Andrew Hatch had a funny feeling as he trudged off the field in front of 92,904 screaming fans inside Louisiana State's Tiger Stadium. And it was more than just the pain burning in his left leg.

It was last October, and Hatch had just made his last contribution of the game in the fourth quarter against Georgia: With the Tigers trailing by two touchdowns, he was sacked for a 12-yard loss. L.S.U. was on its way to its second defeat of the season, a blemish on the Tigers' record that would surely end any hopes of them defending their national title.

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