For the first time since last season, the LSU Tigers finally got back to football in Death Valley on Saturday night.
Southeastern won the toss and chose to defer to LSU to open the game. A fair catch by running back Nick Brossette at the 5 allowed the Tigers to get things started at their own 25. With an uneventful three-and-out to mark their first drive, the Tigers started off slow on both the offensive and defensive fronts.
But the team quickly picked things up after a sack by defensive end Breiden Fehoko, followed by a forced fumble by Devin White gave the Tigers a chance to take over deep in Lion territory. The Tigers capitalized on the turnover with a 9-yard pass from Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase that gave them an early 7-0 lead.
LSU’s next score would be a one-yard run by Burrow to bring the score to 14-0 with 3:20 to go in the first quarter.
Burrow looked aggressive on both the pass and the run for LSU, finishing the quarter as the leading rusher with 26 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown to his name.
On the other side of the ball, defensive end Breiden Fehoko looked especially dominant, coming up with a sack and a tackle for a loss over the first two drives for LSU.
Both Burrow and his offensive line looked a bit sloppier in the beginning of the second quarter, with the signal-caller holding on to the ball for too long and the O-line allowing easy access. LSU’s fifth drive of the game was a perfect illustration of this, including a sack, pass breakup and pressure on Burrow.
Kicker Cole Tracy continued to impress, nailing a 50-yarder to give LSU the 17-0 lead with 11:21 left in the half. This marked Tracy’s second field goal for 50 yards or more this season, a feat that has not been accomplished by an LSU kicker ever before, according to records dating back to 1955.
The Tigers closed out the half with a bang, driving 96 yards down the field in less than minute. A 40-yard reception from Burrow to wide receiver Stephen Sullivan made the score 24-0 as LSU headed into the locker room.
SELU seemed to find more of a sense of rhythm on offense on its first drive of the second half, making its way into Tiger territory for the very first time of the evening. The Lions failed once more to get a score out of the effort though.
Neither team put points up in the third quarter. SELU threatened several times in the fourth, keyed by multiple fourth down conversions. SELU finished 5 of 6 on the game. The Lions drove the ball inside the five yard line, but a snap over the quarterback’s head on third down was recovered by JaCoby Stevens and nearly returned for a touchdown.
Four plays later, Clyde Edwards-Helaire added the final Tigers touchdown of the game, giving LSU a 31-0 advantage.
The Tigers will face their first conference opponents of the year when they take on Auburn on Sept. 15 in Jordan-Hare Stadium.