LSU blows out Kentucky, 41-3


I expected LSU to get the win Saturday night in Death Valley, but I didn’t expect the Tigers to shellack an improved Kentucky team as if Guy Morriss or Hal Mumme were still around.

A week after LSU’s special teams nearly cost them the game at Florida, Bradley Dale Peveto’s unit was exceptional against Kentucky. The evening began with a psuedo-onside kick from UK, returned 40 yards by Terrance Magee setting up a short field. LSU would punch in the touchdown and not look back from that point.

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Tre’Davious White added a punt return for touchdown early in the second half (aided by a nasty, nasty block from Jamal Adams), outrunning the entire Kentucky punt coverage unit. The Wildcats inexplicably continued to kick to him for the next few punts, allowing White to gain 114 total yards on punt returns, averaging 20 yards per.

Leonard Fournette didn’t have the best day to follow up his 140 yard performance last week, averaging under 3 yards per carry on his 15 touches. The holes just weren’t there for him this week, even though the offensive line did a commendable job. Eliot Porter struggled, but that was to be expected going up against a Kentucky defense that puts a lot of beef right over the center.

The offensive story was Terrence Magee. After that strong return to open the game, he never let up. Magee not only led the team in rushing, with 127 yards on a mere 9 carries, but was also LSU’s best receiver amassing 44 yards. Magee finished with a stout 220 total yards, doing everything for LSU moving the football. The senior back was absolutely phenomenal, seeing the field well and breaking off yardage in huge chunks.

Anthony Jennings continues to be the same player. A slow decision maker, but someone Les Miles can count on to not make mistakes. He didn’t stand out in any way, except to hold onto the ball too long at times. This team is going to be run first, run second, pass only when absolutely necessary and to attempt to keep the defense somewhat honest. Brandon Harris got some work late, but aside from throwing an INT, he was in just to hand the ball off.

It’s safe to say 2014 is going to be run by Anthony Jennings, who gives LSU the best chance to win games this season.

Danielle Hunter and Jamal Adams played otherworldly on the defensive side. Hunter had two passes batted down and was constantly in Kentucky QB Patrick Towles’ face all night long. His speed was unstoppable off the edge, which was highly destructive to Kentucky’s style of offense.

What can be said about Jamal Adams? He was everywhere on the field, making pays in run and pass defense. He also had the monster block that set up Tre’Davious White’s punt return touchdown. Adams filled the stat line: 8 tackles, 5 solo to lead the team, 1 sack, and 1.5 TFL.

The defense as a whole continued to build off their performance last week. Make no mistake, Kentucky has a much better offense than Florida. The Wildcats average over 450 yards per game and LSU held them to 217. The most notable improvement was in run defense, holding Kentucky to just 71 yards on the ground.

Improved defensive line play is making a huge difference on this team. LSU has the best secondary in the SEC. If teams are unable to run on LSU, it will be tough sledding. Next week, Ole Miss brings a thoroughly mediocre run offense to Baton Rouge. If LSU can keep the Rebels from putting together much on the ground, the game could get really interesting.

We’ve now located the identity of this year’s LSU team and it’s classic Les Miles, LSU style. Built on fantastic defense and special teams, it will ask only what it needs of from the offense, relying on shutting down the opposing team and making things happen in the return, kicking, and coverage game. While it’s not the most exciting football, it’s how LSU has won the majority of its games with Les Miles.

The Tigers are rounding into that shape. With Ole Miss and Alabama on board, the rest of the season might just get a little more interesting.