By Will Martin
Hello and Happy Saturday! Welcome to September sports.
Don’t tell the weatherman that summer is over in a few weeks. Triple digits have made themselves at home recently.
Topping out at 104 by day and 84 by night there will be a lot of hydrating going on.
Quite the barnburner of a game in Arlington last Saturday night. As proven a few years ago when LSU and Oregon came to town the state of Tiger-Sainthood travels incredibly well. That proved to be the case again in North Texas.
While thinking that the TCU Horned Frogs would make a game of things I do question the wisdom of using a two quarterback set offensively. Casey Pachall wasn’t burning down the house with a 50% efficiency rating for completions.
Remembering one stat that Steelers Coach Bill Cowher always said to keep an eye on? 3rd down efficiency. Give the nod to the Tigers there as they were a crisp 13 for 19 in converting into a 1st down or a score. Time of possession favored the Tigers by a 60-40 count.
Special teams were what got TCU on the board after a quarter of field goals. BJ Catalon would send a good part of the 80,230-mostly Tigers fans-in attendance into bedlam on a 100 yard kickoff return. That runback tied for the second longest kickoff return for a score. In 1933 a 105-yard kickoff return was had in a game against the Texas Longhorns.
Catalon would later score on a 26-yard scamper as the game went from 3-0, 6-0, 6-3, 13-3, 13-10, 16-10 as the first half ended with confusion over how not to run time off the clock on an incompletion, 23-10-23-17, 30-17, 30-24, 30-27, and 37-27 the Tiger final.
LSU’s win marked the 42nd consecutive non-conference win against an opponent. TCU had hopes of becoming a Big 12 BCS Breaker for another year. Ask Oklahoma about 2005 for further verification.
Zach Mettenberger also was at 50% effiency-except he would twice connect for 251 yards (16 of 32) and a lone touchdown to Jarvis Landry. A 6-yard strike after an Odell Beckham 75-yard kickoff return when it appeared the Frogs would beat the streak.
Landry finished with eight catches for 109 yards, while Beckham had five catches for 118 yards. It was the first time since 2001 the Tigers had two 100-yard receivers in the same game. Mettenberger completed 16 of 32 passes.
Gary Patterson felt strongly about his team in the second half.
“We were the team getting stronger in the fourth quarter,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said, adding the big turnaround was failing to score a touchdown and then letting Beckham get loose.
Les Miles in the win saved his highest praise for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
“When you open on the road, very quality opponent, you put 448 yards on them,” Miles said. “I felt like Cam Cameron started his debut at LSU, and did a very, very strong job. … We were much better on offense.”
As for the defense did it seem like there were any flaws having lost 8 players in the draft?
“They looked like an LSU defense to me,” Miles aid. “They flew around.”
TCU had its best opportunity to get their first lead of the game after a poorly kicked 28 yard punt in the 4th period. A Trevone Boykin fumble reduced the Frogs to a field goal opportunity and a 30-27 deficit before the Beckham kickoff return. That was your ballgame.
Even in defeat Gary Patterson was happy with what he saw.
“What a great ballgame,” Patterson said. “A lot of good athletes on the field, both sides of the ball for both teams.”
42 in a row for the Tigers. 1 thing is absolute. The team in Purple was dominant on this opening night. The third for both teams in Arlington.