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LSU CELEBRATE HOMECOMING BY SHUTTING ARMY OUT 62-0

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On a crisp Saturday night at Tiger Stadium, where both Burrow parents Jimmy & Robin Burrow were among those in attendance, Brian Kelly's LSU Tigers welcomed Army with camouflage-adorned end zones and open arms....only to thrash the cadets 62-0, handing Matt House's defense another week of confidence building play, while Mike Denbrock's fever-dreaming attack packed on another 500+ total yards on offense.

In the wake of heightened criticism, Week 8 was once again another fantastic showing from House's defense to keep the shutout alive across 4 quarters (holding an opponent at 18 points or less for the 4th time this season interestingly enough):

4 turnovers forced, 5 tackles for loss, a litany of pressures (not enough sacks, an Achilles heel), just 42 passing yards allowed (193 total on the night), and Army's own limitations paved the way for LSU's 2nd clean sheet in 2 seasons under defensive coordinator Matt House.

DB Andre Sam ripped off 2 interceptions before dropping 2 more, Zy Alexander grabbed his 2nd pick of the season, and DE Ovie Oghoufo made a ridiculous play when he poked the ball out and made the fumble recovery during the same sequence.

Elsewhere, linebacker Omar Speights delivered another solid outing (leading the team with 9 tackles), defensive tackle Jordan Jefferson was superb, starting in lieu of Mekhi Wingo and taking his chance by the horns: 6 tackles and another TFL on the season (now at 4.5).

Greg Penn III enjoyed a stellar game, supplying the team's only sack next to his 5 tackles (plus 1 TFL for the sack). Bradyn Swinson hounded Army's Champ Harris all night, unlucky to leave without a sack (5 pressures, 1 batted pass & 1 QB hit to his name).

Harold Perkins generated 7 tackles and 0.5 TFL in little over 3 quarters of action, proving stout amid the interior, making plays around the guts of the action throughout proceedings.

Perkins' eternal conquest vs Army stood out as a well rounded performance against the run in the aftermath of tremendous displays vs the passing game.

Watching #4 bully opposing rushers, force fumbles, sack quarterbacks, make repeated tackles for loss in space, and intercept / break up passes against high octane offenses when guarding elite receivers 1 v 1 (like Luther Burden)....these are exhibitions of preternatural footballing greatness...."GIVE THIS MAN THE BUTKUS!"

Never allowing Army to enter their red zone, LSU's defense would've gained plenty of confidence from tonight, despite recording just 1 sack, never seeing a big play from DT Maason Smith, plus allowing Kanye Udoh too much room on the ground (108 yards at over 5 per carry).

LSU's defense still left turnovers, more sacks, and other big plays on the field....but heading into a winner-take-all defacto playoff game @ Alabama, we needed a display of dominance from this group....next to the rarity of shutouts in Division I football circa 2023, we saw their dominance & we'll gladly take the shutout any day of the week.

Mission accomplished for Matt House's defense, suffocating Army & handing the ball to their Heisman-worthy QB, leading a juggernaut offense on its way to another major night.

In just one half of work, Heisman frontrunner QB Jayden Daniels piled up even more yardage and TDs, remaining razor-thin efficient & cold-blooded when operating Mike Denbrock's supersonic offense (11/15, 279 Yards, 3 TD passes, 1 rushing TD, 6 rushing yards).

Daniels launched 2 impressive touchdown strikes for Brian Thomas Jr, now at 11 receiving scores, starting off with a deep bomb through the middle of Army's secondary, followed by a tear drop beauty pass while on the run, side-stepping pressure & uncorking a devastating ball.....right in stride.

But he wasn't satisfied hooking up one LSU receiver with one hundred yards and a permanent place in Army's camo end zone:

#1 national-leading receiver Malik Nabers remains a prime Biletnikoff frontrunner as he recorded another 100 yard game (his 5th across 8 appearances), putting up 121 yards, 4 catches and 2 touchdowns, his second arriving later when 2nd string QB Garrett Nussmeier tossed the throw of the night, a 55 yard connection to Nabers after the LSU WR burned his coverage on a brilliantly worked stop and go route.

Since both receivers are now at over 100 yards and 1 TD together in a game for the third time in 2023, Nabers & Thomas Jr tie 2019's legendary WR duo Jefferson & Chase from that iconic championship campaign...and there's still at least 5 opponents, possibly more, left on the schedule.....

Sure, a cynical mind could argue this offensive majesty we're witnessing is only against Army...."we still have to prove it vs Alabama you may say"....

That's true.

However, this is just the same continuum of consistency we've seen from Daniels, Nabers, Thomas Jr, and the entire offense since Week 2:

A football fan's feast in the film room, chock-full of JD5 repeating his next level passing antics, punching in touchdowns as if it were his birthright, Nabers & Thomas Jr proving they are the best WR duo in America, a bevy of running backs all making their mark at different stages (Trey Holly busting a 67 yard touchdown loose, alongside playmaking and touchdowns by Logan Diggs, Josh Williams, Kaleb Jackson, and Noah Cain), all fronted by a well-oiled offensive line machine.
.....now, when we're witnessing fellow Heisman frontrunners Michael Penix and Caleb Williams both struggle as Daniels continues to be primarily responsible for LSU's cinematic 2023 offense, which repeatedly breaks program records even Burrow and Co couldn't touch during 2019, serious questions must be asked if Jayden Daniels isn't that #1 guy among the rankings this week.

Since there's no more anxiety about looking ahead (our defense has really done a number on us in the PTSD category), now we can all gaze forward worry-free at what should be a second consecutive epic clash between LSU and Alabama, "Kelly vs Saban Round II", as the eternal soul of the SEC West is on the line and ready for the taking.


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

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