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Reassessing the Tigers after a 2-1 start

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LSU played the best game of its first 3 in a 49-21 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

The victory in the pre-SEC finale against CMU was a sharper performance than the 34-7 win against FCS McNeese State a week earlier.

One-fourth of the way through the schedule and heading into the first SEC week of the season, the Tigers are ascending but still a ways from being an SEC West contender.

So let’s take stock of LSU:

What have we learned in the first 3 games?

The defense can be as good as expected, Max Johnson is good enough and a bunch of freshmen are becoming impact players.

But until the offensive line gets straightened and helps produce a legitimate running game, all that other stuff won’t mean a whole lot.

The Tigers ran the ball fairly well after they wore down McNeese State and Central Michigan, but they didn’t run it well in the early going against either of those outmanned teams, and they never ran it well against UCLA.

Johnson and the passing game have done well under the circumstances. But that won’t continue in SEC play unless they have a much better running game to work with.

The most encouraging aspect of the last 2 games has been the defensive improvement, but we need to see that continue against SEC competition. The breakdowns have been far less commonplace, but neither have they disappeared.

Mississippi State exposed the LSU defense in the opener last season. The Bulldogs provide a significant gauge for this defense in this SEC opener.

Should we revise those preseason expectations?

Yes.

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