Georgia Southern 8.31.19

LSU senior quarterback Joe Burrow (9) prepares to pass the ball during the Tigers' 55-3 victory over Georgia Southern on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, at Tiger Stadium.

LSU didn't give up a sack against Georgia Southern. 

In a 55-3 win Saturday night, arguably the biggest surprise was the the offensive line's ability to keep quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Myles Brennan protected in the pocket. 

"[The biggest jump the offensive line made] is pass protection," said Coach Ed Orgeron. "We struggled against Southeastern Louisiana last year, and they were a lot better [tonight]."

LSU quarterbacks were sacked 35 times in the 2018 season, and the offensive line was one of the biggest question marks coming into this season. Both quarterback Joe Burrow and Orgeron have said that the offensive line was the most improved unit in fall camp. They showed that tonight. 

Even with starting left tackle Saahdiq Charles out for the game as a coaches decision, the offensive line was more steady than anybody expected, giving the quarterbacks time in the pocket and opening lanes for the running backs. 

"We could break a lot of records this year, and it all starts with the offensive line," said senior center Lloyd Cushenberry. "We have to give them time. We know what we can do. We know the receivers we have in our room. We have to get the job done."

Orgeron credited a lot of the offensive line's progress to Cushenberry and his leadership. Cushenberry was given No. 18 by the coaches during camp.

"They came out during the first couple weeks of practice in fall camp and kind of hit us in the mouth," said senior defensive end Rashard Lawrence. "That was something that we weren't used to. Everyday, on Saturdays, when there was optional workouts, the whole offensive line would be there.

"Lloyd was doing a great job of leading them. Having everybody there was mandatory. The work that they put in was definitely good to see." 

Orgeron said that almost everybody along the offensive line have gotten better and pointed out that junior Austin Deculus has really developed during camp, and Damien Lewis is taking on more leadership alongside Cushenberry. 

"Lloyd did a good job of getting everybody together and taking it to another level," Lawrence said. 

Orgeron said that Charles should be ready for LSU's upcoming matchup with No. 10 Texas in Austin next Saturday, so the offensive line could be even better. 

Now it's left to see if the offensive line can hold up against tougher opponents and elite defenses. 

"It was great," Cushenberry said. "We do it in practice every day. It was great to see everything come together and be smooth. We're going to try to keep it going next week."

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