REPORT CARD: LSU 49, Kentucky 0

Once again after a sub-par performance the Tigers rebounded against a lesser opponent and sent many disinterested LSU fans back to their tailgates by halftime.

A win against Kentucky was expected, but considering the way the Wildcats hung with Florida and South Carolina, few probably thought an all-out whitewashing of the cats from the East would take place.

 

If the word "futility" wasn't in Kentucky's dictionary prior to last Saturday night, the Tigers definitely added an entry for them in the margin. Regardless of who was throwing, rushing or receiving for LSU, the Wildcats looked inept. Regardless of who was throwing, rushing or receiving for Kentucky, the Wildcats looked inept. That's not exactly the kind of combination you're looking for to be competitive in a game where the other team is favored by double digits.

 

So what did the Tigers teach everyone last Saturday night? Well, they showed they do have the ability to put together a complete game (not perfect, but complete) versus a lesser-caliber opponent. They have the ability to refocus after a disappointing loss, make necessary adjustments to be successful and produce a nearly unstoppable juggernaut.

What still remains to be proven is whether they can put together the same type of performance against what will be considered a quality opponent – at home or on the road.

 

Not until Tennessee will the Tigers have another chance to show if they can put it all together on the road. But at least they haven't failed in defending their home turf this season thus far and have put "W"s up against the "weaker" opponents out of conference and in the SEC. That's not the case everywhere, just ask Georgia fans.

 

Thankfully, we don't have to grade the Bulldogs after their loss to Vanderbilt

 

 

THE OFFENSE

 

LSU scored touchdowns on its first four possessions, JaMarcus Russell completed his first 12 attempts and the backups saw appreciable playing time. Running game by committee – nine different Tigers recorded at least one rush – worked for 268 yards, an average of 6.2 yards per carry. After a weekend that saw LSU turn the ball over five times, the Tigers had no turnovers against the Wildcats.

 

Dwayne Bowe had a career night with six receptions for 111 yards and three touchdowns, Jacob "The Punisher" Hester had 15 touches that accounted for 63 yards and two touchdowns, two tight ends had receptions and fullback Shawn Jordan hauled in a touchdown pass from two yards out.

 

Russell definitely read the defense well against Kentucky, and one of the greatest surprises was seeing the LSU starter checking into passing plays as opposed to audibles that had typically resulted in a Tiger running back rushing straight into a pile at the line of scrimmage. He finished his night completing 15 of 18 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns.

 

Charles Scott, Keiland Williams and Trindon Holliday all found holes to rush through or got to the outside, and Williams' average of 5.9 yards per carry was the worst of the bunch.

 

GRADE: A

 

 

THE DEFENSE

 

Bo Pelini's group hasn't had a poor performance all season. Against Kentucky, the Tigers held the Wildcats to just 61 yards rushing on 23 carries and limited their opponent to 166 yards through the air.

 

Tyson Jackson continued LSU's streak of at least one interception per game this season and two more sacks bring the Tigers' tally up to 22 for the year. Kentucky punted on six of its first seven possessions, and their other drive ended on downs with under a minute left in the first half.

 

The Wildcats were just 5 of 17 on third down conversions, had only two drives that lasted longer than 3:07 and made it to the opposite side of the field on just four possessions.

Well-oiled machine comes to mind.

 

GRADE: A+

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

Improvement over the previous test for sure. Craig Davis looked like he had been returning punts all his life even though he had never fielded a kick before and had everyone wondering why he hadn't be placed in that position before. From a coverage perspective, Kentucky found themselves pinned at or behind their own 20 on six occasions and only started on LSU's side of the field when the offense failed to drive the ball to allow Chris Jackson to punt down field.

 

But the punting is still in question. Jackson added a little rollout to his repertoire, something Coach Les Miles commented the media just figured out. At least against Kentucky, it looked more like an opportunity to have extra time to block punts. More importantly, Jackson didn't look exactly comfortable doing it. His 38.5 yards per punt was a clear indication of that as his kicks were low and didn't allow the Tigers to get downfield quickly enough to really cover. Jackson's net average of 22.5 yards per kick bears that out.

 

Then, instead of booming the ball deep on kickoffs, Jackson got a lot more air under his kicks than usual. Sometimes that worked in the Tigers' favor, other times the Wildcats started drives further away from their own end zone than most would like.

 

Colt David missed LSU's only field goal attempt of the night, a 43-yarder. He did extend his consecutive PAT streak to 62.

 

GRADE: B-

 

 

COACHING

 

A solid gameplan offensively and defensively to be sure, and the coaching staff definitely had the Tigers focused after the loss to Florida.

 

Cheers for giving JaMarcus Russell a trip to the bench at an appropriate time, but jeers for having some of the defensive starters in the game as long as they were.

 

GRADE: A –

 

 

OPPOSING COACH'S GUTS

 

Normally we don't grade opposing coaches, but we're going to make an exception here.

 

On two separate occasions the Wildcats had the opportunity to bring in the field goal unit and try to get some points on the board when the game was well out of hand. Instead of settling for a moral victory, Kentucky Coach Rick Brooks made the call to try to pick up first downs or get the ball in the end zone. It didn't workout, but Brooks showed his team, and everyone else, settling for three just to get a zero off of the scoreboard wasn't an option.

 

GRADE: A+


Tiger Blitz Top Stories