Associated Press photo by DAVID J. PHILLIP -- LSU coach Les Miles, center, is surrounded by his team as they celebrate beating Wisconsin 28-24 Saturday in Houston.

1 What we learned

Most of all, apparently, never to count LSU out. Of all the improbable victories the Tigers have pulled out in their decade under Les Miles, The Mad Hatter served up something mighty memorable for his team’s 2014 season opener. LSU trailed 24-7 early in the third quarter and was by every account being outclassed by the Badgers before turning on the talent for a 28-24 victory that has all the feel of an upset win though the Tigers were favored. By the time John Diarse scored to make it a one-score game with 12:08 left, LSU seemed destined to win.

2 Trending now

LSU’s fabulous freshman class. All the attention throughout the preseason was on quarterback Brandon Harris and running back Leonard Fournette. Both were reduced to bit players on this amazing night, eclipsed by a host of other teammates. John Diarse, a redshirt freshman, made it a game again with his tackle-breaking 36-yard TD catch early in the fourth, Trey Quinn was a big contributor all night and defenders like Davon Godchaux and Jamal Adams had to play key roles on defense. Cameron Gamble showed a cannon leg on kickoffs.

3 Final thoughts

LSU’s 17-point rally marked the second-biggest comeback of the Miles era, surpassed only by the 2008 win over Troy. But Wisconsin is no Troy. The Badgers are a Big Ten contender that seemingly was doing everything it needed to win. It may take weeks and a team of specialists for Wisconsin to figure out how it lost. Meanwhile, LSU’s recipe for averting disaster is still cooking. The Tigers are far from a finished team, especially on offense. But winning always covers up a lot of sins.

Scott Rabalais