The LSU Tigers did all that was expected of them on Saturday in a convincing 45-13 win over Kent State. Zach Mettenberger continued his early season success, the running game was strong, and the defense, for the most part, shut down the Kent State Golden Flashes.
The Tigers started the game firm, as Jeremy Hill burst untouched down the middle of the Kent State defense for a 58-yard touchdown, on LSU’s first offensive possession of the game. (Watch the replay) The LSU defense was unpenatrable in the first quarter, quickly getting the ball back to the offense. Jarvis Landry displayed his athletic ability, muscling through the defense to come down with a touchdown on 3rd and 20. (Watch the replay) On their next offensive possession Jeremy Hill took advantage of their great starting field position, finishing the drive with his second touchdown of the quarter. The LSU defense seemed to relax with a 21-0 lead, allowing the Golden Flashes to march down the field at the end of first quarter.
Kent State capped off their drive with a touchdown run at the beginning of the second quarter, cutting the Tiger lead to 14. On the issuing possession, LSU fullback Connor Neighbors caught a short pass from Mettenberger and showed surprising speed for a big man, turning the catch into a 52-yard gain. LSU was ready to convert a 4th and 1 near the Kent State goal line, but a false start penalty moved it to 4th and 6, forcing a field goal. The Golden Flashes stalled on their next possession, but due to an LSU penalty on top of 61 yard punt pinned LSU at their own 7. Mettenberger then engineered a beautiful drive, marching down the field by dissecting the Kent State secondary.
After a 16-yard Hill touchdown run was called back on a chop block penalty, Mettenberger found Landry for 31 yards and their second touchdown connection of the night. The Tiger defense shut down the next Kent State drive, but Travin Dural, who was returning punts due to Odell Beckham’s hurt finger, fumbled the punt giving the Golden Flashes the ball deep in LSU territory. The Tiger defensive remained strong and limited Kent State to a field goal before the end of the half.
The third quarter was extremely uneventful. LSU took their foot off the gas, and Kent State seemed to control the quarter. The Tiger defense bent, but never broke, only allowing a field goal. The offense was barely on the field in the third, and failed to record a single point. However, they started to click at the end of quarter, finishing the third quarter on the Kent state five-yard line.
The fourth quarter began with Mettenberger finding Beckham for a five-yard score. After a weak third quarter, the defense finished strong in the last quarter, shutting out their opponent. Cam Cameron stuck to the run for the entire fourth quarter. Terrence Magee looked impressive, finding the end zone with a little over ten minutes remaining in the game. LSU milked the clock for the rest of the game, effectively running the ball.
The Tigers looked strong in their final game before their SEC schedule begins with Auburn next Saturday. The defense seemed bored and sloppy on a few drives, but displayed dominance on others. The offense was brilliant for the third game in a row under Cam Cameron. Mettenberger was on target all game, and finished the game with 262 passing yards to go along with his three touchdowns. LSU got four running backs involved in the game, with Hill and Magee each topping the century mark on the ground. Together they accounted for three rushing touchdowns.
LSU looks ready for SEC play. Bring it on Auburn. Geaux Tigers!