What a great season-opener for the LSU Tigers. In a high-stakes match-up, they defeated the number 3 Oregon Ducks with good old fashioned smashmouth football. And they did it without their starting quarterback and star wide receiver. LSU had very few penalties and only one turnover. They played with great field position most of the evening because of a punter who has a cannon for a leg.
There were a lot of questions before the game about how backup quarterback Jarrett Lee would do in the starting position. He played a good bit two years ago and really laid some eggs. In that year, he had as many interceptions as he had touchdown passes. After this game, Coach Miles sounded a little disappointed with Lee’s performance saying that “He can do better.” I’m sure he can do better, but I thought he did a fantastic job tonight. Lee is not a superstar, but then again neither was Matt Mauck or Matt Flynn—both of whom won championships for LSU.
The Oregon Ducks are better than they looked tonight. They had LSU on their heels for much of the second quarter, and they might have continued to play competitively but for their turnovers and penalties. You just cannot expect to win ballgames with 11 penalties and 4 turnovers. But this was the first game of the year, and the Ducks will fix those things and compete well in the Pac 12.
If LSU wants to make it through the SEC and compete for the national championship, they will have to throw the ball better than they did tonight. They won’t win the SEC on the ground like they did tonight. Where their offense goes from here depends greatly upon who the quarterback will be. We will have to wait and see about that one.