A Day After: LSU vs. Sam Houston State

A no-doubter. This was a game that LSU came out and did exactly what they wanted to do, but few actually expected them to do. LSU came out and hung 50+ points and nearly 600 yards of offense on an overmatched (but good by FCS standards) FCS team, not ever giving the Bearkats a chance to get in the game. From the opening Bearkat drive that resulted in a Dwayne Thomas interception, which was immediately followed by a 94-yard bomb from Anthony Jennings to Travin Dural for a touchdown, LSU thoroughly dominated the game Saturday night in the newly enlarged Tiger Stadium.

The stadium, by the way, looks fantastic. Pictures don’t do it justice, in all honesty. I can’t wait to experience a game with a lively atmosphere. There were some first game audio/visual issues, such as the sound reverberating to excess a few times, but all in all the new additions looked and felt fantastic. The whole production of the game was amped up with all the new toys & it really added to the atmosphere.

Defensively, LSU shut down a team that averaged over 90 plays a game, holding them to just 64 plays and 206 total yards. It was also the defense’s first shutout since blanking next week’s opponent, ULM, in 2010. LSU was able to get a number of young guys action once the score began to go up. Devin Godchaux continues to play like one of LSU’s best on the defensive line. Danielle Hunter also had a much better game than when going against the power-focused Wisconsin Badgers. SHSU’s spread attack let Hunter use his speed with aplomb & he ended up leading the team in tackles.

Leonard Fournette had a much better time as his vision improved markedly over last week. Fournette led all rushers with 92 yards, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. A lot of that came on his 40 yard scamper, but he still did a better job than he did last week. It feels like his plays are still telegraphed to a certain extent, but as the season wears on, Cam Cameron will change that.

*On the Heisman pose: It was all in good fun. Miles gave Fournette an earful after he did it & he certainly won’t do it again. It was his first touchdown & probably got caught up in the moment. It was forgotten by the next series.

Anthony Jennings looked calm and confident all game. There was never a point where he didn’t look like he knew what he wanted to do with the football. 7 of 13 isn’t lighting the world on fire from a percentage stand point, but it went for 188 yards and his percentage didn’t suffer until the game was in hand and he attempted some low-risk deep balls to Dural that didn’t work.

The offensive line looked better. The SHSU line was much smaller than LSU’s, but they did a much better job of opening running lanes for the backs to get through. The Tigers racked up 334 yards on the ground, so there’s little to gripe about. The only concern is Pocic’s ankle injury, which saw him in a boot for the remainder of the game after going down.

At one point in the second half, LSU an entirely freshman secondary in the game with Russell Gage, Jamal Adams, Devin Voorhies, & Ed Paris.  All in all, 17 freshman played. We even got a sighting of the much looked forward to Brandon Harris to Malachi Dupre connection on a beautiful toss in the endzone that Dupre laid out for. Harris, who went 4 of 5 and played a number of series’ in the second half, showed off the things his strong arm can do & showed what his wheels are capable of with a 46 yard touchdown scamper in the first half.

It was an effective tune up and let LSU continue to figure itself out before the SEC schedule begins. Next week, the Tigers take on ULM before Mississippi State comes to Baton Rouge. Back to back shutouts, anyone?

Cameron Roberson

About Cameron Roberson

I muse and ramble about LSU sports daily. History buff & creative thinker. Coming at you from the Deep South & the heart of LSU Land, Baton Rouge.