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Winners and Losers: Alabama

Kayshon Boutte has a night to remember but also forget

Alabama v LSU Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Well that probably went as well as we all thought. Maybe a little bit worse?

This Alabama team was always going to come into Baton Rouge and beat this LSU team within an inch of their life. The only questions were how many points would Alabama score and how badly would the final margin be. The answers wound up being 55 (not good!) and 38 (not as bad as it could have been!) respectively and the Tide got their quote/unquote rEvEnGe on the worst LSU team of the millennium. So congrats I guess.

While it’s easy to dismiss Alabama’s win make no mistake, LSU played like ass and Saturday night in The Swamp will probably end up looking a whole lot like last Saturday. But you know what, we survived one beating on national television, we’ll survive another.

I think I’ve finally come to peace with this 2020 LSU football team.

Winner: John Emery

I’ve long maintained that LSU needs to feature Emery more often and while he didn’t have a stellar game, he did have a pretty badass touchdown run.

Chris Curry can be your team leader, and Ty Davis-Price can be the back you turn to when you want to milk the clock, but those guys can’t do what Emery does. Let him cook.

Loser: The DBU Moniker

Alabama has an awesome offense but allowing nearly 20 yards a completion ought to be impossible. Mac Jones (20-28, 385 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Devonta Smith (8 catches, 231 yards, 3 touchdowns) ought to be convicted of arson after burning down Tiger Stadium Saturday night.

Loser: Coach O and Coach Bo

I feel bad for Coach O. It’s got to be so frustrating seeing the same shit week after week and I don’t blame him if he’s hit his breaking point with Pelini and the defensive staff. The problem? That’s your hire, Coach. You’re the one who couldn’t get along with Dave Aranda, you’re the one who wanted the 4-3, and you’re the one who brought in Pelini when there was quite literally no market for him. Pelini deserves some (most?) of the blame, but you created this situation, Coach.

Winner: Kayshon Boutte

Loser: Also Kayshon Boutte

So I believe this is what’s called a “mixed bag.” Let’s start with the good, Boutte led the team in catches, (8), yards (111) and targets (13). With Terrace Marshall opting out, the question was which one of these young receivers would emerge as the No. 1 option and it was...well No. 1. Boutte also helped seal John Emery’s touchdown run with some downfield blocking, and you love to see it. That kind of effort can’t be taught, either you have it or you don’t.

Now on to the bad...Kayshon my man you’ve gotta make sure the ball crosses the goal line.

Boutte also had another weird gaffe where he called for a fair catch on a kickoff, muffed the kick and tried running with the ball after picking the ball up at the five. Instead of LSU having the ball first and 10 at its 25, they instead started backed up in the shadow of their own end zone.

But hey at least neither mistake cost LSU. In fact they both happened on the same drive. That’s right Boutte’s muffed kickoff return ended with him dropping the ball but was fortunately recovered by Jontre Kirklin for LSU’s first points at home against Alabama since 2014.

Winner: The Future!

Lost in all the carnage, LSU had to play a ton of freshmen and that can only bode well for 2021 and beyond. Max Johnson and TJ Finley both played; three of the top four leading receivers—Boutte, Arik Gilbert and Koy Moore—are true freshmen; Tre Bradford is getting reps; and on the defensive side of the ball Jaquelin Roy and Elias Ricks continue to get significant playing time.

That can only lead to good things for LSU, maybe as early as next fall. LSU had the No. 4 recruiting class last season, they currently have the No. 3 class in this cycle, and are No. 2 for 2022. LSU’s roster may be undermanned but it’s got plenty of talent that will be playing in the NFL. As long as LSU keeps recruiting at the level they are—and make some changes to the coaching staff—the 2020 season will be nothing more than a blip for an otherwise successful program.

Winner: The New Orleans Saints

I’ve only really watched Mac Jones once but I’ve seen enough. Mac Jones: future starting quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. Go ahead and take that guy in the first round.