Da Boot Sports
By: Corey Perrillioux
BATON ROUGE, LA - On a beautiful day in Tiger Stadium, questionable coaching calls on 4th down and sloppy special teams cost the Tigers and helped open the door to a Tennessee 40-13 blowout win on Saturday.
"Well, that was not what we had planned nor expected. We expected to play much better than that." Brian Kelly said. "Certainly when you fumble the opening kickoff and give an extra possession to a team that obviously plays fast and loves extra possessions and then giving another three points and spot them 10 points in special teams spots you a huge hole. That’s what we did. Our details were not very good. I could stand up here all day, but that falls on coaching."
"That’s on me," Kelly added. "I have to coach better. We’ve gotta coach better. That’s the group we have. We have to coach them better. Congratulations to Tennessee, they played well today. They were the better football team. They certainly deserved the win today. Have to coach this football team better, that’s the bottom line."
LSU started the game with shoddy special teams play, as Jack Bech muffed the opening kickoff with the Vols recovering the ball at the Tigers' 27.
Tennessee quickly drove 27 yards in five plays, capped off with a one yard touchdown run by Jabari Small.
After a LSU three and out, special teams once again burned the Tigers. Jay Bramblet got off a beautiful 52 yard punt, but Dee Williams returned the ball 58 yards down to the LSU 26 yard line. The Tigers defense would hold Tennessee to a 35 yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.
On LSU's second possession, a failed 4th and four at the Tennessee 15 yard line handed the ball back to the Vols. Tennessee then drove from their 11 yard line, settling for a 38 yard field goal to increase their lead to 13-0 as the first quarter came to an end.
LSU started the second quarter with more of the same, going for it on 4th and one, but failing as Josh Williams was tackled for a one yard loss turning the ball over on downs.
Tennessee took over on the LSU 45 and struck quickly. On their first play of the drive, Hendon Hooker connected with Jalin Hyatt for a 45 yard touchdown pass, stretching the lead to 20-0.
The Tigers would finally get on the scoreboard as the offense put a good drive together, mixing in pass and run. Josh Williams scored on a one yard run capping off the 95 yard drive, cutting the Vol's lead to 20-7 with 3:05 left in the first half.
Tennessee drove down to the LSU 34 before the LSU defense forced a field goal attempt. Tennessee kicker Chase McGrath's kick hit the goal post, missing the 51 yard try.
Following a third failed 4th down attempt for LSU, Tennessee quickly drove to the LSU 15, as
McGrath would make a 32 yard field goal on the final play on the first half giving Tennessee a 23-7 lead at the break.
The Volunteers took the opening possession of the second half and drove down the field with ease, scoring on a 14 yard touchdown pitch and catch from Hooker to Hyatt to quickly extend their lead to 30-7 with 11:47 left in the third quarter.
Tennessee once again drove down the field late in the third quarter, mixing a potent passing attack with serviceable running, and additional assistance from LSU penalties. The 92 yard, eight play drive was capped off by a five yard touchdown run by Jabari Small. 37-7 Vols with 2:13 left in the quarter.
Thus far, the Tigers hadn't played with any sense of urgency on offense, but began putting a decent
drive together on their next possession to end the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter began with a touchdown strike from Daniels to Malik Nabers, but the play was nullified by a holding penalty.
The penalty lead to LSU's fourth attempt at a 4th down conversion, which was converted thanks to a pass interference penalty against Tennessee giving the Tigers a 1st and goal at the five.
Daniels would then find Kayshon Boutte in the end zone for a five yard touchdown. The two
point conversion attempt failed, bringing the score to 37-13 with 11:32 remaining in the 4th quarter.
Tennessee took over on their five yard line following a block in the back penalty on the ensuing kickoff, but a 49 yard run by Jabari Small kick started the drive that would result in 32 yard field goal by Chase McGrath for the final score of the contest.
LSU had one more offensive possession, starting at their own five yard line, putting a nice drive together, going 72 yards in seven plays before Daniels would be intercepted in the end zone by Trevon Flowers with :09 left on the clock.
With the loss, LSU is now 4-2 overall, 2-1 in SEC play...
Up next the Tigers will travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators (4-2, 1-2).. Kickoff is set
for 6:00pm CST and will be televised on ESPN.
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
**John 14:6 - "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Finf Jesus. God Bless)