LSU pulled away from Texas Tech to win the Texas Bowl in a convincing 56-27 victory. The game was close throughout the first half, but LSU turned a slim 21-20 lead into a blowout thanks to a strong second half.
The Texas Bowl victory was just what LSU needed to cap off a season filled with ups and downs. LSU finished the season 9-3 and will have plenty of positive momentum heading into 2016.
The report cards are in and LSU definitely passed its final exam:
It’s hard to give an offense a grade worse than an “A” when it accumulates 638 total yards and puts up 56 points. Brandon Harris wasn’t perfect despite Cam Cameron’s efforts to get him rolling. Harris completed 13-of-22 passes for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception. His accuracy was inconsistent, but he stepped up during LSU’s 35-7 run to close out the game.
Fortunately, Leonard Fournette and LSU’s running game put up 384 rushing yards against one of the worst rushing defenses in the nation. Fournette had a monstrous performance with 212 rushing yards and five total touchdowns.
The game was just what offensive coordinator Cam Cameron needed too. Cameron has been under plenty of scrutiny and might have saved his job with LSU’s tremendous performance. LSU’s offense took a big leap in the final game of the season.
LSU did a great job against Texas Tech’s potent offense. The Tigers limited to 399 yards, which was well below their average of 579.5 yards per game. LSU’s defensive line dominated the trenches and had quarterback Patrick Mahomes running for his life all night.
The Tigers sacked Mahomes six times, but it seemed like they could’ve ended up with eight or nine. Linebacker Kendell Beckwith finished with eight tackles and 2.5 sacks, while linebacker Deion Jones recorded eight tackles with a sack as well. Freshman defensive end Arden Key looked like a future building block for LSU’s defense and was constantly wreaking havoc in the backfield.
The defense also came up with the turning point play in the third quarter when cornerback Tre’Davious White batted a pass up in the air that was picked off by safety Rickey Jefferson. Four plays later, LSU extended its lead to 35-20 and never looked back.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
LSU’s special teams were good on Tuesday night, which was a pleasant surprise given how unspecial LSU’s units had been this season. Punter Jamie Keehn averaged 38 yards per punt and kicker Trent Domingue netted eight extra points. White and tailback Derrius Guice both were respectable in the return game.
The special teams units weren’t overly special, but they also didn’t produce any gaffes during the Texas Bowl.
LSU clearly outcoached Texas Tech on Tuesday night. The Tigers were ready for Texas Tech’s high-powered offense and seemed to be a step ahead on most plays. LSU’s offense stuck with its bread and butter, but found enough wrinkles to keep Texas Tech’s defense honest.
LSU’s scrutinized coaching staff ended the season with one of its best game plans of the season.
A 29-point win against a quality Big 12 opponent in a bowl game is deserving of an “A.” LSU will enter 2016 with plenty of positives to build off of. The question will be whether Les Miles and the Tigers can get back to national prominence next season.