LSU and Central Michigan face off tonight in Death Valley for the first team ever. This game will be the second SEC opponent Central Michigan has faced this year. Their first was a 34-24 loss to Mizzou. However the Chippewas will be no stranger to the Tigers, as they are coached by former Florida head coach Jim McElwain. The Chippewas are coming off a 45-0 beat down of Robert Morris. While the Tigers come in with a 34-7 win over McNeese St.
Central Michigan (CMU) won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Weather for tonight’s game is a balmy 85 degrees and 69% humidity. For a team from Michigan that had to fly into Baton Rouge this morning the weather will definitely play factor. I think the entire team will be gassed by halftime and getting IVs in their locker room.
The Tiger offense came out fired up, Jack Bech had two big catches for on third down to extend the drive. Then true freshman Deion Smith outleaped his defender and snatched the ball from their grasp for the first Tiger score of the night. A 28 yard strike from Max Johnson.
On the ensuing drive CMU quarterback Sirmon completed to running back Bracy. LSU corner Derek Stingley Jr. lit the running back up on a text back tackle and caused a fumble that was recovered by defensive end Andre Anthony for the scoop and score. Putting the Tigers up 14-0 after the extra point by Cade York.
CMU would get the ball back and the Tigers defense would continue to bully Sirmon. This time in the form of an interception by defensive back Major Burns. A block in the back would negate some of the yardage that Burns picked up.
That interception by Major Burns lead to another mind blowing touchdown reception by Deion Smith. Smith caught the ball in coverage at the six yard line with his defender draped over him and was able to shake him off for the score. The Tigers go up 21-0
The defense continued to bottle up the CMU passing attack, dropping receivers for losses. Then Sirmon found wide receiver Sullivan streaking down the sideline in what looked like a blown coverage or the DBs lost track of him on a stop and go route. Either way the Sullivan was off to the races for 78 yards and the first points for CMU. “I thought our defense played solid.” said Ed Orgeron. “We were very disappointed we gave those big plays.”
Tiger running back Corey Kiner continues to impress
The true freshman put on a clinic against the Chippewas, racking up 74 yards and a touchdown on the night. His biggest feat on the night came in the fourth quarter. On first and goal from the five yard line, Kiner took the hand off and was immediately met in the backfield by a CMU defender. Kiner spun off the tackle ala Clyde Edwards Helaire and scampered into the end zone for the score.
LSU freshmen continue to add value to Tigers
Several freshmen contributed tonight to the Tigers. Corey Kiner as mentioned earlier has that extra burst and wriggle to compliment Ty Davis-Price. Tight end Jack Bech is garnering favor for the SEC All Freshmen Team. “Personally I think my confidence has been going up game-by-game” said Bech. I think the first two games were flukes, I think everybody saw what we were made of tonight. We’re going to put the country on notice and they’re going to feel us.” Coming into tonight’s game Deion Smith had just two receptions, tonight he had five receptions on six targets for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Brian Thomas was two for two on receptions and targets with 50 yards receiving. “You got to see what we’ve seen in practice.” said Orgeron “With Deion Smith and those young receivers and a young running back in Corey Kiner.”
Tigers’ linebackers continue to impress
Once again Damone Clark lead the Tigers in tackles, for the third straight game Clark has lead the team. “I’m proud of the way our defense played tonight” said Clark. “We had a few busts, but that’s what practice and watching film is for. But overall I’m excited about our effort; just flying to the ball and being relentless.”
On to SEC play
LSU heads to Starkville to take on Mississippi State next week to open SEC play. Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron believes the Tigers are ready for that next step. “We saw improvement.” said Orgeron “I told our team ‘This isn’t about Central Michigan. This is about us. Our identity. Who we’re going to be. And what we’re going to do as a football team.’ I think you saw of them tonight.”