In a struggle between an unstoppable force (Tennessee’s offense) and an immovable object (LSU’s defense), it was the former that prevailed on Saturday in Baton Rouge. The LSU football program is in the midst of a rebuild. Even then, the Tigers had gotten off to a 4-1 start to the season. Records are deceiving though, especially in the Bayou Bengals’ case.
LSU went down by at least two scores to every power five team it’d played this season. Coaches, fans and pundits all agreed that this could not be the case if Brian Kelly’s team wanted any chance to beat the No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday. How did the Tigers respond to this criticism? They spotted the Vols a 20-0 lead to start the game. Predictably, LSU would go on to lose in embarrassing fashion, 40-13, and drop to 4-2 on the year.
LSU football exposed by explosive Tennessee Vols in embarrassing fashion
The Bayou Bengals needed to be flawless on the day to even have a shot against the No. 1 offense in the entire country. The home team won the toss—and that’s when the good luck ran out. Kelly elected to receive to start the game, as he usually does. However, the head coach’s decision looked horrible in hindsight as Jack Bech coughed up the opening kickoff.
LSU would never recover from that error.
The Tigers gave Heisman frontrunner Hendon Hooker a short field to work with on the opening drive and he’d never look back. Tennessee waltzed into the end zone to give the visitors a lead that they would never surrender. It was the most embarrassing performance that LSU fans have had to endure since the 48-11 loss to Auburn back in 2020. Although this game was at home, thus it may have been the most gut-wrenching outing by the Bayou Bengals in recent memory.
This game will look like a defensive disaster for those who were lucky enough to miss the game. It must be said that Matt House’s unit fought valiantly throughout the entire contest. A few short-field situations set the defense up for failure from the off. Holding Hooker to 17 for 27, 239 yards and two touchdowns is pretty good, all things considered.
The Tigers’ offense simply couldn’t keep pace. They fell behind early and couldn’t claw their way back, despite Jayden Daniels throwing for 300 yards. Overall, it was a combination of failures that led to LSU’s demise. Kelly made some bone-headed decisions in important moments, the Tigers were missing a few key players due to injury and penalties were killer. Special teams—to the surprise of nobody—were no help either.
Few out there believed the Bayou Bengals were a legitimate contender after their hot start to the season. The majority of college football fanatics were proven right as LSU was exposed by Tennessee on Saturday. The embarrassing defeat was a humbling one that reminded fans across the country that Kelly still needs time to get Louisiana’s flagship program back on track.
Up next for the Tigers is a trip to the Swamp next Saturday to take on Florida.