September 1, 2012; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles against the North Texas Mean Green during the second quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Tigers Cruise

The LSU Tigers opened their 2012 football season by overpowering an undermanned North Texas team to a 41-14 victory. It was not the cleanest of games played by the Tigers by any stretch of the imagination. However, it was a victory and for the 10th year in a row the Tigers have started the season with a “W” in their opening contest.

For the Tigers offense, they were able to rack up over 500 yards on the night. 316 of those yards came on the ground.

The Tigers were led on the ground by sophomore Kenny Hilliard who ran through the Mean Green defense for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Alfred Blue, who got the start at tailback, contributed with 123 yards. Michael Ford chipped in as the no. 3 running back tallying 50 yards on eight carries.

Zach Mettenberger made his debut as the Tigers’ starting quarterback. The redshirt junior quarterback completed 19 of his 26 pass attempts for 192 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

There were some good moments as well as some bad moments for the Tigers new signal caller. The bad, just before the end of the first half with the Tigers driving deep into opposition territory looking to put more separation between themselves and North Texas, Mettenberger made an ill-advised pass at the goal line that resulted in an interception for North Texas. The good, Mettenberger was able to showcase his talented arm strength with a strike to Kadron Boone that resulted in a 34 yard touchdown pass.

Jarvis Landy led the Tiger receiving core with eight catches for 82 yards. Odell Beckham, who also served as the team’s punt and kickoff returner and returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown, had three catches on the night for 30 yards.

The LSU defense played a solid game overall giving up just 219 total yards in the game. A chunk of the North Texas yardage came on one play when quarterback Derek Thompson hit Brelan Chancellor on an 80 yard catch and run touchdown pass late in the 2nd quarter.

The LSU defense was only able to force one turnover in the game when Eric Reid picked off a deflected pass in the 2nd quarter. No sacks were recorded in the game for the Tiger defense.

Punter Brad Wing was held out of the game due to injury. He was replaced by another Australian, Jamie Keehn who had three punts for an average of 41 yards per punt.

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