Originally created 12/30/00

LSU 28, Georgia Tech 14



ATLANTA -- LSU brought in Rohan Davey to spark its offense in the Peach Bowl. Georgia Tech couldn't call on Ralph Friedgen.

Davey, replacing Josh Booty at quarterback in the second half, threw three touchdown passes to lead LSU to a 28-14 upset of the No. 15 Yellow Jackets on Friday.

George Godsey and the Tech offense was lost without Friedgen, the mastermind of its point-scoring success over the last three seasons. He left to become the head coach at Maryland shortly after the final regular-season game.

Friedgen was back in Atlanta for the bowl, but only to watch his former team from a luxury box. With 31-year-old Bill O'Brien taking over as offensive coordinator, the Yellow Jackets (9-3) committed six turnovers - half of what they had for the entire regular season.

LSU (8-4) completed its turnaround season under first-year coach Nick Saban by rallying from a 14-3 halftime deficit. The Tigers, playing in their first bowl since 1997, went 3-8 a year ago under Gerry DiNardo, who was fired.

After managing just 117 yards in the first half with Booty at quarterback, the Tigers turned to Davey at the beginning of the third quarter. He also had more protection up front as right tackle Brandon Winey, who wasn't even dressed in the first half because of a wrist injury, donned his pads to beef up LSU's beleaguered line.

The results were immediate. With Davey completing five passes, the Tigers went 70 yards in nine plays for their first touchdown, a 3-yard completion to a wide-open Tommy Banks.

LSU scored the go-ahead touchdown in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a brilliant catch by Josh Reed.

The 5-foot-11 receiver, running alone in the back of the end zone, jumped as high as he could to pull down the 9-yard pass, his right foot tapping inside the line just before he fell out of bounds.

John Corbello kicked a career-best 49-yard field goal before Davey finished the comeback with another 3-yard touchdown pass to Banks. The scoring play with 3:12 remaining completed a 13-play, 91-yard drive that consumed more than seven minutes and clinched the offensive MVP award for Davey, who was 17-of-25 for 174 yards.

The Yellow Jackets, having averaged 33.8 points with Friedgen as coordinator, slumped to their lowest-scoring game of the year and were completely inept in the second half. They had two turnovers, managed just 100 yards and didn't escape their own end of the field until a drive in the waning minutes reached the LSU 4.

But, in a final indignity, Godsey was knocked out with an injury and the drive stalled.

Godsey threw for 2,906 yards and 23 touchdowns during the regular season - with only six interceptions - but he didn't look like the same quarterback with O'Brien sending in the plays. The junior completed just 19-of-36 for 177 yards, throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles.

Georgia Tech could have buried LSU in the first half if not for four turnovers, not to mention a motion penalty that wiped out a 59-yard touchdown pass from Godsey to Kelly Campbell.

Instead, the Yellow Jackets settled for a pair of TDs: Joe Burns' 32-yard run and Jermaine Hatch's 9-yarder.

LSU linebacker Bradie James, who missed nearly a week of practice after the death of his father, was selected the defensive MVP. He recovered two fumbles and had a sack.