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Behind the Boxscore: LSU-Oregon

Last excuse to post an Oregon cheerleader (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Last excuse to post an Oregon cheerleader (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Getty Images

It's another season and that means another season of delving into the boxscore to find those numbers that told the story of the game.

127-18. LSU and Oregon's yards of offense in the 3rd quarter. Oregon outgained LSU over the course of the game (335-273). Oregon actually gained 143 yards in the 4th quarter when the game was out of hand, so that stat is a bit misleading.  However, when the game was in doubt, LSU opened things up in the 3rd quarter, outgaining Oregon by 100 yards in the quarter.  That 17 point swing was the deciding part of the game. 

10 for 10.  Combined red zone effectiveness. The two teams each had 5 trips to the red zone.  Both teams scored on every single trip.  Oregon settled for two field goals, and LSU for one, but still... ten for ten is pretty darn impressive. 

95. Oregon's yards rushing.  By the way, this is less than two different LSU backs by themselves.  Spencer Ware rushed for 99 yards and Michael Ford rushed for 96 yards.  Oregon has one of the most prolific running games in the country, and LSU just absolutely crushed it.

3-3. Oregon's fumbles and fumbles lost.  Never doubt the importance of fumble luck.  Forcing fumbles is a skill.  Recovering them is luck.  LSU definitely benefited from fumble luck in this game, especially in the decisive third quarter.  Two fumbles, two recoveries.  Both leading to scores.

98. Jarrett Lee's total yards passing. Blame it on drops or the play calling or whatever.  98 yards passing is not good.  He needs to improve.

-10. Oregon's punt return yardage.  LSU's punt coverage teams just dominated this game.  Oregon couldn't get anything going in the return game, a usual strength.  Throw in the fumble returned for a touchdown, it is hard to have a punt return game be more disastrous.