By Langston Newsome, KCOU Sports
Heading into Missouri’s first ever away game against LSU; Mizzou had the perfect conditions to go into Baton Rouge and win. LSU finally fired Les Miles and Cam Cameron, appointed Ed Orgeron as interim head coach, and Leonard Fournette was ruled out because of a lingering ankle injury. It didn’t stop LSU though, as the tigers manhandled Mizzou 42-7.
Missouri headed into Death Valley leading the Southeastern Conference in total offense, but the LSU defense showed their prowess early and often – most notably forcing Mizzou into a 19 second three-and-out on the opening drive of the game. The home side held Mizzou to 12 total yards in Missouri’s first three offensive drives.
Tigers quarterback Drew Lock, who entered the weekend third in NCAA in passing yards, was effectively contained. He went 17-37 with 167 yards, one interception, and caught a touchdown reception on a trick play in the 4th quarter to give Mizzou their only points.
But this game was much more about LSU’s resiliency to a tumultuous week. After opening up the game with three straight passing plays, LSU returned to Les Miles’ style: ground and pound football. LSU rushed for 418 yards on the day. Heading into Saturday night’s game running back Derrius Guice was averaging 8.3 yards per carry on 29 carries. Tonight was a breakout game for him; he rushed for 163 yards on 17 carries and scored three touchdowns. But to add insult to injury for Mizzou, LSU third-string running back Darrel Williams added 130 rushing yards and three touchdowns of his own.
Orgeron didn’t do much to change the style of LSU in one week, but it was clear that he opened the playbook up enough for quarterback Danny Etling to play a role in the game, something that rarely happened in the Miles era. Etling played well, going 19-30 with 216 yards passing.
But stats didn’t tell the full story of the game. At the seven minute mark in the first quarter, this game felt over. Offensively Mizzou looked rushed and uncomfortable, while LSU fed off of seemingly endless momentum. After this performance the question needs to be raised: Are Mizzou’s offensive numbers a reflection of how good the Tigers are? Or are they a reflection of the poor competition Mizzou has faced in the first four weeks of the season? Heading into a bye week Mizzou is left with much to think about before heading down to the swamp to face No. 23 Florida on Oct. 15.