Updated: Sep 19, 2021
DEDICATED TO KEVIONE FAULK....RIP
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Wearing the beautiful rare purple uniforms, Saturday night freshman fever was in full swing at Tigers Stadium as LSU walloped Central Michigan 49-21, with plenty of second year players getting in on the action.
First of all, QB Max Johnson rifled the Tigers to a quick scoring lead, hurling 5/6 on the first drive as LSU flew down the field in lightning quick fashion, utilizing Kayshon Boutte, Jack Bech and Devonta Lee over Jaray Jenkins and Trey Palmer.
The offense was flying at a high octane momentum, with Johnson unloading one quick pass after another, all going for long gains after the catch.
Then, the freshmen took over:
Freshmen WRs Deion Smith and Jack Bech led the way for LSU through the air, hauling in 200+ combined yards and 3 TDs between the duo, including Bech's circus one handed TE grab and Smith's long Moss-esque TD over and through a Central Michigan DB's grasp.
Bech went 5 catches for 81 yards, his first TD as a Tiger with that circus catch, finishing with an average of 16.2 per grab as all 5 receptions turned into first downs.
Deion caught his first 5 targets, each for first down yardage and all eclipsed 15+ yards. The Mississippi native even finished the first quarter holding 2 grabs for 68 yards and 2 TDs.
Then, fighting off a banged up ankle, Kayshon Boutte got in on the act with his college football-leading 6th TD of the year, rolling off a jet sweep for a 2 yard touchdown. He finished with 6 for 44 yards, being rested for most of the game after what looked to be an ankle injury.
Other freshmen rose to the podium, Brian Thomas Jr with 2 catches and 50 yards, headlined by a 41 yard grab down the sidelines from a fire breathing Max Johnson pass.
Max was making all the throws, pulling off sideline to sideline passes to the boundaries, beating defenders over the top, finding targets open in maximum space with quick ease....Jake Peetz finally gave him the keys to the car, let him drive and Max responded with 372 yards, 5 TDs, 17 first down completions, ending 26/35.
Also, our offensive line surrendered just 3 QB hits and didn't allow a sack for the first game in 2021...we'll see if this trend continues but it's a better sign.
Third year WR Devonta Lee became a strong weapon for the offense, receiving 6 targets and posting 5 catches for 47 yards and bringing down his first ever LSU touchdown, a special moment for the versatile player who has only recently been settled at the WR position.
Meanwhile on the ground, freshman Corey Kiner took over and made his opportunity count with 12 carries for 74 yards and his second consecutive game with a touchdown.
More than that, it's the way he did it:
Pummeling over defenders, stiff arming linebackers into the ground...literally, pile driving all comers in his path, speeding through and snaking around blockers, then, to top it all off, as if we hadn't already seen enough to call the freshman a heavy favorite to take over the #1 running back role, he sealed that notion when he spun a defender into the next millennium, drawing straight from Clyde Edwards-Helaire's 2019 playbook.
On defense, second year DE B.J Ojulari, DTs Jaquelin Roy, Neil Farrell Jr, Joseph Evans and Jacobian Guillory all snatched the mantle up front, though the tone was set by a play from the secondary:
CB Derek Stingley Jr set the plan in motion with a brilliant forced fumble from a vicious hit, setting up DE Andre Anthony for the scoop and score, the first defensive TD for Daronte Jones' unit.
From there, it was an avalanche of interior pressure, Neil Farrell Jr, Joseph Evans, Jacobian Guillory, Maason Smith and Jaquelin Roy all grabbing TFLs, pressures or sacks with sustained brutality.
But it was second year DE B.J Ojulari cleaning up with 2.5 sacks on the day to go alongside his 4 pressures, 3 QB hits and constant influence up front. He now has 4.5 sacks, matching his output over 10 games from 2020.
LSU transfer safety Major Burns also announced himself with a great interception, cashed in for points by Max Johnson's bloodthirsty offensive tribe. Though, Burns later caused the broken coverage which created Central Michigan's first touchdown of the game, he did play better than his first two weeks.
What we watched was an all around entertaining spectacle where Tigers rose up and made big time plays, some players perhaps played themselves out of contention, and four Tigers scored their first ever touchdowns (Bech, Smith, Lee and Anthony), all while the defense played with effort, ferocity and intelligence, holding Central Michigan to 1.8 yards per carry and under 60 total rushing yards.
How far can this team geaux?
Keep it locked....we will be investigating all of it.
OUR POSTGAME SHOW
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc
SHOUTOUTS: JAMER....THE BAND MOM!!!