January 21, 2020

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There’s an old saying in sports; “Speed Kills” Utah State came into the game with one of the fastest tempo offenses in the country, maybe, the fastest. I do not think I could do the Aggies proper justice by just saying their offense was “fast.” Seeing it on film, and live, gave me a new perspective on what it means to go “fast.” After running one play in the first quarter, they were completely lined up, set, and waiting for the referee to spot the ball.

But there is another saying about Tigers Stadium, “It is the humidity of autumn evenings that drapes stately oaks and broad magnolias.” Yes, LSU did not play a night game in Tigers Stadium today, but the humidity and heat were still there. The heat and early kickoff time were clearly a factor in this game, half the stadium was empty at the time of kick-off, but, by the middle of the first quarter the stadium was coming alive.

The Tigers received the opening kick-off and on their opening drive appeared a little sluggish. LSU drove 75 yards in 12 plays scoring in what is now considered an eternity in the new LSU offense, four minutes and nineteen seconds, doubling the time of some of their previous scoring drives. Capping off the drive with a touchdown pass to Derrick Dillon.

The Aggies would come out fast on offense, something that the Tigers were prepared for, coming off a bye, LSU has had an extra week to prepare for the speed of this high powered offense of Utah State. Aggie quarterback Jordan Love was a preseason Heisman candidate, and is a potential first round draft pick according to many experts, and the Tiger defense has been a bone of contention lately with fans. Against Vanderbilt, the defense had 18 missed tackles, and Head Coach Ed Orgeron wanted to drive home the importance of tackling. “I looked at our tackling circuit and there was 126 reps of tackling. So I think our guys got the message.” Orgeron said earlier in the week. “More or less, it’s not the actual tackle, obviously that has a lot to do with it, but it’s the approach, the footwork, and the angle.”

It definitely showed today, the Tigers held the Aggies to just 159 yards of total offense on 53 plays. The Aggies came in averaging 533 yards per game. More than three times the offensive production they had against the Tigers today. Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda, has been working tirelessly with an injured Tiger defense to get production, and today that work paid off. With injuries to starters Rashard Lawrence, Glen Logan, and Michael Divinity, having outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson back in the line-up seemed like a breath of fresh air for the Tigers. Linebackers Patrick Queen and Jacob Phillips stepped up big time this week for the Tigers, leading the team in tackles. True freshman Derek Stingley, had his second interception of the year, and the defense as a whole had three on the day. Defensively the Tigers pitched a shutout against a very good Utah State team.

On offense LSU quarterback Joe Burrow continued his record breaking season, passing for 27-38 and 344 yards and five touchdowns. That puts him at No. 4 on the all-time list for career touchdowns with 38, and tied for No. 3 for touchdowns in a single season with 22, just five games into the season. The others names on that single season list, Tommy Hudson and Zach Mettenberger. Burrow needs just six passing touchdowns through the next seven games to tie the school record for most passing touchdowns in a season. He is currently averaging nearly four and a half a game through the air.

Justin Jefferson continues his dominant play as well, snagging nine receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Ja’Marr chase kept things interesting with his touchdown reception in the second quarter. Elevating over his defender to haul in the pass from 25 yards out, and completing the drive that started at the Tigers 1 yard line. Tight End Thaddeus Moss also got in on the action in the fourth quarter with an eight yard slant touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Burrow.

454 yards currently sit between Burrow and the single season passing record. This will most likely be accomplished when the Tigers head to Starkville to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs on October 19th.