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Behind the Box Score: Louisiana Tech

Trying to focus in on an unfocused effort

Louisiana Tech v LSU
Didn’t show up in the box score
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Before we get into Ole Miss Hate Week, we need to close the books on the Louisiana Tech blowout that wasn’t. In a way, it was a lot like the Auburn game: LSU jumped out to a double digit lead, let their opponent back into the game, particularly with a lousy third quarter, and then put the game away in the fourth.

This screams lack of focus. While this may be forgivable against La Tech or SELA, I’m not sure how you can lose your way against Auburn as well. Bad habits are hard to break, and this team right now has a bad habit of not realizing when the second half has started.

11. Devin White tackles. My mom called me up after the game to tell me that she made a concerted effort to watch No. 40 because I’ve been raving about him. She was rewarded with one of his best performances: 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 3 pass breakups, and a fumble recover. He was a video replay away from a touchdown, too. Enjoy Devin White while you can because he’s not going to be around long.

136. Clyde-Edwards Helaire rushing yards. Nick Brossette has asserted himself as the starter, but even though he got slightly more carries (23 to 20), Edwards-Helaire got the bulk of the rushing yards. This is closer to the committee we all envisioned at the season’s start, and it’s good to have two guys with different styles to keep defenses off balance. This is a great development for the LSU run game.

26-87. Tech’s rushing yards. Orgeron took the defense to task after the game, but the run defense came to play. The Bulldogs averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and could not get anything on the ground going. It wasn’t the LSU defense’s best day, but at least there were some positives.

6-10. La Tech’s second half third down conversion rate. This number is bad for two reasons. One, the obvious one, that La. Tech had a sixty percent conversion rate in the second half, and 4/6 in the third quarter. The second is just how many third downs they had. That’s the sign of a team which had the football for long stretches. LSU had plenty of chances to get off the field but simply couldn’t, so the Bulldogs had nearly ten minutes of possession in the third quarter. LSU ran just 13 plays in the third quarter, La Tech had that many plays on their first dive of the half.

L17. LSU’s average starting field position in the third quarter. In the other quarters? L39, L42, and L42. It is becoming increasingly clear that this offense depends upon good field position. That’s not the worst thing in the world given the quality of the defense, at least the offense takes advantage of the field position, but eventually the offense is going to need to create on its own.

6. Number of punts inside the 20. Both teams had great night punting the football. Each team punted five times and had three punts inside the 20. Neither team had a return. LSU did have a 50+ yard punt and the night’s only touchback. La Tech averaged just 35.6 yards per punt, but that was a function of the directional nature of their punts. LSU was at 45.8. Punters rarely get any attention, but they all had a great night.

16-28-191. Burrow’s stat line. The great burrow watch continues, and he at least cleared 50 percent this week. He started 9 of 12 with two of his incompletions both being drops, but then went 7 of his next 16. Drops aren’t officially kept as a stat, but they were a real problem for the LSU receiving corps. It cost Burrow a big night that he really needed to get on course.