5 Biggest Takeaways: What we learned from LSU's blowout win
LSU had its most complete effort of the season in their 41-3 win over Kentucky on Saturday, playing physically on both sides of the ball. Here are the five biggest takeaways from the blowout victory.
- Anthony Jennings is going to be the quarterback. This is for better or worse, it would seem. Les Miles seems to feel as if Jennings gives him a more consistent option, committing fewer mistakes and managing the game effectively. Jennings is still indecisive in the pocket and inaccurate throwing the ball, but he’s more than capable of turning around and handing it off.
- The offensive line is coming together. After a shaky start to the season, with senior center Elliott Porter serving a two-game suspension in the first two weeks, the line is living up to their preseason billing. They pounded their way to more than 200 yards a week ago against Florida, and the running game topped 300 yards against Kentucky. The line cleared some massive holes, springing Terrence Magee for a few big gains on which he wasn’t touched until he was 10 yards down field.
- The defense is improving. Kentucky came in with one of the better offenses in the SEC, averaging nearly 450 yards of total offense. LSU held them to less than half of that. The run defense finally showed up, smothering any Kentucky attempts at running the ball, and they swarmed to the ball relentlessly. The pass rush was as good as its been all season as well, putting pressure on Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles all evening.
- Miles can still make magic. Throughout the Mad Hatter’s tenure, LSU has found some weird ways to generate points. They did it again on Saturday, taking a punt back for a touchdown in the first half. They also recovered an unintentional onside kick at the end of the first half, when a squib took a sharp bounce downfield that allowed the Tigers coverage team to pounce. LSU didn’t need those plays to win, but they helped break the game wide open.
- LSU might have the recipe to give Ole Miss trouble. Let’s not pull any punches here: the Tigers are going to struggle to move the ball against a Rebels defense that is the class of the SEC and one of the nation. If the Tigers can play defense like they did against Kentucky, they’ll be able to hang around. The Rebels don’t run the ball well at all, and their offensive line is shoddy. LSU should be able to generate pressure on Bo Wallace, and with the talent in the defensive backfield they’ll be able to capitalize on any mistakes they can force.