My Take: Let’s be honest, when we looked at the 2016 schedule, we marked this off as a lost. You may have had the false sense of hope with Drew Lock and J’Mon Moore led the SEC in passing and receiving yards respectively that they could tear up LSU’s secondary.
This was LSU, not Delaware State…not Eastern Michigan…and not a West Virginia team that held a big lead against the Tigers. Many of those passing yards were fluff, straight drops, outrun defenders.
Lock and the offense still needs to grow. He’s young and his young offensive line got a good taste of what the next level of SEC play is all about. That can be a good thing.
If you’ve read previous articles and listened to my podcasts (The Bill Pollock Show), you know what I’m going to say.
I cautioned Tiger fans on some key points:
1. Offensively, they just don’t have a run game yet. Ish Witter is left to carry the load as Alex Ross recovers from injury. The Tigers are one dimensional and have to rely too heavily on the pass.
2. Drew Lock is still locked in on one receiver. For the second time in two SEC games, he’s missed receivers who are open who would have scored touchdowns and instead he’s thrown interceptions.
3. The defense isn’t as good as you have expected. Charles Harris can’t carry the load and after Harold Brantley and Walter Brady were kicked off the team, it diminished the D-line ever more.
4. Not only is the D-line failing to cover their gaps, the linebackers and defensive backs aren’t quick enough to cover skilled running backs. Perhaps they can cover middle of the road SEC backs, but against the conference’s top teams the speed isn’t there. That will be Barry Odom’s recruiting challenge.
Thankfully, Mizzou is in the SEC East. They have an extra week to plan for Florida. Win that game and the Tigers could easily rattle off a five-game win streak with teams like Middle Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vandy up next on the schedule. At the end of the season, a 7-5 record would be a huge success for what should have been considered a rebuilding year.
Star running back Leonard Fournette was sidelined for LSU with a re-injured ankle, but Derrius Guice rushed for a career-high 163 yards and three touchdowns, and Darrell Williams ran for another 130 as LSU beat Mizzou 42-7.
Mizzou gave up 418 yards on the ground.
Offensively, Mizzou faced their first real challenge upfront as LSU’s defensive line smothered the run game and kept Drew Lock on his heels all night. The Tigers were shutout until they turned to a trick play, scoring with just over six minutes to play.
The Tigers went with a double reverse pass from Marvin Zanders to receiver Eric Laurent to quarterback Drew Lock. Mizzou started the game with three straight three-and-outs and finished the game with five total.
Because of Mizzou’s failure to move the ball with their quick, no huddle offense, LSU countered and slowed the game up and dominated time of possession, 42:42 to 17:18. They also ran 82 plays to Mizzou’s 60. LSU’s 634 total yard was a school record for an SEC game.