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Behind the Box Score: Utah St

The defense shows up

Utah State v LSU
I am truly mystified as to how I got this awesome
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Yeah, I know. It’s Florida week and we all want to get into hating those dirty reptilian bastards.* But we still have one last look at the Utah St. win.

*Poseur’s Note: Or are they amphibians? I always forget. They are aquatic, so that would tend to make one believe they are amphibians, but they don’t have porous skin. And they lay eggs on land, right? I don’t remember. I need biology help. It was never my strongest subject.

Anyhoo, LSU put together its most complete performance of the season last Saturday, and it showed in the box score. Just a complete and utter drubbing everywhere you look on the statsheet, so let’s go to it.

19. Utah St rushing yards. The Aggies rushed the ball 22 times, meaning they averaged less than a yard per carry. I don’t care who you are playing, that’s a dominant defensive performance. Overall, USU gained a mere 159 yards total, averaging just 3.0 yards per play. The LSU defense destroyed them, and it all started with the rush defense.

601. LSU total yards. SIX HUNDRED AND ONE. It didn’t feel like it at the time, but that is the second best offensive output of the season (by two whole yards!). This is because LSU ran 90 plays on offense, by far the most this season. LSU had one of its lowest yards/play of the season (6.7), but one of its highest total outputs. Why? Let’s look at the next entry…

41:03. LSU’s time of possession. Forty-one minutes. LSU has spent the season playing at a breakneck speed, and instead came out and decided to control the ball. It wasn’t because the offense stalled, it was a strategy to help out the defense and slow down the USU quick strike offense. LSU had three drives longer than 10 plays, including an epic 13-play, 99-yard drive which drained 6:42 of clock.

3. LSU fumbles. Fumble luck went LSU’s way, and the Tigers only lost one of those fumbles, but three is way too many times to put the ball on the ground. It likely cost John Emery some touches, as he fumbled at the 8:18 mark of the third quarter and… did not touch the football again. Fumbles kill.

9-155-2. Justin Jefferson’s line was simply absurd. 9 catches for 155 yards? Two touchdowns, one of which he might have stolen from Ja’Marr Chase? I guess the ankle feels fine.

3. Patrick Queen tackles for a loss. Queen only had six tackles overall, meaning that half of his tackles were in the USU backfield. He led the Tigers in total tackles as well, but 3 TFL is a monster game.