Through one half in Dallas, LSU looks nothing like the team we last saw and Miami looks exactly like the team we last saw. The Tigers have won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and as a result are winning the scoreboard, 27-3 at the break.
The teams traded field goals to get the scoring started and Miami seemed to grab an early advantage through Malik Rosier‘s right arm, reaching a 1st-and-10 at the LSU 32 late in the first quarter. But Rosier fired incomplete on second and third down, forcing a second Bubba Baxa field goal, which the true freshman missed wide left.
LSU took that opening and made the most of it, grabbing the lead on a 50-yard Nick Brossette burst straight up the middle.
After forcing a three-and-out, LSU burst the game open with an 11-play, 58-yard drive that was keyed by a 22-yard completion from Joe Burrow to Ja'Marr Chase to the 1-yard line that appeared to hit the AT&T Stadium turf upon further review, but the Bayou Bengals raced to the line of scrimmage and registered a 1-yard Brossette run before the replay official could blow the play dead.
Cole Tracy, a transfer from Division II Assumption College in Massachusetts, pushed LSU’s lead to 20-3 with his second field goal of the first half, a 21-yarder, at the 4:56 mark of the second quarter, and Jacob Phillips put an early capper on the night just 30 seconds later, stepping in front of a Rosier pass and racing it 45 yards for a touchdown.
Miami’s struggles to open 2018 have looked exactly like its struggles to close 2017. Rosier (8-of-15 for 101 yards) has struggled in the intermediate passing game, and as a result the Canes are 0-for-6 on third down. On the ground, Miami has one rush longer than eight yards.
LSU at times looked choppy in its first game with a new offensive coordinator (Steve Ensminger) and quarterback (Joe Burrow), as the Tigers had to take two timeouts to avoid delay of game penalties. But outside of that, the new LSU has looked like the LSU of old, back when the Tigers were a credible threat to Alabama in the SEC West. Burrow has completed 8-of-16 throws for 101 yards but looked better than his stats indicate. Brossette leads all rushers with eight carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
LSU will receive to open the second half.