Ohio State experienced a fatal dose of deja vu Monday night in the Big Easy.

Just as they did in last year’s national title game against another Southeastern Conference opponent, the Buckeyes raced off to a quick 10-0 advantage against LSU.

And just as Florida rebounded quickly in last year’s contest, converting several Ohio State turnovers into an insurmountable lead, so did LSU.

In fact, the Buckeyes’ loss to LSU was their ninth in a row to an SEC opponent in a bowl game. That’s deja vu on the intensity level of what Bill Murray experienced in the movie “Groundhog Day” when he kept waking up to the same circumstances day after day after day after day…You get the picture.

After Chris Wells’ 65-yard touchdown gallop on the fourth play of the game, Ohio State forced the Tigers to punt on their first possession of the night. QB Todd Boeckman connected with Brandon Saine on a 44-yard pass and four plays later, Ryan Pretorius banged in a 25-yard field goal to give the crimson and silver their largest — and only — lead of the game.

Colt David booted a 32-yard three-pointer before the first quarter wound down and then it was all Tiger tracks the remainder of the half as Louisiana State sent its fans into a tizzy with three unanswered touchdowns.

The Tigers began the second half with possession of the ball and aided by 28 yards in penalties against the Buckeyes, it only took six plays to knot the game at 10, thanks to a Matt Flynn to Richard Dickson 13-yard scoring toss.

Wells ripped off a 29-yard gain and Boeckman followed with a 19-yard strike to Brian Robiskie. Suddenly, Ohio State was sitting on the LSU 28 and there was a distinct feeling that the game could end up being a seesaw battle.

Instead, the Buckeye drive stalled, thanks to another 15-yard penalty, and Pretorius’ 37-yard field goal was blocked by Ricky Jean-Francois and recovered by the Bayou Bengals.

Flynn engineered a masterful three-minute, 23-second drive in response, mixing six rushes with two pass completions in four attempts. The second completion was a 10-yard score to Brandon LaFell that gave LSU the lead for good at 17-10 at the 7:30 mark of the second quarter.

Chevis Jackson intercepted Boeckman on the Buckeyes’ ensuing possession and five plays later, Jacob Hester plowed into the end zone from a yard out to put the Tigers up 24-10.

If there was any hope in Buckeye Nation that Jim Tressel’s troops would make a fight of it in the second half, the first LSU possession quickly dispelled that notion.

Aided again by 30 yards in penalties by Ohio State, the Tigers put together a five-plus-minute, 14-play drive that was capped off by Flynn’s third TD pass of the night, this time a 4-yarder to Early Doucet. The scoreboard read 31-10, and LSU’s faithful began partying inside the Dome.

Flynn would find Dickson in the end zone again late in the game for his fourth TD toss of the night, while Boeckman connected with Robiskie and Brian Hartline for the Buckeyes’ two other meaningless scores to reach the final of LSU 38, Ohio State 24.

Flynn (19 of 27 for 174 yards, four TDs and one pick) was selected the offensive player of the game. Chris Wells paced the Buckeyes with 146 yards rushing and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Ohio State actually outgained LSU in total yards, 353 to 326. However, 89 yards in penalties, a minus-2 turnover margin, and a woeful 3 for 13 in third-down conversions weighed heavily in the Buckeyes’ defeat.