LSU’s defense came to play in the Tigers’ home opening 34-7 win over McNeese State in Tiger Stadium.
But the Tigers’ offense, missing three starting linemen with injuries, appeared most of the night as inconsistent and uninspiring as it was in its 38-27 season opening loss at UCLA.
LSU finished with 316 yards total offense and didn’t crack the 300-yard barrier until freshman running back Corey Kiner ran for a 23-yard TD with 7:37 left in the game.
Meanwhile, the Tigers’ defense held the visiting Cowboys to 142 yards and made life miserable for McNeese starting quarterback Cody Orgeron, son of LSU head coach Ed Orgeron.
The younger Orgeron was sacked eight times and LSU registered 16 tackles for losses.
McNeese’s defense didn’t fare poorly against the Tigers. LSU’s longest play was a 24-yard pass from quarterback Max Johnson to wide receiver Jack Bech. The Tigers had just five plays of 20 or more yards, three of those in the final quarter.
The Tigers’ longest drive of the game was on their opening possession, a 10-play, 62-yard TD march kept alive by two fourth-down conversions, the latter a Johnson 19-yard TD pass to Trey Palmer for a 7-0 lead.
LSU never trailed but it never pulled away either.
While six SEC teams scored 40 or more points in Saturday wins over non-conference foes including Auburn, Georgia, Alabama and Ole Miss scoring 48 or more, LSU led just McNeese, an FCS (Division 1-AA) school, 17-0 at halftime and 24-0 at the end of the third quarter.
Johnson played about 2½ quarters and completed 18 of 27 passes for 161 yards and three TDs, two to wide receiver Kayshon Boutte.
LSU’s offensive bright spot was placekicker Cade York, who launched field goals of 55 and 56 yards, the latter which was a Tiger Stadium record.
McNeese (0-2) avoided being shut out when Orgeron fired a 44-yard TD pass to running back Carlo Williams on a crossing route with 4:30 left to play.
If I were coach “O” I would start packing my suitcases!