September 20, 2021
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LSU Overmatched by UCLA

Photo credit Hilary Scheinuk

The Tigers travel to Pasadena to take on UCLA in the storied Rose Bowl tonight. A first time match-up between the two prestigious programs. The Tigers are looking to bounce back after a 5-5 2020 season and the Bruins are looking to get out to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2017.

LSU is ranked No. 13 in the Coaches and 16 in the AP Polls. The Bruins are not ranked.

UCLA got the ball first, and would drive. It looked like an early turn over for Elias Ricks, as he seemed to knock the ball free from tight end Greg Dulcich, however that catch was ruled incomplete.  

Both teams would go scoreless in the first quarter, and a battle of field position would ensue until two and a half minutes into the second quarter. The Tigers would be the first to get on the board. A three yard pass from quarterback Max Johnson to receiver Kayshon Boutte capped off a 63 yard eight play drive.

The Bruins would come roaring right back as quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson connected with tight end Dulcich for a 75 yard strike. Pulling the teams back even. After trailing for one play, the Bruins never looked back.

Junior running back Zach Charbonnet was one of the biggest playmakers for the Bruins. Having 11 rushes for 117 yards and a touchdown. His longest of the night being 43 yards.

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson ended the night 9/16 for 260 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.

Tigers quarterback Max Johnson seemed to be running for his life nearly every time he dropped back to pass. The offensive line was bullied around by a much more physical Bruins defensive line, and because of that, the Tigers could not get the running game established against the Bruins tonight, rushing for less than 50 yards total on the night. Johnson seemed just a little off with targeting his receivers all day. However, Kayshon Boutte was able to haul in nine of his 14 targets on the day for 148 yards and three touchdowns.

The Tigers defensive line, had several sacks and TFLs tonight. The depth of the line was supposed to be a strength of this team, and it looked like the defensive line was holding strong. Until midway through the third quarter when the Bruins offensive line started to impose their will on the Tigers defensive line. The Tigers looked gassed by the physicality of the Bruins and the ease at which they were running off tackle.

Post-game Head Coach Ed Orgeron was asked about UCLA not traditionally being known as a physical football team. “Well, first of all, they played physical tonight.” Orgeron was later asked about the toughness of his team.

“Coach, what I’m hearing from you is that UCLA was tougher tonight?” asked an unknown reporter

“I’m not saying that” said Orgeron.

Final score: UCLA 38 – LSU 27

Next up for LSU, McNeese St. on September 11th