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Behind the Box Score: WKU

Weather: Rainy

REMINDER: Still awesome.
REMINDER: Still awesome.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Box scores, by their very nature, cannot lie. It is a simple recitation of the facts. However, the dispassionate recitations of statistics does deprive a game of its color, and it's possible for the unadorned statistical record to not tell us the full truth. You really can miss the forest for the trees, especially when this is a record of the trees.

This is when I'm supposed to pull out the lies, damn lies, and statistics quote, but it's not the stats that lie, just the people who use them. And even when the stats tell the truth, it sometimes misses the big picture. The best example of this is that every box score lists the weather. And for this weekend's game, it states: "Rainy."

While that it is technically true, it does rather miss the point. This game was not "rainy" in the sense that it was a little moist. No, it rained so long and so hard that Tiger Stadium was doing its best impression of an actual bayou. Yes, the conditions played a huge factor, and the box score can't really get that point across.

428. WKU gained 428 yards on the game, near the ballpark of LSU's 497. This is when a yardage zealot should fall from the sky to tell us that the score was actually misleading because the yardage totals were actually close. And they would be dead wrong. LSU averaged 7.9 yards/play to WKU's 5.1. WKU managed to gain yards, but it was a real struggle in the slop. This was like a sprinter running in mud. Sure, he made forward progress, just not as much as he would like.

8:22. The time left in the second quarter when LSU punted the ball for the fourth consecutive time. At the time, it boded ill for the offense. It would be the last punt of the game for the Tigers, as LSU would score on its next seven competitive drives. This is the moment that LSU turned the offense from idle to go.

5-1. The teams combined for five fumbles on the game, as one would expect in those conditions. However, fumble luck reared its ugly head, and the defenses only managed to recover one of those fumbles. It was a huge play that helped turn the game into a blowout.

26.0. Brandon Harris' yards per completion. Harris had an inconsistent day, but when he was on, he was really on. He barely completed more than 50% of his passes (11 for 20), but he also threw for 286 yards and 3 TD, so we'll take some inefficiency for those kind of yardage totals. This was a big play offense all night for LSU.

2. For all of the hand-wringing over the big plays allowed, LSU's defense was pretty much the opposite of the offense, barely allowing any big plays. WKU had two plays total for over 20 yards, one rush of 35 yards and one pass for 39 yards. WKU ran 84 plays, but could not manage that big play to open up the floodgates for their offense. They spent the night dinking and dunking, which was frustrating, but not terribly effective.

26-150. Fournette rushed 26 times for 150 yards. This was described from most observers as a disappointing game. That is how good he is. We're all eye rolling a 150-yard outing in a rainstorm as not that great. The man is unbelievable.