Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
LEXINGTON, KY: LSU came into Lexington hoping to turn things around after falling to 3-2 last weekend. Instead they were handed their worse defeat of the 2021 season as Kentucky made a statement to the rest of the SEC that they are for real, beating LSU 42-21 in dominating fashion.
The Wildcats won the battle at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball all night long, physically pounding on the LSU defense until they had nothing left, while the Kentucky defense made the plays needed to keep the LSU offense scratching and clawing all night long. Once again the Tigers were outplayed and out coached.
It's very likely that Ed Orgeron has coached his final game as the head coach of the LSU Fighting Tigers, less then two years after winning a national championship.
Kentucky would win the coin toss and elect to defer, allowing the Tigers to begin the first drive of the ball game at their own 25 yard line. Max Johnson would complete a couple of nice throws to convert two 3rd down conversions setting up LSU close to mid-field. But on 2nd and six from the Kentucky 47, DeAndre Square would come unblocked blind-siding Johnson, sacking him for a nine yard loss, causing a fumble on the play. Kentucky recovered the loose ball to set up a short field for their offense at the LSU 44.
The Wildcats took advantage of the early turnover, driving 44 yards in nine plays, culminating with a 3 yard touchdown pass from Will Levis to a wide open Chris Rodriguez in the far corner of the end zone on 4th and goal. 7-0 Kentucky with 6:17 left in the first quarter.
LSU, struggling to run the football, still managed to drive to the Kentucky 47, after Johnson would hit Deion Smith and Brian Thomas Jr. with a couple of nice completions to help advance the ball to the Wildcats 31. Facing a 4th and one at the 31, Johnson would miss a well covered Jack Bech to turn the ball over on downs to the hungry, fired up Wildcats.
Kentucky then began to flex their muscles, as Rodriguez, on 2nd and eight would burst up the middle for a 17 yard gain. On the next play a wide open Justin Rigg would haul in a pass from Levis, and the big tight end rumbled 38 yards to the LSU 16 yard line. The 1st quarter would come to an end with Kentucky facing a 2nd and five at the Tigers 11 yard line.
The Wildcats increased their lead to 14-0 on the first play of the 2nd quarter as Will Levis would find Wan'Dale Robinson in the end zone for a 11 yard touchdown pass. The drive covered 69 yards in five plays, taking 2:31 off the game clock.
The first half would end with Kentucky on top 14-0....
Kentucky wasted no time starting the second half as they march 75 yards in seven plays easily against a lifeless LSU defense, scoring on a Will Levis 1 yard quarterback sneak. 21-0 Wildcats with 10:57 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Trailing by their largest deficit of the season, the Tigers would answer Kentucky's scoring drive, with one of their nicest scoring drive of the season. The balanced attack had successful running plays mixed in with some nice throws by Johnson, as the drive would cover 75 yards on nine plays, ending with Ty Davis-Price punching it in from 1 yard out. The score was Davis-Price's first rushing touchdown of the season. 21-7 Wildcats with 6:43 left in the quarter.
For the second drive in a row, the Kentucky offensive line simply man-handled LSU up front, as the Wildcats would again easily move the ball down the field. An exhausted Tiger defense would continue to miss tackles while being outplayed. Will Levis would score his second rushing touchdown of the ball game taking it in from five yards out. 28-7 Wildcats with 1:16 left in the quarter.
After the Tigers turned the ball over on downs on the next possession, Kentucky would continue to pour it on a badly beaten LSU defense as the Wildcats again scored quickly in dominating fashion. This time it only took three plays for Kentucky to go 56 yards, with Levis finding a wide open JuTahn McClain streaking down the sidelines for a 25 yard touchdown. 35-7 with 12:07 left in the game.
Max Johnson and the LSU offense would continue to battle and fight back. With the aid of a personal foul penalty on the Wildcats defense, the Tigers stuck quickly going 75 yards in only four plays, as Johnson would go deep to hit Malik Nabers in the end zone for a 41 yard touchdown. Cade York added the PAT to cut the Kentucky deficit to 35-14 with 11:03 remaining.
LSU would again cut into the Kentucky lead on their next possession, fighting their way back into the end zone. Ty Davis-Price would punch it in from 2 yards out ending a 11 play drive that covered 78 yards. With 5:29 left in the contest, Kentucky now held a 35-21 lead.
After a failed onside kick attempt by Cade York, Kentucky took the ball at the LSU 44 yard line, and proceeded to turned out the lights on the Tigers, going 44 yards in four plays to score again. Chris Rodriguez added the exclamation point to the Kentucky victory with a 18 yard touchdown burst up the middle, running it to what would be the final score, 42-21.
Max Johnson was running for his life all game long, as Kentucky did a great job of bringing a solid pass rush, sacking him four times. Johnson finished the game, 22-38 for 261 yards passing with 1 touchdown pass.
For the first time this season LSU was able to generate a running game. (Most of it in the second half). Ty Davis-Price had his best game of the year rushing for 147 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns... He ran hard all game long, fighting for every inch...
Kayshon Boutte led the team in receiving with 8 catches for 73 yards. Boutte left the game twice with ankle injuries. A different ankle each time. He was carted to the locker room during the 4th quarter. Hoping for good new tomorrow after examinations and x-rays.
Micah Nabors had a nice game with 66 yards on 3 catches and a touchdown, while Brian Thomas has 3 grabs for 43 yards.
On defense Damone Clark lead the team in tackles with 14.. The defense struggled all game long as Kentucky was able to move the ball both on the ground and through the air as LSU was man-handled the entire contest.
Kentucky rushed for 330 yards with Chris Rodriguez leading the way with 147 yards on 16 carries while Kavosiey Smoke added 104 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis had a fantastic performance, finishing 12-17 for 145 yards passing with 3 touchdown passes. He also hurt the Tigers on the ground rushing for 75 yards on 11 carries and two rushing touchdowns.
LSU's defense only managed one sack and only three TFL, while Kentucky's defense totaled four sacks and had nine TFL.....
I do believe that we all have seen enough. Something is broken inside of the LSU football program and Ed Orgeron has no idea how to fix it. It's time for the change to be made. Orgeron needs to be released tomorrow. Then promote Mickey Joseph to Interim head coach for the remainder of the season while Scott Woodward begins his search for the next LSU head man.
Next up the (3-3) Tigers will host the (4-2) Florida Gators in Tiger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 16.. Kickoff is set for 11:00am and will be televised on ESPN.