Dig Baton Rouge

Tigers take care of business

Photo by Sean Gasser

Chattanooga struck first but LSU struck last.

The Tigers also landed all the body blows in the middle, as well.

LSU stomped the Mocs 45-10 on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, using big plays, turnovers and timely defense to secure the win.

Matt Canada’s LSU offense generated 454 yards in the victory, led by several long passes from quarterback Danny Etling, who completed 8-of-14 passes for 232 yards and a score.

Coach Ed Orgeron said the Mocs played a scheme which allowed LSU to set up big plays and the Tigers executed more times than not, which set up the easy win.

“The coverage they were giving us – they were playing single high,” Orgeron said. “Our guys did a tremendous job. I thought our receivers caught the ball very well tonight – one of our best nights. I’m very proud of them.”

The Mocs did have the lead for a while.

They got the ball first and drove straight down the field on LSU’s defense – a 14-play, 65-yard scoring drive capped by a 22-yard field goal from Victor Ulmo.

But the rest of the game was all LSU.

The Tigers took the ball after the field goal and scored in 6 plays – a deep touchdown pass from Etling to Drake Davis, which made the score 7-3.

After a stop, the Tigers marched again, needing just 4 plays to go 57 yards – a touchdown drive capped by halfback Derrius Guice to go up 14-3.

LSU scored twice more in the first half to send the game to halftime with a dominant 28-3 advantage.

Guice had the first score of the second quarter on a six-yard touchdown run. The other came on a 65-yard punt return from DJ Chark – his second such return of the game. The first was negated by an illegal block in the back.

Guice and Chark both had big games throughout to spark the win. Guice rushed 15 times for 102 yards, while Chark caught 3 passes for 103 yards in addition to his punt returning prowess.

“We knew coming in that this defense was aggressive at times and they were going to dare us to throw the ball,” Chark said. “So me and the receiving corps worked all week and we knew that our number was going to be called. A lot of young guys stepped up and made plays.”

In the second half, the script continued on.

Darrel Williams had two touchdown runs in the third one – one from four yards out and the other from three yards out, which upped LSU’s advantage to 42-3.

LSU’s offense was incredibly balanced throughout the game, netting 232 yards passing and 222 yards rushing, while also not committing a turnover for the second-straight week.

On the flip side, LSU’s defense forced takeaways, recording two interceptions throughout the game – including another by Greedy Williams, his second of the 2017 campaign.

“They’re very talented,” Orgeron said of LSU’s youthful secondary. “We did make a couple of mistakes tonight, but we hung in there the whole game.”

In the fourth quarter, both teams played mostly backups, which allowed the Mocs to get a bit of the upper hand.

They scored their only touchdown of the game with 12:18 to play on a 16-yard run by Darrell Bridges which made the game 42-10.

The Tigers ended the game with points on a 45-yard field goal from Connor Culp – the only field goal LSU made in the game in three tries.

Orgeron said he’s pleased to be 2-0, but added that he knows the team must get better before next week’s showdown with Mississippi State.

He said he doesn’t think LSU played its best football in the win, citing the team’s 10-plus penalties and a few negative plays throughout the game.

“Eliminate the penalties. Eliminate the mistakes,” Orgeron said. “I don’t think we played very well in spots tonight, but I’m glad we won.”

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