LSU, Ga. Tech have Peachy outlook

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / December 27, 2000

EDGARD – Friday’s Peach Bowl matchup between Georgia Tech and LSU will have a definite River Parishes flavor to it.

The Yellow Jackets’ defense is led by former East St. John defensive endGreg Gathers. Gathers, a sophomore, earned all-Atlantic Coast Conferencehonors after finishing second in the conference with 13 sacks. He had 58tackles, including 20 for losses.

Former East St. John receiver Kerry Watkins was one of quarterbackGeorge Godsey’s favorite targets and caught the game winner against Clemson.

Another receiver on the roster is Brian Lumar from West St. John. Lumarredshirted his freshman season in 2000.

For LSU, Lumar’s fellow wide receiver at West St. John, Donriel Louis, alsoredshirted as a freshman in 2000.

Lumar and Louis were at a recent Rams’ basketball game against Reserve Christian and talked about the upcoming matchup.

“Me and him have been talking about the game,” Lumar said. “It’s going tobe a battle but I think Georgia Tech is going to take it.”Louis wouldn’t go that far, saying that both teams had a lot of talent.

“We want to have fun,” Louis said. “Time will tell.”Louis said it was a pleasant surprise for the Tigers to make a bowl game the first year under coach Nick Saban.

“It feels good,” Louis said. “My first experience. We made it to a bowlgame and had a successful season.”LSU overcame a 2-2 start and a loss to UAB in Tiger Stadium to finish 7-4 and second place in the SEC West. Included were wins over Tennessee,Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama.

Leading the way was the offense that gained over 376 yards per game in 2000. Quarterback Josh Booty completed 145 of his 290 yards for 2,121yards and 15 touchdowns but was intercepted 17 times.

Booty’s main target was Josh Reed who caught 65 passes for 1,127 yards and 10 touchdowns. Redshirt freshman LaBrandon Toefield led the groundattack with 682 yards.

The defense was led by one of the best linebacking corps in the country with sophomores Trev Faulk, Bradie James and Jeremy Lawrence. Faulk had113 tackles to lead the team. James was not far behind with 109 tacklesand five sacks.

That defense will be tested by one of the most prolific offenses in the country. Godsey stepped in for Joe Hamilton, a Heisman Trophy candidatelast year, and didn’t miss a beat.

Godsey led the ACC with a 63 percent completion percentage to go with 2,906 yards, 23 touchdowns and six interceptions. Kelly Campbell had 963yards receiving while Joe Burns’ 908 yards rushing led the team.

Tech’s offense might be hurt, however, with the absence of offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen. Friedgen recently became the head coach atMaryland.

This is the first time the teams have met since 1963 when LSU defeated Georgia Tech, a former member of the SEC, 7-6, in Baton Rouge. The YellowJackets lead the series 12-5.

LSU will be making its third appearance in the Peach Bowl. The Tigersdefeated Florida State in the inaugural Peach Bowl in 1969 and edged Clemson in the 1996 game.

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