LSU head coach Les Miles told his team he wanted it to dominate the Washington Huskies and it did just that Saturday night in an impressive 41-3 win. Outside of a fumble and dropped passes, the Tigers did pretty much everything right.
Washington's only points were the result of an LSU fumble on the opening kickoff. From there, it was a methodical man-handling of the Pac-12 opponent.
"We wanted to dominate this team and that's what I tried to do," said running back Alfred Blue. "Every time the ball touched my hands, that's what I tried to do, dominate."
He added the guys up front dominated as well and made it easy for him.
"I can remember back to my senior year in high school thinking to myself, 'Alright, this is my senior year. These guys are all younger than me. I'm ready to go. Let's go have some fun,'" said offensive tackle Josh Dworaczyk. "And then, I kind of had that feeling last night of alright, I'm a 6-year guy. These guys are definitely younger than me. Let's go out there and have some fun."
"We took a step forward," said wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. "But, at the same time, those plays that were left on the field have to be plays that are made to keep the confidence in the passing game."
Quarterback Zach Mettenberger said he did not get discouraged with receivers dropping the ball. LSU had five dropped passes in the game.
"Drops happen," Mettenberger explained. "It's part of the game. I want to see how those guys are going to bounce back next week."
"Our quarterback played very well," said Miles. "He was kind of on the money and if we eliminate those drops, we're well over 200 yards passing, which is kind of a landmark for us."
In defeat, Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian was very complimentary of LSU as a whole and particularly the running backs.
"Probably the most impressive group I've ever seen," Sarkisian said. "They were shuttling 4, 27, 11 and 42. Those are four NFL tailbacks that they're running the ball with. They can lean on you with the running game and wear you down. And then, start rushing the passer, which they do so well. We just had a hard time on first and 10 football. It got really difficult for us. We were living in second and long, which in turn, put us in a great deal of third and longs. And, against this team and their style of play, when they can play really good man-to-man coverage and they come after your quarterback, it's going to be a long day for you."
"You can give credit to the front seven," said safety Eric Reid. "They did an amazing job rushing the passer. It seemed like every time he dropped back he was getting hurried. So, thanks to those guys it helped the secondary out tremendously."
"That's the strength of our football team and that's a good place to have your strength," said defensive coordinator John Chavis. "It starts there and if you can't win the war in the trenches, then it's going to make everything else more difficult. But, when you can then you can, not say weaknesses, but you can cover up for some other situations when you play dominant football up front."
The Tigers tied a national record for 39 straight non-conference victories. Next week, LSU plays Idaho to go for the record unmatched.
Two key players were missing from the field as LSU faced its first real test of the season. Former cornerback Tyrann Mathieu sat in the stands as a fan while the defense had its way with the Huskies offense. The other player unable to participate was offensive tackle Chris Faulk, who is out for the year with an injury.
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