The score was 30-10 when the fourth quarter began, and clearly LSU had the game well in hand. Then "it" happened—the "it" being Les Miles.
LSU fans must be beside themselves. What is it with Coach Miles and his play calling in the latter part of the fourth quarter?
After a 97 yard pass completion from T.J. Yates to Jheranie Boyd that resulted in a touchdown with 10:34 left in the game to make it 30-17, LSU went three and out and punted the ball back to North Carolina.
The Tar Heels then proceeded to march down the field going 67 yards for another touchdown: 30-24.
With 2:32 left in the game conventional wisdom would lead you to believe that Les Miles would expect and prepare for an onside kick.
Since when did Les Miles subscribe to conventional wisdom?
North Carolina executed and recovered the onside kick, but after running 1:02 off the clock they fumbled the ball back to LSU.
Coach Miles then had a second chance to run out the clock.
Not so fast as Lee Corso would say—21 seconds later on the Tar Heels 18 yard line, LSU fumbled the ball back to North Carolina giving the Tar Heels one more chance to win the game.
North Carolina then proceeded to drive 76 yards in seven plays down to the LSU six-yard line, but time ran out on the Tar Heels.
The "Mad Hatter" escaped with another poorly called fourth quarter.
Crank up the heat on that hot seat LSU fan.
As I sat in the press box in the Georgia Dome watching LSU march down field on the North Carolina Tar Heels early in the game, I struggled with how I would feel about LSU's performance before their fourth quarter meltdown. Would it be an impressive showing by Les Miles and LSU, or more like an insurmountable challenge for Butch Davis and North Carolina?
Thanks to Les Miles I didn't have to worry about it.
The Tar Heels kept it competitive through the first quarter only trailing LSU 7-0. However, by halftime they fell well behind, 30-10. When the second half began, the life seemed zapped out of the North Carolina team and fans.
Then the fourth quarter arrived and North Carolina rallied, or perhaps Les Miles went back to his 2009 woeful ways. It depends on how you want to look at it.
Les Miles needs a successful 2010 season to keep his job at LSU. However, if he continues to scare the life out of the LSU faithful and lose a few of those close games he can kiss his gig goodbye.
James Walker is a syndicated and National Writer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BRJamesWalker. Also, feel free to subscribe to his Facebook page: James Walker - National Writer for Bleacher Report.