Defense Dictating Destiny
Defense Dictating Destiny
The 2003 National Champions, the LSU Tigers
Over college football history, a legacy of excellence has been built into Louisiana State University’s football program. Their history of great football teams has included outstanding offenses, overwhelming defenses and brilliant coaches that have established LSU’s tradition of greatness. In that same tradition the 2003 LSU Tiger football team came calling for a National Championship of their own. That historic, championship moment in college football has been captured by America’s Sports Artist, Rick Rush, in his painting entitled, “Defense Dictating Destiny: LSU National Champions.”
Head coach, Nick Saban’s philosophy of football set the tone for this team to reach their destiny as National Champions. Coach Saban believes that the effectiveness of the defense dictates the flow of the ballgame. The way the defense responds in stopping the opponents offense limits the offensive plays and maneuvers an opposing team will use. The defensive pressure dictates the offensive options. Therefore, for Coach Saban, the defense defines the game and dictates the outcome.
In like manner, it was LSU’s defense that overwhelmed teams all season long. The Tiger’s defense led to their dominance of The University of Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl and helped secure the BCS National Championship Trophy as the nation’s No.1 college football team.
During the 2004 Sugar Bowl game; #84 Marcus Spears, #94 Marquise Hill, #93 Chad Lavalais and #58 Lionel Turner made bone crushing tackles on Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Jason White. These individual tackles were indicative of LSU’s swarming defense that kept the Sooners’ No.1 offense under control. To capture the unrelenting defensive attack on White and his offense, the individual tackles of four of LSU’s stalwart defenders are conceived together in a single image. This conceptually dominating image grows from a background of great defensive and offensive vignettes of LSU players as they brought assault after assault on the Sooner team. Turner’s tackle of White from the right side is the dream-ending play that squashed Oklahoma’s efforts of mounting a comeback against the Tigers. To memorialize that moment in LSU’s National Championship quest the background scoreboard is set at the time, down and distance of the last play for Oklahoma. The scoreboard showed 1:51 left to play after Lionel Turner, on a delayed blitz, once again drove the Sooner quarterback to the turf crushing OU hopes while cementing LSU’s national title.
Coach Saban and a supporting cast stand on the sideline encouraging and recording LSU’s dominance of Oklahoma as they captured their 2003 National Championship. With this team’s defense dictating their destiny, they continue the Tiger legacy of excellence and secured their place in Louisiana State University history as the 2003 National Champions.