Les Miles has made up his mind, and it doesn’t look like there’s any going back. Anthony Jennings is going to be LSU’s starting quarterback. Miles isn’t thinking about next year, he’s only thinking about what’s coming up this week. When he was getting his team ready for its game against Kentucky, which ended up a 41-3 rout of the Wildcats, Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron knew that riding with Jennings meant that the team wasn’t going to have much success throwing the ball. So, instead of forcing it, they simply didn’t.

In the first quarter, LSU ran 20 plays, a strong number for a team that likes to play methodically. Out of those 20 snaps, Jennings dropped back to pass all of four times. One resulted in a roughing the passer call after an incomplete pass, another in a sack. Jennings was 1-for-2 on the two passes he got off, with the completion coming on an obvious passing down. Tight end Travis Dickson was wide open down the field on third-and-six, without a defender within eight yards, allowing Jennings to float an easy ball to him for a 27-yard gain.

On the other 16 plays the Tigers got off, Jennings turned around and handed the ball to one of his running backs. They didn’t exactly yield eye-popping results, averaging 3.4 yards per carry, but LSU held onto the ball for more than half the quarter. That number would have likely been higher if Tre’Davious White hadn’t housed a punt return, but the LSU coaching staff isn’t likely complaining about that.

On top of staking themselves to a 17-3 lead and allowing Jennings to get comfortable in one quarter, the Tigers’ commitment to the running game provided another benefit: a confidence boost to the offensive line. It’s no secret that LSU’s offensive line has been inconsistent at best this season. Facing loaded boxes, the veteran group has struggled to open up holes for the running backs in the first half of the season. On Saturday, Miles and Cameron put their trust into a group made up of mostly upper classmen, and they delivered. Even when the running game didn’t get rolling in the first quarter, LSU kept pounding away. It resulted in 308 yards of rushing offense, a season high for the Tigers.