The fifth-ranked LSU Tigers showed today they were going to live and die by Leonard Fournette. Today, they died. Fournette ran the ball 23 times for 138 yards but it wasn't enough as LSU fell to Wisconsin 16-14 at Lambeau Field.
It was a tale of two halves for #5 LSU this afternoon. The first half looked similar to the team in the 2011 BCS National Championship against Alabama. They couldn't move the ball at all and just seemed like they weren't the better team. They had no tenacity and didn't seem like they wanted to play. In the second half, they came out like the team who was undefeated going into the 2011 BCS National Championship. The defense was intense and the ground game was impactful. In the end it just wasn't enough to overcome an upset-minded Badgers team.
Here's three things we learned from the Tigers defeat:
1) LSU's quarterback issues persist: Harris has had his fair share of ups and downs, mainly the latter in his time in Baton Rouge. When the Tigers needed an answer today for the Badgers, Harris delivered once on a downfield pass to Leonard Fournette to put LSU in the red zone. Other than that, his play was dreadful. The numbers may not show it, but from watching him play, Harris hurts LSU more than he helps.
2) Tre'Davious White is the best defensive back in the SEC: White had the biggest momentum swing of the game in the third quarter, when he picked off Bart Houston and took it back for a touchdown. It flipped LSU from being dead in the water to being right back in the game. The Tigers would take the lead shortly after White recovered a fumble on the next Badgers drive. His coverage was superb all game long, and White solidified himself as the captain of the defense this afternoon.
3) Les Miles has improved in crunch time coaching: The final drive of the game for the Tigers showed what LSU fans have been wanting to see for quite some time now: Les Miles executing a very good two-minute drill. Harris opened the drive up with a 19-yard pass to the tight end across the middle, followed by a couple short passes to Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre to get them to midfield. To get into field goal range, Leonard Fournette rushed for 15 yards before exiting with a minor leg injury. That proved to be detrimental, as LSU only had one timeout remaining, so Harris was forced to pass the ball. He was under pressure, but had time to settle down and throw the ball away. The ball instead landed in the wide open arms of Wisconsin defensive back D'Cota Dixon, sealing the biggest upset of the day.
LSU is back in action next weekend against Jacksonville State in Baton Rouge.