I watched the game from the 50-yard line with a pretty good buzz going, so these thoughts are pretty much off the cuff. I'm going to watch the game again thanks to the wonder of DVR. I'm interested to see what the ESPN crew had to say as it unfolded. I think it was pretty obvious from the start that LSU used a scaled back playbook to not show Virginia Tech anything.
The offense was completely underwhelming for the first 25 minutes, but I thought Matt Flynn settled in after the half and played pretty well. It was obvious Early Doucet was the best offensive player on the field, but LSU is going to have to get production from its other receivers -- like next week. The offensive line has to be better than it was.
As for the running game, it appears to have picked up right where it left off. As I mentioned last year, I hate the way Jacob Hester gets used by Les Miles. I wish he would be more of a fullback/third-down back, allowing Keiland Williams or Charles Scott to get 15-20 carries a game. They're the Tigers' home-run hitters, not Hester. It was nice to see Trindon Holliday get some touches, but I wish they'd be a little more creative getting him in space than just end arounds.
The defense was as advertised with an assist from Michael Henig. Outside of the one big play (how did that happen?!??!), I think Mississippi State only had 101 yards. The team speed on that side of the ball is probably the best in the country. Trying to run wide against them is about as stupid a play call as a coach can make. I thought the secondary was tremendous in its tackling. I don't remember any yards after the catch.
Patrick Fisher was the special teams star, booming some of his punts, but I didn't like that he had a few chances to land some inside the 20 and couldn't. That drives me up the wall from a punter. We'll have to wait and see about our return game, but our kickoff coverage was excellent. I wish our kicks would be a little deeper though, some barely made it to the 10.
Nine more days until LSU really gets tested. Thursday couldn't have gone better as a tune up.