We said in our preview that the LSU Tigers not only needed to win, but they needed to look good while doing it. That’s exactly what happened on Saturday night.
The final score of their romp over Central Michigan was 49-21. LSU covered the gaudy spread and the total went over, but just barely.
It wasn’t perfect and the run game can certainly still use some work, but the LSU passing game looked the most in sync it has all season. Max Johnson looked comfortable in the pocket and even when he was pressured he managed to keep his eyes downfield and make some throws.
In the third, Johnson had a miscommunication with Koy Moore resulting in an interception that Central Michigan returned for a touchdown.
LSU’s freshman wide receivers came to play with Deion Smith, Jack Bech, and Brian Thomas Jr having big nights. Sophomore WR Kayshon Boutte added to his FBS leading touchdown total.
A bright spot for LSU in the running game was freshman Corey Kiner. Kiner flashed some highlight-worthy runs late in the game, racking up 74 yards on the ground in the end.
The Tiger defense controlled the game from start to finish. They added to the scoring when cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. forced a fumble, which landed in the hands of defensive end Andre Anthony, who returned it for a touchdown. Sophomore BJ Ojulari had a big night, repeatedly getting pressure and sacking the quarterback.
The Central Michigan offense was able to find the end zone a couple of times when LSU defensive backs missed some assignments.
The Tigers needed this with SEC play starting next week. Nobody really thought LSU was going to lose this game, but many might have expected a win that was less pretty than this considering they had to grind out a win against an FCS opponent last week.
With that being said, Central Michigan is still a MAC team and it’s hard to have a big picture takeaway from this game. LSU gets Mississippi State next week, and State lost to Memphis on Saturday and struggled to beat Louisiana Tech earlier in the year.
LSU played with a swagger tonight that we haven’t yet seen from then in 2021, and rarely did in 2020. Expect to see LSU favored in their SEC opener next week given Saturday’s results.