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LSU wide receivers Deion Smith (6) and Koy Moore (2) celebrate after Smith's touchdown in the first half against Central Michigan, Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Tiger Stadium.

1. WHAT WE LEARNED

The LSU Tigers indeed have the capacity for improvement. Last week it was the defense cleaning things up week-over-week against McNeese State. Against Central Michigan, it was the offense. The Chippewas gave Missouri a scare before losing by 10 on the road, and you had to wonder after two games whether Missouri or LSU was the better team. Saturday night, LSU responded: “It’s us.” Other than a couple of badly blown coverages and a Max Johnson pick-six, LSU was dominant.

2. TRENDING NOW

The LSU offense. The big emphasis entering Saturday’s game for the Tigers was to increase the offensive tempo to “warp” speed, in coach Ed Orgeron’s words, and improve the running game. First mission accomplished, at least. After burning clock to try to run the perfect play for two weeks, the Tigers were in attack mode most of the game. The running game didn’t produce much until late, but Central Michigan was stacking the box and daring Johnson to throw. He did, often with laserlike accuracy.

3. FINAL THOUGHTS

Certainly, there are better teams in LSU’s path the rest of this season. But the Chippewas aren’t bad, and easily the Tigers’ second-best nonconference foe behind UCLA. So don’t vault LSU into a top-10 ranking just yet, but do credit the Tigers with playing their most complete game so far. It comes just in time, as LSU’s schedule is about to go to a different level against SEC competition. The Tigers finally look prepared for it.

Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com