Saturday was a completely different LSU team than what we saw through the first two games. They looked focused, motivated and had better game plan from the coaches.
It showed the second the Tigers took the field. Max Johnson and the offense went no huddle on the first drive ending in a 28-yard touchdown pass to freshman Deion Smith.
Central Michigan fumbled on their first possession of the game with a thunderous 33-yard scoop and score by Andre Anthony making it 14-0.
Coach O had said all week the offense needed to go more up-tempo to take pressure off Johnson and the defense needed to play with more eye discipline. You saw them improve in all areas.
Max Johnson became the third quarterback in LSU history to throw for five touchdowns in a single game. The others were Zach Mettenberger and some guy named Joe Burrow.
LSU defense only gave up 56 yards rushing on 31 attempts from a CMU team that was averaging over 200 yards on the ground.
But the story of the game may have been the freshman. At multiple positions.
Deion Smith and former STM Cougar Jack Bech combined for 10 catches, 216 yards and 3 TDs in the first 35 minuets of the game.
Defensive tackle Maason Smith seemed to be in the backfield on every play, whether it was plugging up the run or rushing the passer.
Running back Corey Kiner lead the team in rushing had had a nifty spin move that lead to a 5-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
I’ll be the first to admit, I was wrong about this game. I picked CMU to upset LSU based on what I saw from the first two weeks. If LSU was going to win, I assumed it wasn’t going to look pretty. I was wrong
You saw a new team that is starting to find their identity and it may come with the help from new players.
Central Michigan may not be a brand name, but this was a team that went on the road and took Missouri to the wire two weeks ago. A far cry from the talent LSU faced last week against McNeese State.
It wasn’t all good, though.
LSU’s offensive line continues to have issues in pass protection and run blocking. Every time a pass took longer than two seconds to develop, Max Johnson was running for his life. LSU still only rushed for 84 yards on 24 carries.
That kind of line of scrimmage play isn’t going to cut it the SEC.
LSU defense continued to show improvement, they had a busted coverage that resulted in a 78-yard TD pass for the Chippewas.
Perfection was not expected, but this performance surprised many of the Tiger faithful. Now LSU has a clear identity and, more importantly, confidence going into SEC play next week.