BATON ROUGE - There were very few at LSU's football game Saturday night who were wishing Les Miles was still the Tigers' head coach. Either that, or they were being very quiet.
There is one at least one person, though, that wishes LSU would have kept Miles for one more week - Missouri coach Barry Odom. He looked like he did not know what hit him after his Tigers lost to new LSU coach Ed Orgeron's Tigers, 42-7, at Tiger Stadium.
"Obviously, I'm not happy with any part of that performance," Odom said. "They really handed it to us in every area - on offense, defense and kicking."
That is new, and that is the top of three takeaways from LSU's dominating victory and opening of the Orgeron Era on Saturday night.
1. THIS IS A NEW TEAM - "Obviously, I didn't do enough this week to get us ready to play a team like LSU," Odom continued. "They whipped up on us in every area."
That has not happened against SEC teams very often in recent years. In fact, the 634 yards of offense was the most by an LSU team against an SEC opponent since it gained 630 against Ole Miss in 1987 in a 42-13 win. That is new.
Most of it was the running game as the Tigers amassed 418 yards on the ground, but pass plays were sprinkled in very effectively by quarterback Danny Etling to help the running game. And the running game helped the passing game. This was not a great defense at Missouri, but this was a start - a new start.
"We spread them out a little bit, as you saw," Orgeron said, "And we started throwing the football to loosen them up on the run."
2. LSU PLAYED FAST - This was even more fun to see than the accumulation of yards. The Tigers did not play fast the whole game, but often the pace between plays was much better than under former coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. LSU looked organized and well drilled during much of the game.
"Everything was just faster for us," said LSU tailback Derrius Guice, who led all rushers with a career-high 163 yards on 17 carries. "We all felt a lot fresher this week. Practice was a lot quicker, but it was shorter. So everything is faster."
3.LSU IS READY FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON - For the first time all season, the Tigers may be looking forward to the rest of the season opportunistically rather than with dread. They could lose a few or several games as Missouri is not a very good barometer, but it looks they have a much better chance than a week ago.
"There's going to be a lot of things to correct," Orgeron said. "But I think they're going to believe in each other and believe in what they're doing."
That may not have been the case only recently, and that's the secret..
"The main thing Coach O was trying to get us to understand is that we are all one team and we all want to win," Guice said. "When we all play for each other, we cannot be touched."
I detect newfound confidence.
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