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

Kary Vincent
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports

Half-Empty: LSU has a major issue at kicker. After missing a chip shot a week ago, Jack Gonsoulin pushed a 40-yard attempt in the first half against Chattanooga. Connor Culp replaced him the rest of the way with mixed results. Culp’s first attempt was short from 47 yards. Yes, a scholarship kicker was short from 47. Culp would later connect from 45 yards. Still, Orgeron said he “absolutely” decided to go for it on fourth-and-3 from the Mocs 33-yard line because he didn’t have faith in either kicker. For an SEC team to not be in position to score points inside an opponents’ 35-yard-line is unthinkable.

Half-Full: D.J. Chark appears to be the next in a long line of dynamic return men for LSU. After not fielding a punt since high school before last week, Chark took two returns to the house against the Mocs. Only the 65-yarder in the second quarter would stand after the first was negated by penalty.

Half-Empty: There might not be a more deflating play in football than having a kick or punt return for a touchdown taken off the board because of a penalty. Considering special teams was a major area of emphasis for Orgeron, freshman Todd Harris’ illegal block was another in a series of mistakes that cost the Tigers Saturday.

Half-Full: After taking 20 carries in the first half against BYU and 27 for the game, Derrius Guice’s workload was a major topic of conversation in Baton Rouge last week. Saturday, the Heisman candidate was able to pad his stats (15 rushes, 102 yards, 2 TDs) without taxing himself before the SEC opener next week.

Half-Empty: The risk/reward doesn’t seem beneficial having a star running back take unnecessary reps during the second half of a blowout win against an overmatched FCS opponent.

Half-Full: After opening the kickoff competition in practice this week, Cameron Gamble delivered what Orgeron wanted, touchbacks. In fact, Gamble booted the opening kickoff of the game through the end zone. Later, however, Gamble hit one that was fielded at the Chattanooga 3-yard line. Even a mishit shouldn’t cause 12-15 yards difference in distance. That inconsistency must be driving the head coach crazy.

Half-Full: There were plenty of positives that stand alone.

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