BATON ROUGE – The undercard of LSU’s 2019 football schedule ended with the Tigers’ wire to wire 42-6 victory over the Utah State Aggies in Death Valley.
Utah State just became the latest victim of an LSU team that may be on the verge of adding the one ingredient it needs to stake a claim on being the best in the nation; balance.
While the Aggies weren’t an SEC-caliber opponent, they were arguably the second-best team the Tigers have faced this season.
The points of emphasis that head coach Ed Orgeron stressed all week in practice showed up on the Tiger Stadium turf Saturday.
LSU dominated in all phases, outgaining the Aggies 601-159 on offense, their second game with 600 yards or more of total offense this season. The Tigers held on to the ball for more than 41 minutes, while running 90 plays.
Defensively, the Tigers frustrated Utah State’s highly-touted quarterback Jordan Love all game long. He passed for just yards and was intercepted 3 times before being pulled late in the fourth quarter.
He got no help from his running game, with LSU allowing the Aggies a season-low 19 yards on 22 carries.
LSU also got two sacks and 10 tackles for loss.
Utah State’s total output was its lowest since they had 116 against Utah back in 2008. The Tigers also ended the Aggies’ 40-game double-digit scoring streak.
It was the kind of team performance that the Tigers needed to have and fans needed to see before the Florida Gators come to visit next weekend.
Joe Burrow continued his record-breaking pace by completing 27 of his 38 pass attempts for 344 yards and 5 touchdowns. He set a new LSU record with his fourth consecutive game with at least 300 yards through the air, and extended his school-record streak of games with 20 completions of more to eight. Burrow rushed for 42 more yards with another score.
Justin Jefferson was the primary target, picking up 9 receptions for 155 yards and a pair of scores; giving him 7 touchdowns for the season.
The Tigers’ running game had its best performance of the season, amassing highs in yards (248) and attempts (51). It was LSU’s first game with 200 yards rushing since their marathon contest against Texas A&M last season.
Four different players had at least 40 yards on the ground, led by Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 72 on 14 carries.
Freshmen John Emery Jr. and Tyrion Price-Davis combined for another 98 yards, as they saw their most extensive action to this point.
Though the Tigers weren’t moving up and down the field at their usual breakneck pace, they scored at least 40 points in their eighth straight contest.
During the streak LSU is averaging better than 54 points per game. This season, the Tigers have scored an SEC-record 271 points in their five games this season.
Burrow could break the LSU single-season touchdown record within the next two weeks, but if LSU can run the ball the way they did this afternoon for the rest of the season, the Tigers become even more dangerous. That’s a scary thought for the rest of the SEC.
Dave Aranda got what he wanted out his defense. They were aggressive and disciplined, even with key components either ailing or missing. LSU got off the field on third down, limiting the Aggies to one conversion in 12 tries.
LSU even committed a season-low five penalties, nearly eliminating the mental mistakes that have been so frustrating at times.
With a favorable schedule the rest of the way, if the Tigers can replicate this type of performance, it’s hard to picture a scenario where they don’t make the College Football Playoff.
It’s all right there in front of the Bayou Bengals. Today was a big step forward, and it is clear that LSU has no intention of taking any back.