Infractions, mistakes concern Miles
There wasn’t a whole lot for LSU coach Les Miles not to be pleased with in his team’s 45-13 thumping of Kent State Saturday night.
Well, except one thing.
The Tigers were penalized 11 times for 86 yards (both season highs).
It didn’t matter against an overmatched Mid-American Conference opponent.
But with next week’s SEC opener against Auburn looming, the Tigers know they’ll need to be a tad bit sharper.
“We definitely have to correct those penalties,” defensive tackle Ego Ferguson said. “Giving those extra yards can cause a lot of problems in the SEC.”
The Tigers, who came into the game averaging just 43.5 penalty yards per game, reached that mark in the first half when they were penalized seven times for 52 yards.
“That’s definitely something we have to work on,” offensive lineman Trai Turner said. “We hurt ourselves with those kind of penalties and that’s something that can be avoided. If we take that out of our game, who’s to say we can’t put more points on the board than we did?”
Two of the yellow handkerchiefs that littered the field negated big plays by the Tigers.
A chop block on center Elliot Porter nullified a 16-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Hill.
The Tigers scored one play later on Zach Mettenberger’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry.
An illegal block in the back by receiver Landry late in the third quarter nullified a 41-yard run by Terrence Magee.
The Tigers responded to that one as well, driving for a score early in the fourth quarter, despite a false start on the goal line by La’el Collins.
“A bad play doesn’t stop a drive,” Miles said. “It really allows your playmakers other opportunities for scoring plays on that drive. That’s the advantage we have with Zach.”
While the overmatched Golden Flashes didn’t have quite the manpower to capitalize on the miscues, the Tigers know they will need to be more focused with a rugged SEC slate upcoming.
“We have to eliminate some of the mistakes,” Miles said.”The false starts were disturbing.”
LSU’s offense didn’t have any turnovers for the second straight game, but the Tigers did have one on special teams.
Travin Dural fumbled a punt late in the second quarter that set Kent State up on the Tigers’ 20-yard line. That possession ended with the Golden Flashes kicking a 37-yard field to close out the half.
“We can’t fumble punts,” Miles said. “The good news is the guy that fumbled that punt came right back in and put a fair catch up and made a difficult catch.”
A roughing-the-passer penalty on Jermauria Rasco at 11:40 in the third quarter gave Kent State a first down deep in LSU territory, but the Golden Flashes were plagued by their own penalties on that drive and came away empty.
Miles, minus the penalties, is pleased with the 3-0 start heading into conference play.
“I think we are on pace,” Miles said. “We are minus a couple SEC games of where we need to be. ... Again, we have to eliminate some of the mistakes, but all in all, a nice outing.”