It took LSU’s football team 10½ hours to evacuate to Houston, finally arriving Sunday morning as Hurricane Ira took aim on the Louisiana coast.
The Tigers’ buses left at 9:30 p.m. Sunday night and crawled along I-10 West which was jammed with residents fleeing for safe havens.
LSU plans to stay in Houston until Thursday when it will fly to California for Saturday’s season opener at UCLA in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium.
The Tigers are scheduled to practice three times at the Houston Texans’ practice facilities.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas oddmakers dropped LSU from a 4½-point favorite to a 3½-point favorite after UCLA opened its season Saturday with a 44-10 win over Hawaii.
The 34-point margin of victory was the highest in a season opener for UCLA since Aug. 31, 2013 against Nevada.
“The players that we have right now are really special, and that doesn’t get enough credit,” said UCLA coach Chip Kelly, who’s starting his fourth season. “We have 16 kids in grad school. There are 18 graduates on this football team. It is a mature team. I think they’re really disciplined, in terms of what they want to do.”
The Bruins ran for 244 yards, including Michigan transfer Zach Charbonnet running for 106 yards and three TDs on just six carries. Brittain Brown added 78 yards and a TD on 13 carries.
“It was a great experience,” Charbonnet said. “I’ve just got to give it all to my o-line. They just put me in great situations when I did have an opportunity. It allowed us to be one-on-one defenders, and that’s all as a running back you can ask for.”
Defensively, UCLA allowed Hawaii 26 rushing yards, the lowest given up by the Bruins since Sept. 17, 2016 against BYU (23 yards). Hawai’i has minus 17 rushing yards in the first quarter.
“I think we did a pretty good job on defense,” UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight said. “I feel like this team can do whatever we want to do. We have a very experienced team, so we just got to get back to the tape and ready for next week. This week (vs. LSU) is a big week.”