Miles And His Staff Keep Tigers Focused
by Donovan Tennimon
Sep 16, 2013 10:30 AM EDT
There was genuine concern that LSU would overlook Kent State in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. Fortunately for the Tigers, that wasn’t the case. LSU raced out to a 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and they continued to score throughout the contest for an easy 45-13 victory. For the third straight week, LSU’s offense has been just as impressive as its defense.
If LSU can keep this up, then they could challenge Alabama for the top spot in the SEC West. The Crimson Tide may have won the rematch against Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel, but their defense gave up well over 600 yards of total offense and allowed 42 points.
Listed below are the top five takeaways from LSU’s victory over the Kent State Flashes.
1. Mettenberger Continues To Shine
The 6-foot-5 senior from Georgia now has completed 65 percent of his passes for 797 yards and nine touchdowns with no interceptions in the first three contests. His nine touchdowns in three games to start the season is an LSU record. Mettenberger continues to benefit from a solid offensive line, two outstanding receivers (Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.), and smart play-calling from coordinator Cam Cameron.
2. Powerful Running Back Committee
Three running backs had at least nine carries and five players registered at least one carry in LSU’s crowded backfield. Jeremy Hill received his first start of the season and made the most of his opportunity with 11 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns. His first score came during the opening series of the game when he darted 58 yards untouched to the end zone. Terrence Magee also had more than 100 yards rushing (108) on nine carries to go along with one touchdown. Alfred Blue logged 10 carries for 56 yards. LSU’s running backs averaged 8.3 yards per carry.
3. Second-Quarter Struggles
The Tigers have surrendered 27 points in the second quarter the last two games. This may have to do with the fact that LSU has jumped out to a big lead early in these contests and teams tend to relax when that happens, especially against unfamiliar and inferior opponents. LSU has allowed just three points outside the second quarter during the two wins.
4. Penalties Galore
Both teams struggled with penalties as Kent State was flagged 10 times for 90 yards while LSU committed 11 for 86 yards. To put that into perspective, LSU was called for just 12 penalties in the first two games for a total of 87 yards. This goes with playing a lot of young, inexperienced players. The Tigers will have to work to correct these mistakes as these penalties could prove more costly against stiffer competition from the SEC.
5. Defensive Participation
Twenty-seven players that registered at least one tackle for the Tigers on Saturday night. Les Miles wants to keep his defenders fresh and give his young team some time to develop cohesion.
“We are going to use a lot of guys on defense. It is a very young group and a group that needs some reps," Miles said. "The good news is we are rotating some talented guys. We are just going to play the guys that are the best.”