clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

First Impressions: LSU 56, Texas Tech 27

Blowouts can be fun

Yes. He can fly.
Yes. He can fly.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, it didn't mean a whole heck of a lot, but winning is always better than losing. Frankly, this is the kind of team LSU is built to absolutely destroy: a spread offense coupled with a smallish defense that doesn't tackle very well. That's like a dream matchup for both units.

Texas Tech's best play all game was for Patrick Mahomes to frantically scramble away from a four-man rush, evade someone's grasp, then throw across his body to a receiver running a crossing route to the other side of the field. That's not really a sustainable offense, and eventually the Red Raiders ran out of magic.

But give credit to Mahomes. He alternated between awesome and awful, once completing six straight passes, allowing him to get his completion percentage slightly above 50%. But he and Jakeem Grant are really fun players to watch. They connected for three touchdowns and you know what? I'm not even mad. Good on them.

Cam Cameron spent a good portion of the game forgetting that he has the best player in college football on his team.* At the half, LSU had nearly a perfectly even split between runs and passes, which is a complete divergence from the team's splits all year long.

*Despite what the Heisman voters said. They are wrong.

But eventually, those passing plays worked, particularly a long bomb to Trey Quinn which helped set up the touchdown which blew the game open. Tech got the game within a point in the 3rd quarter, so LSU responded with three consecutive touchdowns, two of them by Leonard Fournette.

Fournette ended the game with five touchdowns and 212 yards on 29 carries, taking advantage of one of the worst run defenses in the country. Cam spent time getting too cute and trying to beat Tech through the air, but when the game was on the line, he went to his team's strength and his opponent's weakness. He ran Fournette at them until they folded. Fournette fell just shy of 2000 yards on the season, but he re-asserted himself as the elite back in the country. He doesn't need 40+ carries to beat you down.

And for as much criticism as Brandon Harris will inevitably get, he was everything LSU wants him to be. He started the game by completing 7 of his first 8 passes. And while he didn't rack up big yards, he did get a touchdown in there. Then, after some midgame struggles which were admittedly as ugly as a Kardashian's soul, he then hit some big passes to Dupre and rushed for what looked like the game-sealing touchdown. He ended the game with 254 yards on 13/22 and an ATVSQBPI of 12.458.

Let's also give credit to the much-maligned defense. Sure, Mahomes got his yards as you'd expect from such a prolific offense, but LSU held Tech to 27 rushing yards after spending most of the game in the negatives. Tech picked up some garbage yards at the end, but they averaged under five yards per play and were largely held in check.

This was about as good of a game LSU could have had to close out the year, beating down a thoroughly outmatched foe. It makes us feel a little bit better about ourselves, and LSU certainly would have won 10 games had not the McNeese game been cancelled, but this sets up the expectations for next year. No one is going to be impressed by beating a mid-level Big 12 team. This team needs to be competing for titles.

This was a nice finish to a disappointing year, so the goal for this team is to not be disappointed next season. If we're playing a bowl game in Texas, let it be the Cotton Bowl. Let's win a bowl game that matters next year.