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The Sports Troll: The agony continues

Troy beats LSU in Tiger Stadium

The whispers surrounding the LSU football program are now roars.

The Tigers were beaten at home by Troy.

The Trojans waltzed into Tiger Stadium on Saturday and looked like the better football team for a lot of the game.

Troy led LSU 24-7 midway through the fourth quarter and then survived a late-game surge, surviving and escaping with a 24-21 win.

The loss drops the Tigers to 3-2 on the season. It was another poor performance – in all phases – for a team that’s been struggling for answers throughout the season.

“It’s a disappointing performance,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “We got out coached and out played tonight. That’s the bottom line.”

Those words likely won’t give solace to the restless LSU faithful.

The Tigers turned over the ball on the first offensive snap of the game when Nick Brossette took the opening handoff five yards forward, then coughed up the football.

With possession deep in LSU’s territory, Troy turned the turnover into points on a short scoring drive capped with a short run by Brandon Silvers to go up 7-0.

The rest of the first half was a tale of missed opportunities.

The Tigers got into Troy territory several times in the first half, but came up empty in every possession, thanks to a combination of inaccurate passes, missed blocks and all-around sloppy play.

LSU did not convert a single third down in the game, going a dreadful 0-of-8. Troy, on the other hand, was 10-of-18 on third down and 2-of-2 on fourth down, routinely continuing drives with timely plays.

The Trojans didn’t get another touchdown in the first half, but they did get a field goal – albeit amidst controversy.

Late in the half, Troy completed a pass down the seam as it appeared that time expired.

Reply review showed that there were two seconds on the clock when the tackle was made, which allowed the Trojans to set up their field goal team for a short, successful kick to go ahead 10-0.

If the clock had been run properly in real time, it’s highly unlikely Troy could have gotten the field goal team on the field or spiked the football in time to have any time left over before halftime.

Those three points ended up looming large later on.

In the second half, Troy struck first on the opening drive of the half on a one-yard touchdown run from Jordan Chunn, which put them ahead 17-0 – just minutes into the second half.

In the third quarter, the Tigers played mostly freshman Myles Brennan, who did lead a scoring drive set up by a turnover – a seven-yard touchdown pass from the freshman to Foster Moreau, which cut the lead to 17-7.

LSU’s quarterback carousel spun around again on Saturday with Brennan and starter Danny Etling combining to go 21-of-32 with 266 yards and three scores with two interceptions.

But both guys looked largely out of sync throughout the game – Etling struggling with inaccurate passes and Brennan putting the ball at risk of turnover.

“We can’t move the ball,” Orgeron said. “We’re missing key plays with Danny in there. … We tried a new quarterback. It didn’t work.”

But take nothing away from the opponent.

On this night, Troy came to play.

The Trojans scored a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter on a seven-yard touchdown run by Josh Anderson to go up 24-7 – a score which seemingly ended LSU’s hopes at victory.

The Tigers did battle back with two-straight touchdown drives led by quarterback Danny Etling to trim the deficit to 24-21.

LSU also got the football back with less than 30 seconds left deep inside their own territory. But hopes of a late-game miracle were thwarted when Etling was intercepted on a long pass, sealing the game.

Orgeron said the loss was disappointing – largely because he thinks the Tigers are better than they’re playing, but are pressing on game day to try and burst out of their funk.

When asked if LSU has gotten worse since the first game of the season, Orgeron offered a simple answer of, ‘yes,’ then summarized a lot of what LSU fans are thinking right now.

“We’re not playing as a team,” Orgeron said.

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