It should have been a lot easier than this. On the opening drive of the second half, LSU marched down the field with apparent ease. Jarrett Lee found Reuben Randle wide open in the end zone, delivered the ball right between the numbers, and Randle promptly dropped the pass. Drew Alleman compounded the error by missing a short field goal.
Instead of being up 34-7 in a laugher, LSU gave WVU a second life. The Neers took advantage of this, marched right down the field and scored a touchdown of their own. Suddenly the game was 27-14, and the fight was on. WVU would eventually get as close as six, before a Mo Claiborne kickoff return put the lead back up to double digits for good.
It's hard to be negative after a blowout win on the road against a top 25 team, but here we are: the defense, especially in the third quarter, played like crap.
Geno Smith passed for over 400 yards, and they weren't garbage yards when the game was out of reach. He moved the offense up and down the field against a non-existent pass rush and soft coverage by the secondary. But at least the tackling was poor.
T-Rex is still T-Rex, and he had a truly jaw dropping forced fumble and interception. He forced two turnovers, pretty much by his lonesome. But one man does not make a defense. It's up to the rest of the defense to allow T-Rex to freelance and do what he does best, but just about everyone dropped the ball. Literally.
West Virginia exposed LSU's defense a bit tonight. Not so much that we need to start panicking, but this was not the dominant unit we have seen this season. They spent three quarters back on their heels, allowing big plays and huge chunks of yards.
But on a night the defense played shaky, the offense carried the load.
Jarrett Lee had his best night as a starter, throwing for three touchdowns (and he should've had a fourth). Spencer Ware and Michael Ford just took turns gashing the WVU defense. And don't look now, but LSU cracked 40 points. Again.
We tend to think of the offense as just along for the ride, but LSU has now scored 40 points in three of the first four games. The team is lighting up the scoreboard. Sure, some of that is the great field position the offense keeps getting thanks to defense and special teams, but last year's offense couldn't take advantage of the field position. This year's team can.
This team doesn't quite have that killer instinct, but they do play to maim. LSU gets up big, loses focus, and then goes up big again. I'd prefer we didn't have that "lose focus" step, but this team has shown that it can score points in a hurry when it wants to.
LSU is 4-0, and have three wins over teams in the top 25. No team has come within 10 points of LSU yet, and it's not like we've been playing chumps. This is a really, really good team. They keep proving it every week. LSU just needs to keep their focus until, hopefully, there is a matchup of undefeated powers in Tuscaloosa.
But the team is not perfect. The defense really did have a bad night. Russell Shepard was a non-factor in his return. Offensive linemen keep dropping like flies. Oh, and Reuben Randle dropped a pass, delaying the eventual blowout. Tiger fans, let that last one go.
Instead, let's look at the positives. T-Rex is a force of nature. Our two-headed running back looks great. ODB and Randle make a solid receiving duo. Jarrett Lee keeps playing better. But most importantly, the team is a convincing is 4-0.
Say it's luck. I dare you.