It started as a sluggish, uninspiring effort, but after the first quarter, the outcome was never much in doubt. And I don’t know what Orgeron told the team at the half, but they came out inspired to wipe the memory of the first half from everyone’s mind.
The Demons set the tone for the night early on with an opening 11-play drive for 40 yards. Their fourth down conversion in LSU territory failed, but NSU established that they would not be intimidated by the Tiger Stadium crowd and that they would be able to move the football.
LSU responded with a field goal on its opening drive, leaving the door open for the Demons to score the game’s first touchdown and take a 7-3 lead. The first quarter ended with Northwestern St in the lead, having gained 114 yards in the quarter on the arm of Shelton Eppler, who went 9-12 for 96 yards and a touchdown in the first frame.
LSU would find its footing in the second quarter, primarily thanks to Joe Burrow and the receivers, who I swear to God, never drop passes. Terrace Marshall scored the first of his touchdowns in the second quarter and also made a beautiful catch on the sidelines showing off his hands and body control.
Still, some issues persisted. LSU allowed another touchdown, and Northwestern St finished the first half with 200 yards, 172 of them in the air. LSU’s two minute drill failed, as Joe Burrow threw an interception, giving NSU a late opportunity to add another score. But the Demons missed the field goal and LSU escaped to the half with a 24-14 lead.
And then the second half happened.
Things started poorly for Northwestern St, as they went three and out on their first possession. A possession marked by two plays in which both Kristian Fulton and Derek Stingley dropped sure interceptions.
LSU opened up the third with three quick strike drives, all for a touchdown. Combined, the three drives lasted just over 5:30. Joe Burrow causally dismantled the opposing defense and almost as quick as you could blink, it was 44-14, Burrow had thrown for 373 yards on 21/24 passing and a 13.645 ATVSQBPI, and the backups were in the game before the end of the third.
Myles Brennan picked up exactly where Burrow left off, and LSU cracked the half century barrier before the third quarter even ended.
By the time Trey Palmer pranced into the end zone at the end of a 54-yard punt return, well, only the diehards will still watching.
So, in the end, how you react to this game says a lot about you personally. Yes, the team did struggle for the entire first half. The team, especially the defense, looked listless and disinterested. They let a far inferior team, in terms of talent, stick around for way too long.
On the other hand, the team did eventually show up. Given a chance to catch their breath and make adjustments, make adjustments they did. LSU brought the hammer in the second half and turned this into a laugher pretty quickly. This was a dominating effort, even if only for a half.
But when the rest of the college football world scrolls past the LSU game on the scoreboard, all they will see is a convincing and dominating win. Even if it took a circuitous route to get there.