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Initial Impressions: LSU 27, ULM 14

A game happened.

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Louisiana State
Sigh. A win is a win.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

This was the game LSU absolutely had to win. It wasn’t domination, but it was a win, and that counts.

LSU scored on the opening drive of the game, staking the Tigers to a 7-0 lead, a lead they would never relinquish. However, fans who were hoping LSU would absolutely dominate the Warhawks would come away sorely disappointed.

What is there to say? LSU is clearly better than ULM, but not be nearly the margin that would make any of us comfortable. This is the moment where we normally rant about firing the coach and the staff, but… look, its already happened. So what’s the point?

This was a game that was essentially killing time for the Texas A&M showdown, in which LSU will need a win in order to qualify for bowl eligibility. This game wasn’t meaningless, as LSU did need the win, but the win was virtually assured, so it wasn’t a huge stressful moment for anyone save the most paranoid members of the fanbase.

Max Johnson had one of his better games as a starter, completing 22 of 34 attempts for 319 yards. The big play for Johnson was a 67 yard pass to Malik Nabors on his way to a night of 143 receiving yards.

The game was never in doubt, but at the same time, LSU never put things away either. It was always close enough to be worrisome, but never close enough for that worry to truly manifest itself. The LSU defense made two separate goal line stands in order to keep the game fundamentally out of reach.

LSU dominated the game on the stat sheet, but never quite turned that domination into points. LSU converted 9 of 16 third downs, outgained ULM by over 100 yards, and maintained an advantage in time of possession. But LSU’s early lead stood up and was never much in doubt.

Now, is it concerning that LSU couldn’t put away an outmatched foe? Sure. But we have reached a point in the season where that sort of thing doesn’t matter. The coaching staff is about to get fired, and they didn’t do a whole lot to make the case that it shouldn’t be the case.

LSU got everything it needed out of the game, but not much else. And it sets up a showdown on the last weekend of the season in order to qualify for a bowl and avoid the school’s first losing season in 20 years.

The game was what it was, a speed bump on the way to the biggest game of the season. And now the whole season comes down to one game.