The LSU offense lived up to its offseason hype on Saturday night in a big season-opening victory over Georgia Southern in Tiger Stadium.
LSU outgained the Eagles 473 yards to 87 yards en route to a 55-3 victory. It was the most points the Tigers have scored in a first half since scoring 49 against Louisiana Tech in 2003 and the largest margin of victory since defeating Sam Houston State 56-0 in 2014.
"What we saw tonight was what we've seen in practice for the last so many days," said LSU coach Ed Orgeron. "The guys have worked very hard. We're very pleased with our offense."
From the first snap, it was obvious that the LSU offense was different than last season. The Tigers scored 21 points in the first quarter and second quarter each. LSU also went 7-for-7 in the red zone.
Even so, Orgeron said LSU didn't need to show the entire offense gameplan against Georgia Southern once it took such a large lead.
Senior quarterback Joe Burrow had perhaps the best game of his LSU career, going 23-for-27 with 278 yards and five touchdowns, tying Zach Metterberger's record for passing touchdowns in a game. It was also Burrow's fourth straight game with at least 20 completions, which he failed to do in his first 10 games as a Tiger.
"We have a great scheme," Orgeron said. "[Offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and passing game coordinator Joe Brady] do a great job."
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The first drive went six plays, for 75 yards, ending on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to sophomore receiver Ja'Marr Chase.
Every subsequent drive played out in a similar ways, as the Tigers marched downfield
Burrow spread the ball out, hitting multiple different targets (9) throughout the game and all three starting receivers — Chase, junior Justin Jefferson and sophomore Terrance Marshall — for touchdowns.
"We want to spread the ball around to athletes and give them all the space and let them make plays," Orgeron said. "Joe can see the field and can go through the drop progression."
Burrow hit Marshall on three different touchdowns for eight, three and 11 yards each. Burrow connected with Jefferson on a nine-yard touchdown late in the first.
Junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was responsible for all 34 yards on LSU's second drive of the game, capping it off with a one-yard touchdown run.
Georgia Southern finally got on the board late in the second quarter, when kicker Tyler Bass hit a 47-yard field goal.
The LSU defense remained solid on the other side of the ball, holding Georgia Southern to under 100 total yard and three points. Both senior outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson and senior defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence forced fumbles, which LSU recovered both times.
Orgeron said it was an emphasis to hold the Eagles in the turnover ratios and the Tigers were plus-2.
Middle linebackers Jacob Phillips and Damone Clark lead the defense with nine tackles each.
With LSU leading into the second half, the second team offense and defense got playing time. Sophomore quarterback Myles Brennan went 7-for-12 with 72 yards.
Senior running back Lanard Fournette scored the only touchdown of the second half with a two-yard run at the end of the third quarter.
Freshman kicker Cade York went 2-for-2 in his LSU debut from distances of 39 and 48 yards.