This article was copied from the Times-Picayune Sports Desk Log.
LSU Game Notes
Sunday, 09/11, 1:15 a.m.
John Davis

TEMPE, ARIZ. - Early got going late, but it was just in time for LSU in its season-opening 35-31 victory over Arizona State.

On a night when the Tiger receivers dropped more than their share of passes, Early Doucet let three slip through his fingers, but he was sure-handed when it counted on a 39-yard winning touchdown.

Doucet caught the pass from JaMarcus Russell on fourth down with 2:54 to play in Coach Les Miles’ debut.

“My teammates just told me to shake it off and keep your head up,” Doucet said. “They stood behind me and stayed confident and that gave me the confidence to keep battling.

“That’s why you don’t give up. You keep playing hard and good things will happen.”

BRAZELL’S GRAB: Miles knows the breakaway ability of senior wide receiver and world-class hurdler Bennie Brazell, but getting the ball in his hands has been a challenge.

Brazell had one catch last season for 20 yards and four receptions for his career before Saturday. But he showed his potential on his first catch of the season with a diving grab at Arizona State’s one-yard line with four minutes left in the first half. The 28-yard completion set up a touchdown run by Joseph Addai on the next play to tie the score at 7.

GAME AIDS VICTIMS: The Bush-Clinton Hurricane Relief Fund is expected to raise more than $1 million as a result of Saturday’s game as all proceeds (after the cost of staging the game) were donated.

To help defer those costs and increase the donation, the Phoenix Thunderbirds civic organization donated $100,000 and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl picked up the tab for LSU’s meal and hotel expenses.

Also, a group of Arizona State donors underwrote the cost of remaining tickets Friday.

EVACUEES GET SEATS: Among the “local” LSU fans at the game were about 200 evacuees of Hurricane Katrina, who are currently housed at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Arizona State, in conjunction with Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, extended the invitation to the evacuees, who sat in a portion of Sun Devil Stadium known as “Koetter’s Corner.”

Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter purchased tickets for the game for 55 displaced Tulane students who are enrolled at Arizona State for the fall semester.