The Good, Bad and Ugly from LSU’s 55-3 blowout win over Georgia Southern

WWL Newsroom
September 03, 2019 - 12:04 pm

By: Tim Zimmer

There was a lot of good and not so much ugly Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. The newly-hyped LSU offense lived up to expectations, scoring 45 points with Joe Burrow in at QB, 55 in total. Not only was the offense impressive, the defense looked hungry, forcing multiple turnovers. If Saturday night’s performance against Georgia Southern was any indicator of what to expect the rest of the season, Tiger fans are in for a treat.

Where do we start, offense or defense here? Obviously, the highlight of the night was the performance by LSU QB Joe Burrow. On the opening drive of the game, Burrow went 4/5 for 78 yards that resulted in a touchdown. The biggest target for those receptions was sophomore WR Terence Marshall Jr. . Marshall had 3 catches on the night, but all three resulted in touchdowns. The number of weapons Burrow has at his disposal is unlimited, which included 10 Tigers catching passes from #9.  Burrow finished the game 23/27 for 278 yards, 5 touchdowns, surpassing 3,000 yards passing in his LSU career.

The other highlight was the LSU defense. Facing a run-heavy option offense, LSU feasted on open tackles. Midway through the 2nd quarter, Georgia Southern’s offense had a combined 13 total yards. It was good seeing K’Lavon Chaisson continue what he started last season in the Miami game before his injury.  The Tigers held the Eagles to under 100 yards total offense (98).

Even with Devin White’s absence this season, the LSU defense continued to roll as LB Jacob Phillips led the way in tackles. Although it’s just one game, the Tiger defense could be one of the elite defenses in the country.

Finally, let’s not forget about special teams. Two true freshman delivered fantastic play in their first game in purple & gold. Highly touted freshman Derek Stringley Jr. showed why he was such a highly sought recruit, almost taking the first two punt returns of of the game to the house.

The other freshman was kicker Cade York. York converted his first field goal of the season for 39 yards, then easily converted a 48 yarder in the 4th quarter. He’s got huge shoes to fill, after replacing Cole Tracey, but so far, Cade York looks like he can be reliable.

We still didn’t get a clear picture of the LSU backfield rotation. Clyde Edwards-Helaire started the game for LSU and looks to top the pecking order, but Steve Ensminger used all five of his running backs in the 1st half. It’s unclear who will be the #2 back behind Edwards-Helaire, but Lanard Fournette made his case. Fournette had a pep in this step, which you saw in the 1st quarter; he also added to that with a rushing TD in the 3rd quarter.

While I still think John Emery is the most talented of the LSU running backs, he’s going to have to wait behind the longer-ttenured backs of Edwards-Helaire and Fournette for the time being.

The only other bad from this game may have came from the stands. While the beer lines were long (still working the kinks out), most of the upper level seats were empty throughout the game. By the middle of the 3rd quarter, Tiger Stadium was pretty quiet and empty for the most part. There was even a pizza box stacking competition at one point in the 4th quarter. I think the score had a lot to do with the attendance late in the game, but the fact that it was Labor Day weekend and the opponent was Georgia Southern may have kept some Tiger fans away too. Baton Rouge traffic on any day of the week is rough, so I get it.

The Louisiana heat. Boy, was that brutal.

Next, LSU will face the Texas Longhorns in Austin. This will be the true eye test on how the Tigers are expected to perform. College Gameday already announced they'll be in Austin for the game, so expect another big performance from LSU in primetime.

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