Rapid Reaction: LSU opens with dud against Wisconsin
LSU’s offense? Still not exactly explosive.
The defense? Not quite good enough to win on its own.
Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglionone hit a 47-yard field goal with 3:47 left gave the Badgers a 16-14 upset of No. 5 LSU Saturday at Lambeau Field as the Badgers defense stifled LSU, ending the Tigers’ final threat with an interception.
What it means: One of the most impressive stats of the Les Miles era is over. The Tigers’ 52-game non-conference, regular-season win streak is snapped. And Wisconsin, unranked coming into the year, is back in the polls starting Sunday. Doesn’t it belong?
What I liked: LSU has a better defensive team with Dave Aranda as defensive coordinator. The Tigers were solid and made plays, forcing three turnovers.
What I didn’t like: Much like Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs in Thursday’s surprisingly difficult overtime win over Appalachian State, the assumed progression of LSU quarterback Brandon Harris as a returning starter wasn’t evident against the Badgers. Everything that was a problem for Harris last season continued to haunt him Saturday. He missed 6-foot-4 wide receiver Malachi Dupre high several times and on a couple of other passes, he underthrew balls on deep 1-on-1 routes. Wisconsin’s defense often confused him
Who’s the man: Tre’Davious White was moved to nickel back, where he could have the opportunity to make more plays. All he did was score on a pick-6 and pick up a fumble caused by Donte Jackson to set up another touchdown. Dave Aranda’s defensive scheme allows the Tigers’ secondary to make more plays on the ball and they came up with three turnovers Saturday.
Key plays: Rickey Jefferson’s interception in the end zone killed a scoring chance for Wisconsin in the first quarter. Then, Tre’Davious White intercepted Houston and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter for LSU’s first points of the season.
What’s next: LSU opens at home against Jacksonville State, a tougher-than-normal FCS opponent that reached the finals of its division last year. Wisconsin will host MAC member Akron.