(Adapted from a story originally run on lsureveille.com)
LSU slipped to 0-2 Saturday, losing 22-20 to Florida State 22-20 on the last play of the game.
LSU junior flyhalf Allen Alongi made a penalty kick with one minute left to put the Tigers up 20-17, but LSU was called for a diving over penalty while trying to run out the clock. FSU moved the ball to the other side of the field, capitalizing on LSU's poor field distribution, and streaked up the left sideline for game-winning try.
"They had an overload with numbers," Alongi said. "We were expecting to retain it and kick it out and win, but that's what happens in rugby. Any split second, the game can change."
Senior outside center and captain Jeff Levasseur said the penalty highlighted the team's biggest weakness — inexperience. The club had to replace nine starters this season, Alongi said.
"The ruck is the biggest thing we need to work on with all the new kids, because they're coming from football and other sports," Levasseur said. "We need to be aggressive but we need to be controlled."
FSU also scored the first points of the game. An FSU center caught the defense off guard and broke through a gap, running half the length of the field for the first try of the match, making the score 7-0 after a completed conversion.
"We came out flat," Levasseur said. "We came out pretty dead. We didn't practice defense enough of them skipping it out immediately. We were expecting them to crash the ball, crash the ball. ... We need to start off strong, finish strong. We can't just play in the middle 40 to 50 minutes."
Alongi and Levasseur both scored tries for LSU, and Alongi kicked two penalties and two conversions.
The Tigers will regroup and try to defend their title this weekend at the 33rd Annual Battleship Rugby Tournament at USS Alabama Memorial Park in Mobile, Ala.
Levasseur said that despite the loss, he is pleased with the team's improvement since its last game, a 23-10 loss to Texas State.
"I am much more comfortable and confident going into the tournament after today's game," Levasseur said. "It sucks that we lost, but I am much more confident than three weeks ago."