IN JUST 6 GAMES, KAYSHON BOUTTE'S 2021 SEASON WAS ICONIC

Updated: Jan 19



by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


Following Kayshon Boutte's SEC record-breaking 308 yards vs Ole Miss at the last gasp of his freshman year, anything seemed possible heading into year two:

The former Westgate prodigy delivered 735 receiving yards & 5 TDs during limited time as a freshman, exploding in the last four games with unofficial TDs vs A&M and Alabama (thanks to a phantom refereeing call & a DeSean Jackson drop at the 2 yard line taking both plays off the board) to go alongside huge performances against Florida and Ole Miss.


Tagged as LSU's #1 guy heading into 2021, the table was set for a Biletnikoff contending season from the New Iberia native, and with the Tigers' bountiful cast out wide, then-WR Coach Mickey Joseph's receiving corps were poised to explode.

Meanwhile, Boutte's name received little recognition nationally, as most analysts and hosts scoffed at the notion of the "slot guy" becoming an all-world showman of overall receiving brilliance. During my appearance on The Mark Rogers Show, the host laughed off my notion of Boutte being even close to the best WR in America, saying I was "the only person in the country who believed that"....

This didn't age well...

After just 6 games, Kayshon Boutte produced an NCAA-leading 9 TD catches.

Beginning with his 3 scores vs UCLA, Boutte would lead the country in TD receptions for the entirety of his on field participation...wire to wire.


Suddenly, his name was plastered everywhere, even the smug host taking back his words on air, while national scouts or analysts drooled over Kayshon's elusive, gliding ability after the catch.

Miraculously overnight, Boutte went from "he had that one good game..." to "He's a Top 5 Draft pick!"

When judging the offensive dysfunction surrounding the Freshman All-American WR over his first 2 years at LSU, catching passes from 3 different QBs within 2020 alone, his career numbers are an unbelievable achievement (1,244 yards & 14 TDs after 16 games).

Make no mistake, 2021 saw Boutte at the peak of his powers as LSU's offense were at their gruesome worst.


All throughout his sophomore year, Kayshon became LSU's only offensive outlet, in fact, despite his year being cut in half due to injury, he still led the Tigers in touchdowns and receiving yards by the end of 12 regular season games.

That statistic is an indictment of LSU's impotent 2021 offense...or is it proof of Boutte's abilities to produce game-changing plays at will, regardless of the circumstances?

Perhaps both.

Just have a look at the touchdowns vs UCLA and Mississippi State...

QB Max Johnson steps back, quickly hits Kayshon with an accurate slant; spying the smallest of creases ahead, Boutte's otherworldly pace would do the rest...bending his body around the defender's grasp as he hit another gear, rapid torque as he high stepped away from a last gasp tackle...no one even touched the man....

Not to belittle anyone, but the palpable play-making energy from LSU's star receiver couldn't be topped. When he had the ball in his hands, his stunning output equals the combined season-total TDs for starting WRs Jaray Jenkins, Malik Nabers and Devonta Lee...


Providing 9 of Max Johnson's first 14 touchdown passes, Boutte kept LSU in games as well as supplied Johnson with an easy early target to get in rhythm.

Often, the Tigers started with a quick 1st quarter TD to Kayshon Boutte, only to completely look away from the All-American talent.

Then, when LSU found themselves down, it would be the SEC record breaker fighting to get the Tigers back in games, scoring crucial TDs vs UCLA, Miss St & Auburn to bring LSU back within contention; however, the offense remained far too one dimensional for any sustained success.


Regardless, even when defenses knew he was getting the ball, they were powerless to stop him. Only injury, poor quality or low volume targets, a lack of creative play-calling, and his 3 dropped touchdowns prevented Kayshon from shining.

After Boutte went down with a season ending injury, hurting his ankle as he pulled off a miraculous sideline grab @ Kentucky, the news rattled the fanbase....and rightly so.

Despite Offensive Coordinator Jake Peetz having a few high quality receiving options backing Boutte, our dysfunctional offensive staff, as well as LSU's hot or cold quarterback play each failed to find our receiving corps with quality targets throughout the season....which made Boutte's 9 TDs truly remarkable.


As LSU rushed for just 48 total yards against UCLA, Kayshon recorded 148 through the air, scoring 21 of LSU's 27 points;

Against Mississippi State, Boutte's 4 catches for 84 yards & 2 TDs outpaced the Tigers' 27 carries for 63 yards on the ground.

When the Tigers' 6 different rushers could only muster 33 yards vs Auburn, the best WR in America caught 6 passes for 127 and the team's only offensive touchdown of the game;

Even against McNeese his meager 32 yards still supplied 2 touchdowns....

Quite simply, if Boutte had been able to finish all 12 games of his sophomore campaign, bad offense and all, we would be talking about one of the greatest ever receiving seasons by a Tiger.

When you realize LSU's offense generated just one single 100 yard rusher across any of Kayshon's 6 appearances (until his final game of the year vs Kentucky), one starts to understand the power of his all world craftsmanship.

They knew he was getting the ball...and they still couldn't stop him....

While his second season at LSU may be judged as an injury-interrupted detour along his journey to greatness, I'll remember 2021 as a moment in time where Kayshon Boutte was left without options:
Dominate or be dominated....
Eat or be eaten....

Above all his individual numbers, LSU's future #7 only cared about one thing: the team winning.

In the face of 2021's many obstacles for the LSU Football squad, Kayshon Boutte put the team on his back, becoming a one man offensive rollercoaster before the college football world's very eyes.

Doubt no more.....


2021

6 Games (All Starts)

508 Yards

9 TDs

53 Targets

38 Catches

13.4 Avg.

-22 1st Down Catches

-9 Gains of 15+ Yards

-6 3rd Down Conversion Grabs

-5 Red Zone TD Catches

-4 TDs of 25+ Yards

-3 Plays of loss or no gain

-2 TD Catches on 3rd Down

-3 Apps. Of 2+ TDs

-2 Games of 100+ Yards


2020

10 Games (5 Starts)

735 Yards

5 TDs*

-*(technically 7)

45 Catches

16.3 Avg.

-3 Consecutive Apps. of 100+ Yards

-SEC Single Game Rec. Record


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc


GEAUX DEEPER ON THE SEC'S BEST WR AND THE NEXT LSU JUGGERNAUT:

KAYSHON BOUTTE 2021 PROFILE

KAYSHON BOUTTE: FRESHMAN G.O.A.T

All about his breathtaking performance vs Ole Miss and how it happened


KAYSHON BOUTTE: TOP 10 TIGERS OF 2020

Where does Kayshon rank in our Top 10 of 2020? A full freshman game by game profile.


KAYSHON BOUTTE: 2020 PROJECTIONS

You won't even believe these predictions, but there they are, locked in on July 1st 2020....and yes, we predicted Kayshon would grab THOSE numbers with Chase, Marshall and Gilbert still on roster. LSU Odyssey always believed in Kayshon.


SHOUTOUTS: Kayshon, Em & the Entire Boutte Family! We are lucky & proud to call y'all Tigers!

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