Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
BATON ROUGE, LA: There is one thing that you can take from LSU's 34-7 victory over McNeese on Saturday night. Neither the Tigers or the Cowboys look like a good football team. This one was painful to sit through. Even though the LSU defense dominated the Cowboys throughout the contest, it was just nothing exciting or special to witness. It was expected.
The most frustrating part of the ball game was the sputtering LSU offense which still featured no rushing attack. Most of the Tigers' 132 yards rushing came late in the 4th quarter after the McNeese defense had been worn down. Early and often LSU couldn't move the football on the ground when needed against a much weaker opponent.
The pass protection still needs improvement as Max Johnson for the second week in a row would find himself regularly under pressure leading to another up and down performance by the quarterback.
LSU would win the toss and defer to the second half. The Tiger defense would force McNeese to a quick three and out, setting up the offense, 1st and 10 at their own 38. The Tigers would go 62 yards in ten plays, with the drive ending with a 19 yard touchdown pass from Max Johnson to Trey Palmer on a 4th and two. Even though the Tigers scored on their first possession, it was a very sloppy. The highlight of the drive was a 21 yard gain by freshmen running back Armoni Goodwin as he would show his speed turning the corner for the nice gain.
For the rest of the 1st quarter the LSU defense would do a solid job against an outmanned McNeese offense. It was the Tigers offense that was painful to watch as they were unable to run the football, and displayed a sputtering passing attack with shaky pass protection.
With 7:42 to go in the first half, the LSU defense would force a fumble and recover it at the Cowboys 28 yard line. Max Johnson would find Kayshon Boutte in the back of the North end zone for a three yard touchdown pass. The scoring drive would take LSU three plays to go the 28 yards eating up only 44 seconds off the clock.
The Bayou Bengals would manage to score one more time in the first half. After a short McNeese punt, the LSU offense would start the drive from their own 44 yard line. After driving to the Cowboys 30 and face a 3rd and seven, Joey McNeely would sack Max Johnson for a seven yard loss. Cade York would then hit a 55 yard field goal. The kick would be the longest field goal ever made in Tiger Stadium and would put the Tigers up 17-0 with 1:41 to go in the first half.
The LSU offense would continue to sputter through most of the 3rd quarter, before finally beginning a drive at the McNeese 49 with 4:38 to go in the period. Max Johnson would drive the Tigers 49 yards in seven plays, hitting Boutte in the end zone for a six yard touchdown. York's PAT would extend the LSU lead to 24-0.
The Tigers would increase their lead to 27-0 on the first play of the 4th quarter as Cade York would break the record that he set earlier in the contest for the longest field goal kicked in Tiger Stadium as he would connect on a 56 yard attempt.
Corey Kiner would score his first touchdown as a LSU Tiger with 7:37 left in the contest. On a 1st and ten at the McNeese 23, Kiner would take the handoff from Garrett Nussmeier and find himself in the end zone after a couple of nice shifty moves making tacklers miss. 34-0 Tigers.
McNeese would score their only points with 4:30 left in the game, when Cody Orgeron would hit Carlo Williams who would outrun the LSU defense to the end zone for a 44 yard touchdown.
The LSU defense held McNeese to 142 total yards of offense, which 44 of that came on the Cowboys scoring play. Cody Orgeron was harassed all night long. The Tigers sacked him eight times and kept him under constant pressure.
Maason Smith had a huge game with 6 tackles and 3 sacks. Andre Anthony finished with 5 tackles and two and a half sacks. Damone Clark had a solid game with six tackles. Major Burns, Nav Strong, Jaquelin Roy, and B.J. Ojulari all stood out as well.
Max Johnson would finish 18-27, for 161 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. Garrett Nussmeier, who entered the game late in the 3rd quarter finished 3-10 for 19 yards.
Kashon Boutte had another nice game, with 5 grabs for 31 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jack Bech had 4 catches for 57 yards. Kole Taylor had 22 yards on 4 receptions, and Trey Palmer had 3 catches for 30 yards and 1 touchdown.
Corey Kiner would lead the team in rushing with 56 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Ty Davis-Price added 37 yards on 8 carries, while Armoni Goodwin would have 2 rushes for 23 yards...
The offensive line was with out starters Chase Hines and Austin Deculus and continued to struggle run blocking with shaky pass protection.
The question now is, if Ed Orgeron and this coaching staff can't fix the offensive line problem and get the defense to play at a high level against a worthy opponent soon, will Scott Woodward fix the problem at the end of the season, or perhaps sooner?
Next up the Tigers will host Central Michigan on Saturday at 6:30pm. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
Photos Below By: Jonathan Mailhes