We waited 8 long months for this game. Unfortunately, the hopes for Canes fans were dashed rather quickly, as LSU tallied 27 points in the opening half. The Canes had no answer for the Tigers Defense until the fourth quarter, and by then it was too late. Here’s the quarter-by-quarter recap.
Canes started with the ball, but came out pretty conservative which led to a bad exchange of field position after a 3-and-out and a 20-yard punt which was nearly blocked. LSU started their first drive in Canes territory and were able to move the ball, although their momentum was almost thwarted with an early strip by Sheldrick Redwine which the Canes recovered, but the officials ruled the receiver down, and to add insult to injury, Trajan Bandy was ejected from the game for targeting on the first defensive series of the game. Luckily, the Tigers shot themselves in the foot to close the drive with a holding penalty and the Canes made 3 solid plays to force a field goal on LSU’s opening drive.
The Canes came back out looking like a different team, going 52 yards in 2 plays with spectacular catches by Jeff Thomas and Lawrence Cager.
another insane catch this weekend pic.twitter.com/CrqLARPgz4— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 3, 2018
After a couple incompletions, the Canes would tie up the game 3-3 on a Bubba Baxa 38-yard field goal. The defense would show some life on the next drive, forcing a 3-and-out with a Gerald Willis III sack and a hurry that almost resulted in a scoop and score. The offense came roaring back with a healthy dose of Deejay Dallas, who contributed 26 yards rushing and receiving on the drive. A couple off-target throws to the endzone by Rosier would stall the drive, and our freshman kicker capped it off with one of his expected growing pains, a missed 45-yard field goal.
The Canes defense appeared to be affected first-time starter Joe Burrow of LSU, but a roughing the passer penalty would extend the LSU drive, which paved the way for the first big break of the night, a 50-yard touchdown run for Nick Brossette. 10-3 LSU.
Miami outgained LSU 108-83 in the quarter but could not capitalize in opposing territory.
The Canes failed to respond to LSU’s touchdown to start the second quarter, and dug another hole for the defense with a second shanked punt. The Tigers survived 2 4th downs after converting the first with a 2 yard run and then being gifted the second with the Canes jumping offside. A couple chunk plays for LSU later, and the Tigers get a second touchdown from Nick Brossette. 17-3 LSU.
The Canes do little to shift the momentum on the next drive, going 3-and-out and transferring possession with a third 20 yard punt. LSU started their next drive off with a 37-yard under route to Justin Jefferson, before stalling out near the Miami goal line. Still, more LSU points, 20-3.
Travis Homer reappeared to start the next drive, breaking off a 17-yard run, only for Malik Rosier’s pass to be tipped at the line and intercepted on the next play, which was returned by LSU linebacker Jason Phillips 45 yards for a touchdown. 27-3 LSU.
Miami continues to struggle on offense on their next drive, but actually get a useful punt from Zach Feagles, which travels 54 yards to the LSU 4 yard line. The Canes made a stop with LSU backed up on their goalline, but failed to get the ball back with consecutive penalties on 4th and 9 and 4th and 4, the latter giving the Tigers a first-down, which they then used to kneel out the clock. 27-3 LSU at half.
LSU took over the game in the second quarter, outgaining the Canes 181-156. The Canes have zero turnovers and zero touchdowns. 8 penalties for 75 yards didn’t help matters either. The first half couldn’t have gone much worse.
The defense got off the field quickly to start the second half after LSU dialed up three straight runs. The offense responded with a first down after Rosier connected with Jeff Thomas on a 12-yard pass, but then failed to get any more movement and had to punt.
The next drive starts with Jhavonte Dean getting beat badly by LSU receiver Justin Jefferson for a 23 yard gain, then Nick Brossette breaking away from Miami tacklers for a 18-yard gain, giving him 100 yards on the day. The LSU offense stalled once again at the goal line, resulting in a third field goal for LSU kicker Cole Tracy. 30-3 LSU.
The Canes started moving the chains on the next drive, with 2 first downs off of some solid running by Deejay Dallas and a nice catch by Lawrence Cager. However that progress would be short lived as Malik Rosier is hit while delivering his next pass, resulting in another pick that’s returned to the Miami 41 yard line. The defense held serve, only for LSU’s Cole Tracy to hit a 54 yard field goal. 33-3 LSU.
Miami appeared to have another quick possession on the next drive, however the Canes were extended an olive branch in the form of a facemask penalty on LSU to negate what would’ve been a sack on 3rd down. This allowed the Canes to continue down the field, sparked by a 32 yard pass and a second spectacular catch by Jeff Thomas.
The quarter ends with the Canes driving in LSU Territory. Still 33-3 LSU.
LSU has a 30 point lead despite only gaining 248 yards compared to Miami’s 241.
It takes the Canes a few tries, but the Canes finally get in the endzone on a Malik Rosier keeper. 33-10 LSU with 13:57 left.
The defense starts the next drive with two solid stops as LSU tries to run out the clock, but gives up a 10 yard run to LSU quarterback Joe Burrow to extend the LSU drive. The defense recovers and forces a Tigers punt.
After an abysmal throw behind a receiver, and a whiffed block that resulted in a LSU sack, Jeff Thomas showed up big AGAIN with a 50 yard catch. The Canes kept the pedal to the metal on the next play with a 32 yard touchdown pass to Brian Hightower, in which the freshman receiver made a great play on the ball.
The freshman makin' plays.— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) September 3, 2018
Brian Hightower climbs the ladder to nab his first touchdown of his career.
LSU 33 | Miami 17 | 8:43 4Q pic.twitter.com/aVM0aaDLy1
Miami needs stops from here on out, and they accomplished that on the next drive, forcing the Tigers to punt leaving the Canes 6:30 on the clock.
The Canes are holding out hope for a miracle comeback, but continue to make things difficult for themselves by starting off their drive with a 15-yard intentional grounding penalty. After a 22-yard completion to Jeff Thomas, the Canes converted a crucial 4th down with a 5 yard completion to Darrell Langham Jr. The Tigers contributed to the Miami cause with consecutive pass interference penalties, but Malik Rosier hamstrung the offense with a couple inaccurate throws and the Canes turned the ball over on downs.
That was pretty much all she wrote. LSU 33 Miami 17.
- The Canes outgained LSU 342-296. How do you still lose by 16? Lots of penalties (11 for 86 yards) and sloppy play (2 turnovers, one returned for a TD and 10 points total).
- Rosier hasn’t yet made the jump we were looking for. Malik finished 15 of 35 for 259 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 picks. He also scored a touchdown on the ground, but was incredibly inconsistent, and plenty of off-target throws.
- The lone bright spot on offense was Jeff Thomas, who could not be denied the ball to the tune of 5 receptions for 132 yards (He should’ve had more if it weren’t for Rosier missing him on multiple throws) and .
- On defense, the standout players were Jaquan Johnson (11 tackles), Gerald Willis III (8 tackles, 1 sack and 4 tackles for loss) and Jonathan Garvin (8 tackles, 1 sack, 3 tackles for loss).
- We didn’t get to see the Turnover Chain tonight.
- LSU running back Nick Brossette had a man’s game tonight, finishing with 22 carries for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. That can’t happen with this defense.
- Ahmmon Richards had 1 catch for 9 yards, and then didn’t see the field the rest of the night. Monitoring his status going forward.
Coming up next week...
The Canes return back to Hard Rock Stadium to take on Savannah State, Saturday 9/8 at 6:00pm ET.
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