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LSU holds off TCU, wins 42nd non-conference game in a row

LSU v TCU Getty Images

No. 12 LSU used a balanced offense and a stingy defense to hold off No. 20 TCU, 37-27, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Saturday. With the win, the Tigers extended their non-conference win streak to a record 42 games in a row.

It wasn’t easy, though, as TCU kept things close for most of the game.

LSU’s edge in physicality made the difference…as it usually does. The Tigers pounded the proud Horned Frogs defense to the tune of 197 yards on the ground as Terrance Magee led the way with a game-high 95 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger hit on just 16 of 32 passes, but he produced 251 yards through the air and completed several clutch throws. The Tigers ran 80 plays, held the ball for 35 minutes, converted 13 of 19 third down attempts and piled up 448 yards. All in all, it was a pretty good debut for new LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs couldn’t seem to get anything going in the passing game. Casey Pachall, TCU’s 2011 starter who sat out most of last season, started the game and completed just nine of 16 passes for 75 yards and an interception in the first half. Trevone Boykin took over in the second half and wasn’t much better, completing six of 12 for 70 yards.

Despite holding the TCU offense in check, though, LSU couldn’t pull away as the Frogs took advantage of a second-quarter B.J. Catalon 100-yard kickoff return to stay within striking distance. The Tigers led, 16-10, at the half despite outgaining the Horned Frogs 254 to 104.  LSU then dominated in the third quarter as  Magee’s two touchdown runs sandwiched another score by Catalon and the Tigers appeared to be in control heading into the fourth quarter, leading 30-17.

That quickly changed.

A TCU punt backed the Tigers up on their own one-yard-line and two plays later a bad exchange between Mettenberger and running back Alfred Blue resulted in the Horned Frogs taking over at the LSU six. Waymon James punched it in and, suddenly, the Horned Frogs were back in business. A 39-yard field goal by Jared Oberkrom made it 30-27 with over seven minutes to play.

But Odell Beckham return the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to the TCU 25-yard line and Mettenberger then found Jarvis Landry on a 20-yard touchdown pass and the margin went back to 10. TCU failed to rally and Les Miles escaped with his 31st-straight non-conference win in his time at LSU.

You have to feel good about this win if you’re an LSU fan. For the first time in a while it looks like the Tigers offense could be showing signs of life. It wasn’t always pretty, but Metternberger made the plays he needed to make in order to beat a quality opponent.

So while many figure Texas A&M to be the main challenger to Alabama in the SEC West, maybe they shouldn’t sleep on LSU just yet.

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20 Responses to “LSU holds off TCU, wins 42nd non-conference game in a row”
  1. pricecube says: Sep 1, 2013 2:01 AM

    Congratz to LSU. No one will be pulling harder for you to win the SEC. Good luck the rest of the year.

    Go Frogs…
    Geaux Tigers.

  2. classyjacklambert says: Sep 1, 2013 2:26 AM

    Didn’t they lose to an ACC team in their last bowl game?

  3. southernpatriots says: Sep 1, 2013 5:44 AM

    {Written from the hotel}

    It was a great game but not for the faint of heart. Coach Cam Cameron, LSU’s new OC, made the difference. He had a good offensive game plan, Met executed it and could have had much better stats (completions) with his receivers could catch catchable passes which hit their hands. Punch and counterpunch. John Chavis showed he can start 14 new freshmen and first season starters and still have a defense. Miles showed class by not padding the score at the end. I am sure Patteron took note of that. I am pretty sure they will remain friends after this game.

    It was hot, really hot. About 120 to 130 in the tailgating area on the concrete. Even over 100 after the game. Young folks came through for us on that and we served hundreds of Horned Frogs and dozens of Tigers. Got into the airconditioned stadium as soon as possible. At least outside the stadium it was NOT football weather.

    One down. One game at a time. 4 more top 25 opponents. A huge gauntlet of an SEC schedule.

    pricecube: Thank you. We need your support. It is a huge mountain to climb this season.

    classyjacklambert: Be classy now. You should know LSU played Clemson without a true OC. LSU’s OC came down with Parkinson’s, and that greatly affected the offensive game, which was not really there. We have an OC now, Cam Cameron. We will be fine offensively now.

    Supermous: A shout out to you. Told you it would be fine.

    I’ve got to get quickly to South Carolina to visit and help some old friends, then return to South Louisiana with my glass of tea and sit back and relax and enjoy this win. Reflect on a good job by all concerned, a good job by both team, and both coaches. A good game.

    Welcome Chris!

    Allons les Tigres! Geaux Tigers!

  4. suprmous says: Sep 1, 2013 7:34 AM

    Yes indeedy Southernpatriots, you told me it’d be k, so now would you please pass me a case of Zantac;hahaha. I get the feelin we’re in for an excitin ride this go roun. I don’t dare say anything to 3 but I think we could even handle their Alma Mater, hmmmm. K, maybe I’m puttin the funeral ahead of the procession but I think we played a tad better than what they said we would. God, ya gotta love those in the family that go to rival states of higher learnin,hahaha. Nonetheless, praise be TCU’s history and now onward. Congrats to all that had their teams win.

  5. mikedaddyguy says: Sep 1, 2013 8:28 AM

    That’s one in a row. Clemson beat them in their last game.

  6. Deb says: Sep 1, 2013 8:50 AM

    Congrats to LSU! Tried to follow during Georgia/Clemson and tuned in after that game ended, but conked out in the fourth quarter. Does anyone know why this game was scheduled so late?

    Interesting that Cameron seems to be having such a positive influence on Mettenberg when he constantly butted heads with Flacco. Just goes to show his “I am in control” style is much better received by college players than pros–which is true for many coaches.

  7. Deb says: Sep 1, 2013 8:50 AM

    Sorry … Mettenberger.

  8. nawlinssaints1956 says: Sep 1, 2013 9:05 AM

    This game never would have been close if not for the Big 10 crew missing two obvious pass interference calls in the end zone on TCU. Some things to clean up, but the Fighting Tigers are off to a good start. Nice game for Zach; looks like this will be a balanced offense.

  9. cometkazie says: Sep 1, 2013 10:27 AM

    I got a headache with the lousy pattern the fake turf made.

    I think they mean regular season, non-conference games.

    Does a stingy defense give up 27 points?

    I note Chris didn’t mention why the TCU QB didn’t play much last year as the wire services did. Classy, Chris, thanks.

    The “Often wrong but never in doubts” are wide open already this morning. We fans can ignore them (Remember “Poof”) and sit back and enjoy the season.

    Laissez les bons temps rouler!

  10. infrno says: Sep 1, 2013 10:39 AM

    Well, 14 of those points really were not the fault of the defense. I was pleasantly surprised at how LSU played on both sides of the ball, they will only get better. And they better – we still have to play Alabama, A&M, Florida and Georgia. Still, to have a defense that is that young and inexperienced play that well against a quality opponent is certainly promising.

  11. geodude11 says: Sep 1, 2013 10:46 AM

    The consecutive win streak over teams from other (Acc, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 10, Mountain West, MAC) conferences is compiled in the regular season. That means the games that were scheduled before the current season began. It is good to see the clemson fans can count; they do have that tooth they can use.

  12. geodude11 says: Sep 1, 2013 10:55 AM

    I was not impressed by the offense, stats may look good, to non statisticians. We left 8 points and a ton of momentum on the field in the 1st quarter-that is an official “bad start”. Too many field goals for a team that has higher aspirations (apparently they are unrealistic). We’ll be watching the Conference Championship the same way we did last year, on television from home.

    The 3rd down numbers looked good but, even those expose a team that has trouble finishing drives in the end zone. The Tigs better work hard these next 2 weeks because Georgia is going to be in a very bad mood.

  13. psl1196 says: Sep 1, 2013 1:52 PM

    So you’re saying that when they hand pick the teams they play, they win. Impressive.

  14. infrno says: Sep 1, 2013 2:06 PM

    geodude – realize that TCU has had a top 10-15 defense. I’d like to see us finish drives (and honestly, there was at least one non-call in the end zone that was obvious). But overall I think they performed better than expected.

    psl – at least they pick ranked teams when they can. Pretty sure Oregon was a higher ranked team 2 years ago. LOL

  15. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Sep 1, 2013 3:20 PM

    hey its Deb

  16. cometkazie says: Sep 1, 2013 4:32 PM

    Good to have the family back, right Crazy?

  17. florida727 says: Sep 1, 2013 6:54 PM

    #southernpatriots, good to see you back online and congratulations on the nice win. Mettenberger looked really good; his stats were deceiving because of the drops. I thought he managed the game really well. Good luck this year (except for October 12th if you don’t mind :) ).

  18. southernpatriots says: Sep 1, 2013 7:15 PM

    Florida727:

    My friend, it was boiling on the concrete outside of Jerry’s World. No fit for man or beast, just for Horned Frogs and Tigers helping one another cook and survive!

    We all basked in the A/C stadium as soon as we could. Met looked much better…feet under him, in a throwing motion sooner, throwing motion consistent, timing patterns, hitting a receiver off the trailing hip, seemed relaxed out there. I feel good that I pegged it correctly saying Cam Cameron would make a much needed difference and was the missing part to LSU’s success. The more time he has with Met the better we will be. He worked great things with Brees, Rivers, and even the prima donna Flacco.

    I am posting from South Carolina where I came after the tailgating and game at Jerry’s World. A dear long time friend is very ill. He is a HOF Gamecock, along with his brother.

  19. Deb says: Sep 1, 2013 7:43 PM

    Hey, crazyasian!! Like cometkazie said, it’s good to get the gang back together. Congrats on your win!! :)

  20. geodude11 says: Sep 3, 2013 11:01 PM

    infrno, that was TCU last year, with a losing record. The “top” 10-15 must have been a different sport. LSU is going to find a few defenses and offenses this year, I thin it will be long with Zac still plodding along. I MISS having an offense, SAINTS our redemption! The freshman, the freshman!

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