LSU Football gets defensive in season finale
Shortly after kickoff, LSU flexed its defensive muscles against Louisville’s offense, giving the Cardinals the absolute blues all day.
Given the 37 days away from live action, many expected the Tigers to be a little rusty when they hit the field. However, it was quite the opposite – at least in the beginning. LSU started the first play of the drive with a Danny Etling 36 yard bomb to Malachi Dupre.
It gave Tiger Fans the sense that the LSU took full advantage of their extra practices. Dupre even went on to have a phenomenal game, by his standards, with 7 catches for 138 yards. But the drive eventually stalled and ended with a Delahoussaye missed FG.
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Louisville needed an extra possession to shake off their rust. After going 3 and out to start their 1st series, Jackson hit his WR, Quick, on a 53 yard pass to start their 2nd series of the game. It’s a sight that many Cardinals fans have come quite accustomed to seeing this year. LSU’s defense would eventually hold them to a FG, but that series would awaken the beast.
Spearheaded by Duke Riley, who was honoring a friend today in Joe McKnight, LSU would put on a clinic against the nation’s 2nd best overall offense. It would show Louisville to their new season lows, and become a record setting day for one LSU defender.
Following another punt by LSU, it would be Louisville’s 3rd possession that resulted in a number of sacks. The first was by Devin White, for a sack that went for a loss of 19. LSU would then go on a drive that culminated in the 2nd quarter with a one yard TD pass to Colin Jeter. This would lead up to Tashawn Bower bringing Jackson down yet another time.
After another deep pass from Etling, that would wind up being a spectacular 39 yard catch by DJ Chark, LSU scored again on a one yard pass play. This time it was Etling hitting Derrius Guice coming out of the backfield.
During the ensuing possession, Bower was up to his old tricks, this time leveling Jackson for a 7 yard loss. On the Cardinals next possession, Rashard Lawrence punched his ticket into the dance. For Louisville’s penultimate possession, Arden Key would pick up his 11th sack of the season, which led to a safety.
LSU led 16-6 going into the half. Coming into today’ game, Guice only needed 127 yards to become the leading rusher in the SEC. He would score the only TD of the second half, on a 70 yard run, that propelled him into that spot. But it would be the defense that would take home the glory this day.
In the end, LSU finished with 8 sacks on the day. Key’s 2 sack performance gave him a new Tiger Record with 12. Duke Riley recovered a fumble, Louisville’s only turnover of the game.
The Tigers held the Cardinals without a TD, and a total of 9 points. That total is just 36 points below their season average. The most glaring stat of the game: 220 total yards of offense – 338 yards below their season average.
With this, the Coach Orgeron Era begins with a victory. And if the old adage of “defense wins championships” holds true, we should be excited to see what the 2017 season will bring.
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Happy New Year, Baton Rouge.