LSU 48, Western Kentucky 20 — Three and out: Workmanlike Tigers pull away, keep moving up in stature _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU coach Les Miles shouts at officials after a defensive holding penalty nullified a fumble recovery and run for touchdown in the second half at Tiger Stadium. LSU beat Western Kentucky 48-20.

1. What we learned

As they’ve been for the past 13 years, the Tigers are darn-near unbeatable in nonconference games, especially at home. That’s 52 straight, an FCS record they’ve held since 2012, with 42 of those at home. Good scheduling helps, of course. But Western Kentucky was a quality foe with plenty to play for. The Hilltoppers hung tough until well into the third quarter before a fumbled kickoff return changed the momentum. If this was a “workmanlike” performance, so be it. The Tigers were the far-better team and proved it in the second half.

2. Trending now

LSU’s receivers didn’t get a lot of looks in the first six games as the Tigers attempted only 18 passes per game. Saturday, quarterback Brandon Harris threw only 20 times, but one went to Malachi Dupre for a 55-yard touchdown on the opening series, one went to Travin Dural for a 67-yard pickup that didn’t go for a score although he later caught a 17-yard TD, and one went freshman Tyron Johnson for 61 yard and his first college TD. With opponents stacking the line against Leonard Fournette, the possibility for the long ball is definitely there.

3. Final thoughts

The Tigers are 7-0, will move into the top four in the rankings after No. 3 Utah lost to Southern California on Saturday and also will be in the top four in the initial CFP rankings when they are released Nov. 3, five days before the showdown at Alabama. LSU was ranked No. 13 when the season began and like the rankings has improved every week. Now, the true meat of the schedule awaits. The Tigers have proven themselves capable of navigating it and beyond.