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An optimist and pessimist’s views of LSU’s win over Chattanooga

Kary Vincent
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. – Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? Is the glass generally half-full or half-empty?

However you answer that question is how you will view LSU’s win Saturday night over Chattanooga.

There is plenty to like during a 45-10 romp. The Tigers offense rolled up 454 yards, LSU attempted and succeeded at throwing the forward pass, there were spectacular takeaways, and special teams touchdowns.

Oh, but there were flaws too – lots of big, ugly ones that need to be corrected or they will certainly cost LSU in the win column this year.

Half-Full: Danny Etling completed passes of 48, 46, 36 and 27 yards, proving to doubters that the vertical passing game is alive and well in Baton Rouge. Not only did Etling hit the deep ball, but all four of those passes went to different receivers. When opposing defenses see that on film, they will have to think twice about stacking the box to stop Derrius Guice and the LSU rushing attack.

Half-Empty: Let’s be honest: the throws weren’t great. Even Etling admitted after the game that he felt like he is holding back and trying to place the ball instead of letting it rip and allowing his receivers to run under the passes. His 36-yard touchdown pass to Drake Davis was badly underthrown, causing Davis to hop step in the end zone to prevent from running out the back. The 48-yarder to D.J. Chark was badly underthrown as well, causing Chark to come back and wrestle it away from two defenders. Etling’s receivers made spectacular plays against Chattanooga. The result might be different when Alabama All-American safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is back deep.

Half-Full: LSU only had one penalty in the second half. After a disappointing first half with 10 flags, the team showed it was coachable and focused on correcting their mistakes.

Half-Empty: Ten penalties in a half? Ten! They weren’t harmless either.

There were two offside penalties when Chattanooga was facing third-and-10. A block in the back negated a punt return for a touchdown. Running into the kicker gave the Mocs a second chance at a missed field goal. These may be inconsequential in a 45-10 win over an FCS opponent, but they will get you beat on the road in Gainesville and Tuscaloosa.

Half-Full: OK, there is no way to sugar coat this.

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