NEW ORLEANS, LA – SEPTEMBER 04: LSU Tigers wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (7) catches a pass during a game between the LSU Tigers and the Florida State Seminoles at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 4, 2022. (Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LSU put up 65 points and 550 yards of total offense routing cross town foe Southern 65-17 under the lights of a Tiger Stadium Saturday night, leaving no doubt who the best team in Baton Rouge is.
Here are five observations following LSU’s 65-17 win over Southern.
A historic first quarter
LSU put up a school record 37 points in the first quarter and the Tigers were making plays early and often Saturday night. It all started when Southern fumbled the opening kickoff and the Tigers wasted no time pouncing on the loose ball. They took their opening possession and immediately put seven points on the board when Junior quarterback Jayden Daniels took a third-and-goal play 18 yards on a tuck-and-run down the right sideline. Damian Ramos converted the PAT to put the Tigers up early.
The Tigers didn’t stop there. By the time the first quarter ended LSU had forced three turnovers, including a pick-six, blocked a punt for a safety and scored on all four of their first quarter possessions putting up 37 points on the board and closing out the first quarter with a 37-0 lead.
Daniels shined in limited action
With the game well in hand, Daniels saw his curtain call fairly early in this one. The Arizona State transfer exited the game early in the second quarter. At the time of his exit though, he had already put his stamp on the game. Daniels finished his night completing 10-of-11 passes for 137 yards and three passing touchdowns. He also chipped in on the ground game with three carries for 18 yards and a touchdown.
Boutte back in the game plan
Last week we were left scratching our heads at LSU star receiver Kayshon Boutte’s absence from LSU’s game plan. This week it was highlighted as an area that needed improvement and Brian Kelly made sure he was a big part of the game plan this week as Boutte made plays in the passing game and on the ground.
Boutte caught all five of his targets for 42 yards and he added some excitement on the ground with one carry good for 41 yards as well. It’s worth noting that with LSU’s big win, these numbers came in limited action as Boutte sat out most of the second half.
A different offense under Nussmeier
It’s safe to say this offense is more fluid with Daniels at the helm. Freshman backup signal caller Garrett Nussmeier got himself some valuable reps on Saturday night but didn’t really do much to seize his moment. The offense struggled and at times had trouble moving the ball under Nussmeier. If that wasn’t enough, Nussmeier threw an interception late in the third quarter that was returned 94 yards for Southern’s first points of the game. It’s great that he got those reps, but it’s apparent why Daniels emerged from camp as LSU’s starting quarterback.
Nussmeier finished his night completing 57-percent of his passes going 13-of-23 for 182 yards and two interceptions.
Stout on Defense
This defense did pretty much what it was supposed to do, only giving up ten offensive points to the Jaguars. Southern’s pick-six doesn’t count against the Tigers’ defense, aside from that the Jaguars only put it in the endzone one time on offense and that came after the game was all but over. When they capped off a 10-play 79-yard drive with a one-yard plunge by Jaguar running back Karl Ligon with 8:15 left in the fourth quarter. Their only other points on offense came with :01 on the clock after head coach Eric Dooley called timeout and trotted out the field goal unit for a last second field goal.
The LSU defense held Southern to just 262 yards of total offense, including 61 yards through the air. The Tiger defense led the charge all night tallying three sacks and forcing five turnovers. I know, I know… Talent disparity. Still, the defense did what was expected of them. What more could we ask?