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Initial Impression: LSU 41, Mizzou 45

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Yup. That happened.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Missouri
Note the lack of defenders around him
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Fire Bo Pelini.

Do it now. Don’t wait for this wound to fester and infect the entire program. This defense is the worst LSU defense I have ever seen in my entire life, and I lived through the Lou Tepper era.

Am I overreacting? Maybe. But in three games at LSU, Bo Pelini’s defense has now been lit up like a pinball machine twice, and this is when playing the dregs of the conference. Mizzou, State, and Vandy have now combined for zero SEC wins outside of playing LSU, and they have run through LSU like a hot knife through butter.

This defense looked thoroughly unprepared for a Mizzou offense missing its top three receivers and starting a freshman under center. LSU consistently blew coverages, missed tackles, and generally just stood around while Mizzou… MIZZZOU!... marched up and down the field seemingly unimpeded.

Coming into the game, Mizzou ranked 10th in the SEC in yards/play, 11th in rushing average, 10th in passer rating, and 12th in points per game. This is a bad offense even when it is at full strength.

Couldn’t tell, could you?

Mizzou threw for 406 yards, rushed for another 179, en route to scoring 45 points. Missouri converted 5 of 10 third downs and didn’t punt the ball until midway through the third quarter.

The only thing that kept LSU in the game was that Missouri kept turning the ball over, gifting LSU spectacular field position, and Myles Brennan continued to progress as a quarterback.

Is it Brennan going to make anyone forget about Joe Burrow? No, but no one is asking him to. He did everything he needed to do today, throwing for 430 yards on 29 of 48 passing. He looked much stronger in the pocket for a second straight week, and he made some killer downfield throws, showing off his arm strength and an ability to read the field.

Brennan was helped out by Terrace Marshall continuing to showing everybody that he is awesome. Marshall caught 11 balls for a whopping 235 yards and 3 more touchdowns. Just another day at the office. Arik Gilbert had a huge first quarter before injuring his shoulder and slowing down his production for the rest of the game. He still finished the game with 97 yards on 6 catches. He looked like everything he has been billed as.

On the other hand, Brennan did not get much help from his running backs. LSU largely abandoned the running game, and Ty Davis-Price finished the game as LSU’s leading rusher with just 38 yards. John Emery, after what appeared to be a breakout performance last week, did not have a carry.

With a chance to put this game away midway through the fourth, LSU marched down the field with a three-point lead and a chance to go up by two scores, but the drive stalled out at the 30 and Mizzou blocked the field goal attempt.

So it was on the LSU defense to make a stop. You can see where this movie is going? Chance Luper went completely uncovered and ran 69 yards down the field before finally getting brought down inside the ten. It was yet another huge defensive breakdown at the worst possible time. And with 5:18 left in the game, Mizzou took its first lead in the game since the opening drive.

Orgeron then ran a five-minute drill rather than a two-minute drill. There’s no way LSU wanted to give the ball back for the defense to make a stop, so Brennan not only had to march the team 75 yards, but he had to effectively milk the clock so LSU would score as the clock struck zero. The refs made us nervous on almost overturning a Terrace Marshall catch at the one, but the call stood. Mizzou stopped Davis-Price cold on his first two attempts, and then LSU failed for the tenth time in ten tries on third down. And on fourth down, they failed again. The offense couldn’t bail the defense out despite first down on the one.

You want to blame the complete lack of a running game but LSU never should have been in the position in the first place. LSU can’t run the ball and they can’t play defense. Cholly Mac is rolling in his grave.