July 3, 2020

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Photo Credit Gerald Herbert

The day started out hot, not like any other humid day in autumn, but HOT! People were tailgating and looking for shade. Hot foods that would normally be eaten with haste were left to cool in the sweltering heat of the late August day. Cold drinks and ice were in high demand and in limited quantities as the day went on. The crowd outside of Tiger Stadium was rambunctious, and full of energy knowing their Tigers would soon go to war against the Eagles from Georgia Southern. The band Rockin’ Dopsie, a staple for game day performed outside the PMAC, as crowds gathered to watch the Tigers walk down Victory Hill.

Georgia Southern would win the opening coin toss and defer to the second half, LSU would call for the fair catch, getting the ball at their own 25. They would then drive the entire length of the field in just six plays in less than two and a half minutes to cap off with a touchdown 13 yard pass from quarterback Joe Burrow to wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

The Eagles seemed to be shell shocked as the Tigers continued the constant barrage of quick passes and mixing up their running attack, always having a fresh back in to pound the ball between the tackles. Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the rushing attack with 45 yards on nine attempts. He also added a touchdown on LSU’s second drive.

Offensively, the Tigers shined tonight, scoring on every possession. Including a 48 yard field goal by freshman kicker Cade York. Senior quarterback Joe Burrow tied an LSU touchdown record by throwing five in a half. That record goes back to 2013 when former Tiger QB Zach Mettenberger tossed five against UAB. Burrow is also living up to his word from the off-season stating “don’t be surprised if we put up 40, 50, or 60 points a game in this offense.” In this new offense, fourteen different receivers caught passes, eight different in the first team rotation.

“Everybody eats in this offense” has been the theme talked about from the receivers, to the tight end groups to quarterback Joe Burrow. Within the new offense, both quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Myles Brennan attempted 39 passes, which ties the most passes attempted by an Ed Orgeron coached LSU team. They also completed 30 passes, the most completions in a single game in Coach Orgerons’ tenure at LSU. “I thought Joe (Burrow) was on fire. He threw some great balls, our receivers caught the ball, there were receivers that were open, there were great concepts that were going on out there.” Coach Orgeron stated about Joe Burrows performance. 55 points is also the most points scored in regulation by the Tigers under Ed Orgeron. Finally, with his 278 yards passing on the night, Joe Burrow eclipsed the 3,000 yard career mark at LSU.

Defensively, the Tigers played lights out! The Eagles crossed the 50 once, and that was due to a facemask penalty that tacked on an extra 15 yard penalty and a first down. This drive would stall and the Eagles would eventually settle for a field goal. Junior defensive end Neil Farrell and senior Rashard Lawrence, both had sacks on the night. A rarity against a triple option team, especially since they are not known to pass the ball as much. Georgia Southern attempted just 11 passes on the night, the fewest ever against Coach Orgerons’ Tigers. “Our defense held them to 98 yards and that is a good offense and a well-coached football team. I’m proud of the way our team prepared. We had a good team win.” Ed Orgeron stated.

Earlier in the week, Coach Orgeron stated the Tigers would come out “guns blazing” in regards to how they would open up the playbook against Georgia Southern. Tonight, he said, they did not need to do as much as originally thought. With close to 300 yards passing, and five touchdowns in the first half from Joe Burrow, my question is what is in the playbook that they didn’t use? If we are just scratching the surface of this offense, then the rest of the SEC is officially on notice.