LSU provides myriad of reasons for optimism in opener
For one of the most offensively starved fan bases in college football, it was a giddy Saturday night.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow threw five touchdown passes in the first half.
The Tigers didn’t huddle and didn’t run a play from under center.
LSU was so much “fun” on offense.
However, after a 55-3 rout of Georgia Southern, attention quickly turns to this Saturday night’s game at Texas. It will be a huge test for both teams, and a crucible for the LSU offensive line.
Head coach Ed Orgeron with some real perspective on what that matchup means for his guys up front.
“We know we can throw the ball. We know we can get guys open, can we protect the passer, on a consistent basis,” said Orgeron. “I think that will be a key for us.”
The spread offense is a perfect fit for LSU, a program with an experienced and talented senior quarterback, throwing the ball to a host of talented receivers and running backs. The system helps the offensive line, an above average but not great group which doesn’t have to protect for very long.
- Experienced center Lloyd Cushenberry is under appreciated. The preseason All-SEC first team selection can not only hold the point of attack, but he delivers an on target shotgun snap with regularity. No wonder Burrow is one of his biggest fans.
- One of the best players on the field Saturday night was sophomore linebacker Damone Clark from Southern Lab. The 6-foot-3, 239-pounder was all over the field, pressuring the quarterback and thwarting Georgia Southern’s hopes of getting its option game to the perimeter. The Eagles ran 50 plays and totaled 98 yards offense.
- LSU’s perimeter speed on defense also received an obvious boost from the return of edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, who showed off his pursuit talents despite facing a run-first option foe. One of his jarring hits in run support forced fumble that was recovered by safety Grant Delpit and set up a touchdown.
- He’s yet to kick one field goal under pressure, but freshman Cade York made all seven point after touchdown attempts and kicked field goals of 39 and 48 yards. Orgeron said last Monday that one of York’s attributes is his ability to get lift quickly on his attempts. It was a trait easily recognizable Saturday night.
- LSU has had a myriad of star punt returners, from Tommy Casanova to Craig Burns to Kevin Faulk, Dominick Davis, Skyler Green and Patrick Peterson. True freshman Derek Stingley, who had four returns for 52 yards, will break at least one return for a touchdown this season.
- What’s also impressive about Stingley is how he showed good decision making and poise when grabbing a fair catch. In the big games to come, the product of The Dunham School needs to make big plays while being dependable. He certainly looks to be both.
- The biggest winner Saturday night was LSU’s recruiting efforts. Receivers and backs know that if they play, they will get touches. “Everybody eats,” said wide receiver Terrace Marshall.
The Tigers buried Georgia Southern but can they produce offensively on the road against a Top 10 team? The answer comes less than a week from now in Austin.
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WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM
Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…