LSU 34, Syracuse 24: Scott Rabalais’ Three and Out — Why LSU has work to do _lowres

The LSU band plays during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Syracuse, N.Y. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth) ORG XMIT: otk

1. What we learned

Perhaps, just perhaps, Leonard Fournette can’t be stopped. Against a Syracuse defense geared almost exclusively to stopping him with eight and nine men “in the box,” a team ranked third in the country allowing 1.5 yards per rush, Fournette went out and had his third straight career-best rushing day. His 244 yards on 26 bone-bruising carries could have easily been 331 yards because of an 87-yard TD run called back. Alley Broussard’s single game school record (250 yds) lives another week, but LSU’s next foe, Eastern Michigan, allows 312 ypg rushing.

2. Trending now

LSU penalties. Lots of ’em. The Tigers were flagged 14 times for 120 yards. It seemed like much more. All three second half Syracuse touchdown drives were pushed along by at least one critical LSU penalty. Penalties erased a 23 yard run by Fournette that may have led to a score and helped set up the Orange’s first half field goal and, of course, his 87-yard TD run. “I’m frustrated,” LSU coach Les Miles said. He should be. The Tigers’ are 2-0 on the road, but this game and the win at Mississippi State could have been much more comfortable sans flags.

3. Final thoughts

Against a better team, LSU’s many, many mistakes could have been fatal. And yet the Tigers are 3-0, thanks to the brilliance of Fournette — who won’t lose an inch this week off his Heisman Trophy frontrunner status — and even a spark of gumption from quarterback Brandon Harris. With Fournette sidelined by a blow below the waist, Harris completed two huge passes to get LSU in the end zone after the Orange closed within 24-17. We’ve heard this LSU song before: much work to do, but much to work with.