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Behind the Box Score: Northwestern State

Don’t read too much into it.

Northwestern State v LSU
The weird touchdown
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

There was some tale of two halves going on Saturday night, but t the end of the day, it was a 50-point blowout win over a severely over-matched foe. You can try and glean some lessons from that, but it really is a fool’s errand.

LSU beat the snot out of a team that it was much better than, but Northwestern State gave it a good fight before talent eventually won out. Both teams can go home with their heads held high, but it is dangerous to read too much of anything in this game.

That won’t stop us from trying.

278. Northwestern State’s total yards of offense. Is that more than you would like to give up? Probably, but not by a wide margin. More concerning is that 232 of those yards came via the air. Shelton Eppler started the game on fire, but the success dried up in the second half.

18. The combined number of plays run by NSU. on six of its seven second-half drives. Those 18 plays netted 18 total yards. Sure, the Demons managed one 11-play, 55-yard drive in the second half, but other than that, the defense slammed the door shut after struggling in the first half.

21-24-373. Joe Burrow’s stat line doesn’t even seem real. Okay, he threw one interception, but that seems like a mistake he made just to keep us all honest. But as much as this is a great line for Burrow, let’s take a moment to appreciate the job the receivers are doing. Only two passes fell to the turf all night. They made every catch in sight.

6. LSU rushing touchdowns. Looking just at that number, you would think the LSU running game had a great night. Six touchdowns?! Set off the fireworks. The longest of those runs was a 5-yard scamper from Burrow. On the game, LSU rushed for 122 yards on 35 carries, a dismal 3.5 yards/carry against hardly anyone’s idea of the Steel Curtain. As much as people are starting to worry about the defense, perhaps that concern should be saved for the running game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the team leader with 50 yards on 13 carries.

1. Zach von Rosenberg punts. LSU didn’t punt the ball until the fourth quarter, when the game was already out of hand. The offense is clicking on all cylinders.

0. Northwestern St. turnovers. Derek Stingley and Kristian Fulton both dropped easy interceptions that I’m sure they had nightmares about. But so far this season, this defense is not doing its usual job of forcing the other team to make mistakes. It’s not a big deal in a game like this, but the lack of turnovers is starting to become a concern.

1. LSU sacks. Again, I don’t want to read too much into this. Both Michael Divinity and K’Lavon Chaisson sat the game out, and they are the team’s best rush linebackers. Furthermore, Rashard Lawrence and Glen Logan missed the game with injury. Their absences were keenly felt.