REPORT CARD: LSU vs. Virginia Tech

Everything happened according to plan. An inferior out-of-conference team entered Tiger Stadium for the 2007 home opener and LSU absolutely demolished and dispensed with them just as expected. Wait a minute ... That's not quite accurate.

Virginia Tech … the team ranked No. 9 in the country; the team that had the nation's No. 1 ranked defense the last two seasons; the team picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference. Virginia Tech … now simply the second team LSU has dominated during its 2007 campaign.


A record crowd of 92,739 were jam-packed into Tiger Stadium to witness the 48-7 thrashing LSU dished out in the two schools' second meeting in history. Truthfully, these Tigers looked as though they had revenge on their minds from the beating LSU took in Blacksburg, Va., back in 2002. But none of the current Tigers were even on that team and, quite simply, LSU showed it was the better team in every phase of the game last Saturday.


It was a big test early in the season, and it honestly looked like the Tigers were given almost every answer prior to the examination starting.





As an offense, a team typically strives for balance. Teams don't typically expect that balance to have a difference of only four yards and total nearly 600 yards of production against one of the nation's most vaunted defensive units.


LSU did whatever it wanted to against Virginia Tech. Matt Flynn was 17-of-27 passing for 217 yards, and Ryan Perrilloux completed all five of his attempted passes for 84 yards with two touchdowns. That's 301 yards through the air. Additionally, Jacob Hester set the tone for the Tigers' running game early and ended up with 81 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Keiland Williams chipped in 127 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. All totaled, the Tigers amassed 297 yards on the ground.


By the time Virginia Tech stopped LSU's offense, the Hokies were already in a 14-0 hole. By halftime, the pit was 24-0. By the end of the night, the Tigers had scored on eight of its 11 legitimate possessions.


There were a lot fewer short fields for LSU against Virginia Tech as compared to Mississippi State. Five of its touchdown drives covered distances ranging from a low of 67 yards to a high of 94 yards. On average, every run was good for 7.2 yards and every reception netted 13.7 yards.


Running back by committee seems to be a good thing, and the Tigers still have no turnovers this season.







After five possessions and just 18 plays for 30 yards, Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer had seen enough of starting quarterback Sean Glennon. At that point, Glennon had completed three passes, and only two of them were to fellow Hokies. Glennon was 2-of-10 passing for 16 yards with one interception when the decision was made to lift him in favor of Tyrod Taylor.


Virginia Tech needed eight "warm-up" possessions before finally scoring on its ninth. But by then, LSU was 27 points out in front, and the Hokies even needed an official's replay to determine they had actually scored.


With 30 minutes down and another 30 left to go, the Hokies had rushed 11 times for 23 yards and thrown for a "whopping" 17 more. At the half, the Tigers led the offensive yardage battle 156-17. The Tigers defense had forced an interception, a fumble, and five punts, recorded a sack, and had held Virginia Tech to an 0-for-7 showing on third down conversions. LSU actually forced a second turnover, but it was negated by a marginal roughing-the-passer call.


Even though the Hokies managed to improve three times better in the second half, they were still held to 149 yards of total offense on the night and really offered nothing more impressive than Taylor's nine rushes for 44 yards.   


In two games, the Tigers have forced eight turnovers and, against Virginia Tech, gave up only one play over 20 yards.







"Punt Ugly may work against some of these teams, but it won't work against Virginia Tech."


Forget that myth. Not only did LSU's punt formation work properly, punter Patrick Fisher excelled in it … again.


Against the program known for blocking anything coming off of a foot, Fisher averaged 44.7 yards on three punts. He hit a long of 61 yards, put two kicks inside of the 20, and actually punted six times. Fisher's first and third punts of the night were called back because of penalties, and he was roughed up on LSU's 10th possession to keep what would eventually be a scoring drive going.


Colt David was called upon twice to kick field goals and connected on boots of 30 and 28 yards. He also nailed every extra point.


On kickoffs, the Tigers mostly tried to employ sky kicks to limit Virginia Tech's return yardage, but the Hokies were still able to net 177 yards on nine returns. Eddie Royal caused the most headaches for LSU, taking five kickoffs back for 137 yards.


Conversely, the Tigers only tallied 21 yards on kickoff returns and no yards on punt returns. Of course, Virginia Tech only managed two kickoffs the entire night, and one of them was predetermined.


Kudos for not allowing the Hokies to earn their reputation, but a knock for allowing too many yards in returns.







In Week 1, LSU head coach Les Miles prepared his team well for what ended up being a cakewalk against a divisional conference opponent in unusual circumstances, even in this day and age – a road game on a Thursday night to start the season.


In Week 2, against what was considered a vastly superior opponent to Mississippi State, it was obvious Miles and the rest of the coaching staff used their extra preparation time wisely.


For the most part, the Tigers always seemed two to three steps ahead of the Hokies. LSU looked like a team of surgeons dissecting a pinned down frog in biology class and turned the statement "Beamer Ball" into "Beamer Ball?"


Virginia Tech couldn't stop the Tigers on offense, and its own offense didn't pick up a first down until its fourth possession. Even after they did achieve that "first" first down of the night, the Hokies lasted just three more plays before having to punt. That happened on Virginia Tech's fifth possession of the night as well. By possession six, Taylor was at the helm of the Hokies offense, and it was obvious that Virginia Tech was going to look to the future of its program by letting a freshman play in a no-win situation.


Miles and LSU's staff orchestrated the Hokies' worst loss since a 42-0 defeat at the hands of Vanderbilt in 1982. There was no letdown and, versus what during the preseason was expected to be the Tigers' toughest opponent all year, there was no letting up. LSU made Va. Tech look like Vo-Tech.



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