ARLINGTON, Texas — It’s had to nitpick a fairly matter-of-fact evisceration of a top-10 team, but here’s our weekly rundown of what went right and the couple of things that LSU coach Ed Orgeron said needed correcting from the 33-17 upset of Miami.
STOCK UP: Kicking Game
Nobody is going to give Orgeron grief about spending a scholarship spot on a Division II transfer kicker anymore, huh? Cole Tracy went a perfect 4-for-4 in his LSU debut, including a 54-yard boot that banked in off the crossbar to tie a school record.
“We had confidence in Cole,” Orgeron said. “And we’ve seen the same thing in practice. But, obviously, he had to do it in a game, and he did it. We believe in Cole. And I wish I had him for more than one year.”
STOCK UP: Jacob Phillips
LSU’s sophomore linebacker played like a man possessed in his first career start. Phillips corralled a deflected pass in the second quarter and led a convoy of Tigers into the end zone for a pick six that broke the game open. He finished with seven tackles and would have had a sack were it not for a facemask penalty.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Phillips said of his interception. “When you’re on the field, there’s plays to be made. I was just happy it came to me.”
Phillips signed with LSU as the No. 1 linebacker recruit in the nation only to play sparingly last season due to struggles learning the defense and adjusting to the speed of the game. Now he’s seemingly becoming a star all his own playing alongside Devin White.
STOCK DOWN: Injuries
As satisfying a win as it was for LSU, it seemingly came at a steep cost. Starting right tackle Adrian Magee had to be carted back to the locker room after appearing to get his leg rolled up on. K’Lavon Chaisson was nearly carted off as well before popping up and walking off under his own power.
“I don’t know exactly what it is, but it looked pretty severe,” Orgeron said. He was likely referring to Magee, but that much isn’t completely clear.
LSU also lost star cornerback Greedy Williams for part of the game, but he confirmed afterword that he was just dealing with some cramping in his calf.
STOCK DOWN: Clock Management
It didn’t end up costing them — quite the opposite, in fact, given the roll LSU got on in the second quarter — but LSU was forced to burn all three of its first-half timeouts before the first quarter ended. At one point LSU had more timeouts burned than rushing yards.
Orgeron took the blame for the series of clock miscues and credited Burrow for keeping the unit moving anyway.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of things to fix,” Orgeron said. “He was under duress. Had to call a couple time-outs early. We weren’t prepared for that. I’ll take the blame for that, get him better prepared. I thought he kept his poise.”