BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU coach Ed Orgeron was happy with his first win of the season, but still knows there is plenty of work to do.
Max Johnson threw for 161 yards and three touchdowns and LSU defeated McNeese 34-7 on Saturday night.
Not good enough offensively, Orgeron said. It starts with protection; we need to protect the quarterback better. We need to keep improving and hopefully we’ll get better when we get some of our linemen back.
The LSUs defense held the Cowboys to 142 yards total offense.
After sputtering in a season-opening loss to UCLA last week, the LSU (1-1) offense still struggled against McNeese, racking up just 262 yards of total offense in the first three quarters and scoring just 24 points off an FCS opponent.
Im a little surprised with how much we struggled (offensively) these first two weeks, Orgeron said. We want to get our athletes into space; but right now the protection is preventing it from working. If we can’t protect the quarterback; it’s not going to work.
Taking advantage of McNeese’s (0-2) lack of depth, LSU pulled away by 10 points in the final quarter.
We weren’t in a good mood when we got back from Los Angeles, Orgeron said. It didn’t matter who our opponent was this week; we focused on LSU getting better.
However, the LSU defense bounced back with a stellar performance, enabling a single score on the night when senior quarterback Cody Orgeron found Carlo Williams for a 44-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
I was very happy with how we played defensively, Orgeron said. Especially with our pass rush.
Freshman defensive tackle Maason Smith led the way for LSU with three sacks and six total tackles.
Converting a pair of fourth down conversions, LSU (1-1) scored on its first possession of the game, when Johnson hit Trey Palmer for a 19-yard score.
In just his fourth start for the Tigers, Johnson finished 18 of 27 for 161 yards. Two of Johnson’s touchdowns went to sophomore Kayshon Boutte, who finished with five catches for 31 yards.
14-0 late in the first half, a 55-yard field goal by junior Cade York sent LSU to the half 17-0. York later broke his own Tiger Stadium record with a 56-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter, extending the LSU lead to 27-0.
GAME OF THE GAME
Leading 7-0 almost midway through the second quarter and with McNeese on his own 32-yard line, defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy forced and recovered a fumble by Stephen Huderson to give LSU the ball deep into Cowboys territory.
In the next game, Tyrion Davis-Price went 21 yards and two plays later Johnson found Boutte for a three-yard touchdown, making it a 14-0 game.
LSU: The Tiger offense continued to struggle, taking just 166 yards in total against their FCS opponent in the first half, but took advantage of a Cowboy turnover to take the halfway lead to 17-0.
McNeese: The Cowboys hung early at LSU, trailing just a touchdown midway through the first half before giving up 10 points in the last 6:58 of the second quarter
LSU: Hosts Central Michigan on Saturday before SEC game kicks off September 25.
McNeese: Stays on the road again in Baton Rouge to play Southern University on Saturday.
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