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Behind the Box Score: Chattanooga

This week’s dive into the numbers

Chattanooga v LSU
Catching the big numbers
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Believe it or not, not only did LSU play a game this weekend, we took the time to write down everything that happened and record it for posterity. I can’t imagine anyone pouring over the LSU-Chattanooga box score for any reason in the future, so let’s close the books on this one and move on to the SEC schedule.

25-98. Chattanooga’s total plays and yards on its first two drives of the game. The yard per play is below four, which isn’t great, but the Mocs did a really good job coming out of the gate and moving the football on LSU’s defense. They also held on to the ball for 10:38. The best way to pull off an upset is to control the football and keep it away from the better team. The Mocs did just that in the first quarter and deserve a lot of credit for a great game plan, well-executed. But Poseur’s Law is inescapable. If you do not turn your advantage in the run of play into points, the advantage dissipates. Chattanooga only got 3 points out of those two drives and they found themselves in a 14-3 hole. Game over, despite playing well.

1/3. LSU was one for three on field goals on the game, leading to Connor Culp coming in for Jack Gonsoulin. Culp missed his first attempt, coming up short on a 47-yard attempt. LSU is now 3 of 6 on field goals for the season and that is… not good.

11. LSU committed 11 penalties for 74 yards, another disturbing indicator. It’s not the yardage that really counts, but the fact that these penalties literally took points off the board. DJ Chark had a TD return taken off the board thanks to a hold. Stop doing that, y’all.

88. Darrell Bridges rushed for 88 yards and a TD on 15 carries. That’s a nice night for the running back, made even more impressive by the fact his team only had 68 yards of rushing total. Nick Tiano was sacked five times and ended in the negative, and his backup running back, Alex Trotter, had negative rushing yards. Bridges was the only Chattanooga runner to end up in positive yardage.

103. DJ Chark’s receiving yards. It feels like any time an LSU receiver has 100 yards receiving in a game, we should stop to take notice of the event. More of this. Chark is playing like a #1 receiver, but the team needs to establish more depth.

9-18. LSU’s passing game is showing more signs of life this season, but a 50% completion percentage is not going to get the job done against better teams. Yes, Brennan went 1 of 4 in garbage time, but even 8/14 against an FCS team is nothing to write home about.

2-0. Two wins, zero losses. All that matters right now.