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LSU vs. Syracuse 2017 final score: Tigers avoid getting squeezed by Orange, win 35-26

It was close, but the Fighting Tigers avoided a scare.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the LSU Tigers probably weren’t expecting the Syracuse Orange to put up the fight that they did on Saturday night. Nevertheless, LSU still managed to irk out a 35-26 victory to get back into the win column.

After last week’s humiliating loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the Tigers nabbed their third win of the season on Saturday night. It served as the penultimate nonconference game, with the final one coming next week against the Troy Trojans. All told, wins are wins, but the way they got there may force some doubt to creep in.

LSU managed to chunk together 263 yards passing between Danny Etling and Myles Brennan. Brennan, a freshman, took snaps on Saturday night in Death Valley but only threw six passes. Etling meanwhile threw 17 and while efficient, he didn’t throw for many yards. Only 188 yards were amassed by the Purdue Boilermakers transfer. While Syracuse has a defense that features the 34th-ranked unit in the country in Passing Success Rate, you’d like to see more from Etling under center.

The running backs for LSU were challenged quite a bit by the stingy Cuse defense. Just 151 yards were gained on 38 rushing attempts. Darrel Williams showed out himself, gaining 92 of those 151 yards on only 16 carries, but nearly everyone else struggled. Derrius Guice, banged up entering the game, gained just 14 yards on eight carries. The Tigers did find success in the end zone though, amassing three rushing TDs.

While LSU was shored up in defending the run, they struggled while defending through the air. Eric Dungey threw for 265 yards against the Tiger defense. The Tigers couldn’t contain the duo of Steve Ishmael and Ervin Philips. The senior ‘Cuse wideouts combined for 22 receptions for 216 yards. They each scored a touchdown as well. LSU hasn’t found themselves in passing defense this year so far, and they will simply have to play better going forward if they want to contend in the SEC.