Drew Alleman bounces back for Tigers

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU place kicker Drew Alleman (30) kicks his first of two first-half field goals. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU place kicker Drew Alleman (30) kicks his first of two first-half field goals.

In a thrilling loss to top-ranked Alabama a week earlier, LSU kicker Drew Alleman missed two of three field goals, including a 45-yard try in the final minutes that would have made it a six-point lead.

He also was, just as memorably, dropped for a 2-yard loss on an infamous fake field goal with LSU facing fourth-and-12 late in the first half.

Alleman kicked all that to the side Saturday night, turning in a perfect outing in ninth-ranked LSU’s 37-17 victory over Mississippi State on a cool night at Tiger Stadium.

“It’s a good bounce back,” Alleman said. “It’s the Drew I know.”

In connecting Saturday on kicks of 28, 26 and 41 yards, Alleman looked much more like the kicker LSU came to expect when he made 16 of 18 field goals (88.9 percent) last year as the nation’s second-most accurate kicker.

But he hasn’t been so consistent as a senior.

He entered Saturday’s game having made only 13 of 20 field goals, including only two of six from 40 yards are father.

The most forgettable night of his season — perhaps his career — came courtesy of two missed field goals against Alabama that ultimately proved the difference in the outcome.

Not only that, Alleman was stuffed on the fake field goal that included a pass from holder Brad Wing.

“The good kickers are the ones that can bounce back,” Alleman, a former Acadiana High School standout, said. “You just have to clear your memory, learn from your mistakes and move on.”

Alleman’s biggest kick Saturday was the 41-yarder with 8:29 to play in the third quarter, a kick that stretched LSU’s lead to 23-17 and jump-started a 17-0 run by the Tigers to end the game.

Alleman said he had to work out some issues in his technique to get back on track.

But like most of the Tigers following the tough loss a week earlier, the real key was to put the heartache behind and focus on moving forward.

“You have to forget about it, but you also have to remember what you did wrong and learn from those mistakes,” Alleman said. “I’ve been on both sides — making them and missing them.

“You can’t let that affect you in the future.”