Saturday, September 8, 2012
Instant analysis: LSU 41, Washington 3
By David Helman
No. 3 LSU's home date with Washington was one of the biggest nonconference games on the docket for Week 2 of the 2012 season. Unfortunately for football lovers it didn't live up to that billing, as the Tigers steamrolled the Huskies in a 41-3 white-washing. Here's the quick gist from Baton Rouge, La.
It was over when: LSU running back Kenny Hilliard dove into the end zone early in the third quarter to give the Tigers a 27-3 lead. The score gave LSU a lopsided scoreline to go along with what was an absolutely dominating box score. The Tigers outgained Washington 437 yards to 183 and limited the Huskies to a startling 26 yards rushing. Red zone woes forced the Tigers to settle for two field goals in the second quarter, holding them to a modest 20-3 lead at halftime. Hilliard's touchdown broke that open.
Game ball goes to: Alfred Blue continued his strong start to the season with a 101 yards on just 14 carries. On LSU's second possession of the night, he coasted untouched through the Washington defense for a 21-yard touchdown and a 7-3 lead that the Tigers would not surrender. It was Blue's second straight 100-yard game, making him the first LSU back to open the season with two 100-yard games since Charles Scott in 2008.
Injury bug: Washington had already lost starting right tackle Ben Riva and starting running back Jesse Callier in the season opener. Those injury woes continued early on Saturday night when the Huskies lost another offensive tackle, Erik Kohler, to a re-aggravated knee injury. The Huskies' ability to protect quarterback Keith Price was already an issue, and the loss of Kohler only exacerbated that. Price was on the run for his life all night and finished with just 157 yards and an interception.
Dropping the ball: LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger had a solid night in his second outing. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. That said, the Tigers' receivers did him no favors by dropping five passes on the night. LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had an especially forgettable night, as he dropped several passes in addition to fumbling away the kickoff that led to Washington's lone field goal.
What it means: Not much we didn't already know. The Tigers took care of business with a 38-point win despite some sloppy mistakes, but this was never supposed to be a major test on the schedule. The Huskies look like they'll go as far as their quarterback can carry them this season -- but that won't be far if they can't find a running game to keep defenses honest and off Price's back.