for the game-winning try.
“I had my head in my hands,” Burrow admitted. “I trust Cole.”
How much, one must ask, has trust grown in LSU? A month ago it looked like the Tigers were staring at a 1-2 start. Sunday, they will find themselves in the top 10.
No time to get the big head, though. This is still a team with a lot to work on and a lot of really tough games ahead.
But for now, there is time for LSU to celebrate. The Tigers called home to Baton Rouge with a huge win on their ledger Saturday.
Let the legendary tales begin.