Despite plenty of turnover on the LSU roster with the departure of top defensive talent and a brand new quarterback at the helm, the Tigers didn't have much difficult cruising through the North Texas Mean Green for a 41-14 victory.
In new quarterback Zach Mettenberger's debut, he wasn't spectacular, but was efficient enough, completing 19-of-27 passes for 196 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Where the Tigers dominated, though, was on the ground.
The combination of Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue racked up 271 yards rushing on 30 attempts, with each of the running backs finding the end zone once. LSU's leading rusher in 2011, Michael Ford, was cleared for the game after questions that his academics would hold him out of the team's season debut, but he didn't have nearly as much impact, gaining 40 yards on seven carries.
Box Score Hero: Hilliard earns the honor of box score MVP with 148 yards rushing on 14 carries, including a touchdown. His stats were boosted plenty by a 60-yard run late in the second quarter that put LSU within the North Texas 10-yard line, but led to a Mettenberger interception.
Rankings Ramifications: Considering the dominating performances that are still in progress by No. 1 USC over Hawaii and No. 2 Alabama over No. 8 Michigan, the strong performance by the No. 3 LSU Tigers will likely keep the rankings the same. If there is any shift in the rankings, it will surely be a small one.
But Did They Cover? The Tigers did not cover the spread as 42.5 point favorites, and 14 points allowed to North Texas is uncharacteristic for a team that held seven teams to single digits in 2011, but considering the amount of freshness to the program, it is understandable.
Next Week's Schedule:
Washington @ LSU - 7 p.m. ET
Texas Southern @ North Texas - 7 p.m. ET