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First Impressions: LSU 38, Arkansas 10

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Ho hum. It was a win

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Arkansas
Fullback catch!
Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was nice.

Nice is sort of a back-handed compliment for a football game, but it’s the most apt description of this game for LSU fans. The game lacked any real drama, nor were there a whole host of memorable moments on the way to a huge victory. It was just a quality win that lacked nearly any drama whatsoever.

I wouldn’t want every game to go like this, as that would make for a boring watch, but this game was precisely what the doctor ordered. The game was always close enough that LSU had to stay focused and on task, but no so tense that there was a lump in our collective throats. LSU went up 21-0 and while they didn’t exactly put it in cruise control at that point, they didn’t go for the jugular either.

Danny Etling bounced back from a miserable performance last week. He didn’t remind anyone of Bert Jones, as he near fully took the form of his alter ego, Captain Checkdown. But he was efficient, didn’t make mistakes, and he kept the chains moving.

Those chains usually kept moving thanks to Leonard Fournete and Derrius Guice. The pair each topped 98 yards and combined for five touchdowns (Fournette was put on the shelf in the fourth quarter just shy of the century mark). Not a bad night at the office.

Well, then Derrius Guice started padding the highlight reel in the second half in relief duty, clearing 250 yards rushing on a 96-yard TD scamper. Fournette was ahead of Guice on total yards at the start of the fourth, but Guice took advantage of his solo chance at the spotlight. He destroyed the Arkansas defense almost totally on his own.

The defense, of course, has rounded into form as a total monster. Donnie Alexander’s interception set up the second touchdown of the game, and really blew the game open. The front four spent most of the game hanging out in the backfield and knocking Austin Allen on his ass. Allen didn’t clear 100 yards passing until midway in the fourth quarter, with the game well in hand.

Arkansas didn’t cross 200 yards of total offense until the fourth quarter. The defense let up on the throat a little bit at that point, but it was a dominating performance. Outside of letting up a long touchdown on 3rd and forever, the defense came to play. Even when the offense turned the ball over and put the defense in a tough spot in the third quarter, the unit responded. Heck, Arden Key almost intercepted a pass on third and goal.

Heck, they even forced a fumble on the final meaningless drive to preserve the scoreline. The defense kept making plays because that’s what they do. They can’t help making great plays.

LSU played a football game. Not a whole lot happened for the next three hours, and LSU went home with a win. It was everything we wanted it to be. Sounds like a beautiful night.