The most important number from this weekend’s victory was just that: one win. LSU hadn’t lost a non-conference regular season game in one and half decades, so it was imperative to get back on the winning streak, even if it was against an FCS team. So mission accomplished: one win.
But, let’s look at some of the other numbers, too. Just for laughs.
12:42. Jacksonville St’s time of possession in the first quarter. Brandon Harris guided the offense to two straight three and outs, but the defense helped out by letting the Gamecocks drive for eight, nine, and then eight plays. Despite giving up 25 plays on those opening three drives, the defense allowed just 82 yards and three points. The longest drive went for just 33 yards. Allowing 3.28 yards/play is pretty good, except when you’re keeping yourself on the field. It was after the field goal that finally Les Miles had enough and ended Harris’ night.
6/8. Danny Etling lit a spark right away, and went 6/8 for 100 yards in the 2nd quarter. He wouldn’t have a single completion in the second half. I’m sure this will only come up sparingly this week.
5/7. LSU’s third down conversion rate in the second half. Yes, Etling didn’t complete a pass in the second half, but the offense didn’t really miss that much of a beat. LSU kept converting third downs on top of the 2 for 2 it went in the second quarter. That’s the mark of an efficient offense: it stayed on the field after third downs.
248. JSU’s yards passing. Even taking away the 76-yard meltdown, LSU gave up a bunch of passing yards to a pedestrian passing team. The 50% completion rate was nice, but the defense needs to tighten up in the defensive backfield.* By game’s end, LSU managed to win the overall yardage battle by three yards, 371-368. That’s not terribly encouraging.
*Does not apply to Tre White, who is playing out of his mind right now, and is exempt from any and all criticism.
10. Kendall Beckwith tackles. He quietly had a nice game, plugging up the middle of the defense. He even threw in a sack for good measure. He was always near the ball, which bodes well. He needs to keep up that sort of production rate.
6. Number of LSU receivers with a catch, none of them named Malachi Dupre. Darrel Williams was the only player with multiple receptions, grabbing three balls. LSU quarterbacks only completed 8 passes, so it was a good sign to see them spreading the ball around, and it wasn’t just one guy propping up the offense. This shows that it is more likely Etling was running through multiple reads to get it to so many different guys. It also shows that Malachi Dupre’s performance was atrocious. He is the one guy we try to force the ball to, and he’s coming down with nothing. This was his worst game in an LSU uniform.
3. Number of LSU players who averaged over 8 yards per carry. Lost in the Etling story was that the LSU running backs brought it last night, after their own slow start. Guice went for 155 on 19 carries, an 8.3 average. But Nick Brossette (5-40) and Darrel Williams (3-24) also each averaged 8 yards/carry. They combined for a nifty line of 8 carries for 64 yards. That’s great relief work from the third and fourth string.
1. Fullback touchdowns. Fullbacks are the greatest Americans, and we salute you, Bry'Kiethon Mouton.