HOUSTON — Highlights from LSU’s 28-24 win over Wisconsin in the season opener Saturday night in NRG Stadium:
LSU has heart. Down 24-7 in the third quarter, LSU didn’t quit. It’s a credit to the character of the players and the team. It also gives Tigers fans hope for the future.
New speed, old problems
Remember how opposing offenses occasionally gashed the LSU defense for big plays last year? The Tigers had the same old problems when they were outflanked and outrun by Wisconsin. The Badgers drove 76 yards on six plays for a touchdown on their opening possession. Wisconsin’s Reggie Love sped around the LSU defense for a 45-yard touchdown to make the score 7-0.
Kicking them while they are down
What freshman had the biggest impact early in the game? Not superstar recruit Leonard Fournette. How about Wisconsin placekicker Rafael Gaglianone. Gaglianone, a freshman from Sao Paulo, Brazil, who played at Baylor High in Chattanooga, Tenn., blasted a 51-yard field goal on the Badgers’ second possession of the game to make the score 10-0 in the first quarter.
From the pocket, LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings was average. Outside of the pocket, he was dazzling. Jennings rolled right and hit receiver Travin Dural on the run for an 80-yard touchdown pass that cut Wisconsin’s lead to 10-7 in the first quarter.
Did you notice?
The crowd at NRG Stadium in Houston definitely had an LSU flavor. As could be expected, there were way more fans in purple and gold shirts and tops for the Tigers than the red and white tops for Wisconsin.
LSU was penalized for delay of game when it kicked off to Wisconsin to start the third quarter. On the first play after the re-kickoff, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon ran through the middle of the Tigers defense for a 63-yard run. Wisconsin sophomore Corey Clement finished the drive when he rushed for a 2-yard touchdown six plays later to cap an 80-yard drive that increased the Badgers’ lead to 24-7.
On a third-and-21 play, Jennings threw a 15-yard pass to John Diarse who spun, fought off and out ran Wisconsin tacklers for 36-yard touchdown with 12:08 left in the game.
LSU hosts Sam Houston Stae in newly renovated Tiger Stadium on Saturday.