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No. 13 LSU claims another top-10 upset victim, this time No. 2 Georgia

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No. 13 LSU claimed upsets of (at the time) No. 8 Miami and No. 7 Auburn, but neither of those teams are ranked in those spots now and surely the trend would end Saturday, when No. 2 Georgia came to Baton Rouge for the first time since 2008.

But the Tigers were the tougher and more prepared team, shutting down the Bulldogs’ explosive attack for a 36-16 win.

The Tigers opened the scoring with a 33-yard Cole Tracy field goal, and Georgia appeared ready to try for the equalizer on the ensuing drive, but Kirby Smart called a fake field goal on a 4th-and-9 from the LSU 14. The play never had a chance, and the LSU defense held.

LSU (6-1, 3-1 SEC) immediately took advantage, dinking and dunking down the field until Clyde Edwards-Helaire broke free on a 3rd-and-1 for a 47-yard gain to set up a 1st-and-goal. Burrow plunged in on a 1-yard keeper on 4th-and-goal, staking LSU to a 10-0 lead at the 13:34 mark of the second quarter.

After forcing a three-and-out, Burrow hit a wide open Justin Jefferson for a 50-yard gain on LSU’s next play after the touchdown. The drive stalled, but Tracy’s 33-yard boot pushed the lead to 13.

Another Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) three-and-out lead to another long LSU drive, this one a 15-play, 50-yard push set up Tracy for his third boot of the half, a 39-yarder at the 5:09 mark of the first half.

Georgia accepted the ball to open the second half and moved 52 yards in 12 plays, but Fromm was sacked on a 3rd-and-9, setting up a 40-yard Rodrigo Blankenship field goal to get the Bulldogs on the board.

The Bulldogs forced a punt on LSU’s first drive, but another Fromm mistake — this time an interception deep in his own end to Kristian Fulton — gave the Tigers the ball at the Georgia 23, and a fourth Tracy field goal erased Georgia’s progress 12 minutes into the third quarter.

Trailing 19-3, Georgia inserted freshman quarterback Justin Fields, whose presence sparked the first good drive of the day — seven plays, 75 yards and a 10-yard Elijah Holyfield touchdown. Georgia’s 2-point try failed, but the Bulldogs were within 19-9 with seven seconds left in the third quarter.

The teams traded three-and-outs, and LSU put the game away with its running game and a 36-yard pass to Jefferson. Burrow’s second 1-yard scoring run of the day pushed the Tigers up 26-9 with 9:31 remaining, and a fourth Tracy field goal pushed the lead to 20.

The Bulldogs again knifed 75 yards in five plays, scoring on a 27-yard strike from Fromm to Riley Ridley, but LSU answered yet again. On a first down from his own 37, Burrow took off for a career-long 59-yard run to the Georgia 4, and Nick Brossette added the capper one snap later.

Fromm threw all 34 passes for Georgia, hitting 16 of them for 209 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Holyfield and D’Andre Swift combined to rush 19 times for 128 yards and a touchdown.

Burrow, meanwhile, hit 15-of-30 passes for 200 yards while rushing 13 times for 66 yards and two scores. Clyde Edwards-Helaire led all runners with 126 yards on 15 carries, while Brossette added 44 yards and two scores on 10 carries.

No. 13 LSU all over No. 2 Georgia at the half

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The No. 2 team in the country is in trouble.

In their first trip to Baton Rouge in a decade, Georgia has fallen in a 16-0 halftime hole against No. 13 LSU.

Both teams have had success running the ball, but Joe Burrow has significantly outplayed his red-and-black counterpart in Jake Fromm.

The Tigers opened the scoring with a 33-yard Cole Tracy field goal, and Georgia appeared ready to try for the equalizer on the ensuing drive, but Kirby Smart called a fake field goal on a 4th-and-9 from the LSU 14. The play never had a chance, and the LSU defense held.

LSU immediately took advantage, dinking and dunking down the field until Clyde Edwards-Helaire broke free on a 3rd-and-1 for a 47-yard gain to set up a 1st-and-goal. Burrow plunged in on a 1-yard keeper on 4th-and-goal, staking LSU to a 10-0 lead at the 13:34 mark of the second quarter.

After forcing a three-and-out, Burrow hit a wide open Justin Jefferson for a 50-yard gain on LSU’s next play after the touchdown. The drive stalled, but Tracy’s 33-yard boot pushed the lead to 13.

Another Georgia three-and-out lead to another long LSU drive, this one a 15-play, 50-yard push set up Tracy for his third boot of the half, a 39-yarder at the 5:09 mark of the first half.

After the missed field goal, the Bulldogs’ offense booked three consecutive three-and-outs, followed by a 6-play, 25-yard drive that ended in a fourth Jake Camarda punt. Fromm was, in a word, terrible, going just 5-of-16 for 47 yards.

Burrow, meanwhile, was 10-of-19 for 136 yards plus a rushing touchdown.

LSU out-rushed Georgia in the half, 110-77.

Georgia will receive to open the second half, and it’s fair to wonder if heralded freshman Justin Fields will take that snap.

Dismissed LSU WR Drake Davis facing child porn charges, too

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Drake Davis‘ legal issues aren’t just limited to the alleged abuse of women, as it turns out.

According to WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, the erstwhile LSU wide receiver is facing two counts of pornography involving juveniles.  The television station’s website wrote that “[a]rrest documents allege Davis received two text messages that investigators considered pornography involving children and Davis did not delete those texts.”

From the station’s report:

One text, containing a nine second video, was sent to Davis on May 22, 2017 and showed it was “read” by Davis the following day, the warrant says.

“This video consists of an African-American juvenile, possibly under the age of 10 years old, masturbating in a bathtub,” read the arrest report. “Mr. Davis never deleted this video from his text message history.”

Another text, containing a six second video, was sent to Davis on April 11, 2017 and also showed “read” by Davis, the warrant says.

“This video shows a Caucasian male juvenile possibly around the age of five years old or younger. In the video the individual has his penis exposed and is hitting it with the blades of a desk fan,” the warrant says.

Davis’ phone was seized by police investigating the first of his two arrests for the alleged physical assault of his girlfriend.  In the first incident, it was alleged that Davis broke the unnamed female’s ribs as well as punched her in the face and strangled her. In the second, the same woman sustained a black eye and an injured leg after she was again allegedly attacked by Davis.

In mid-August, Davis was arrested on one count of second-degree battery and indefinitely suspended by the LSU football program. On September 15, Davis was again arrested, this time on multiple counts that included one count of battery of a dating partner (strangulation), two counts of battery of a dating partner and two counts of violation of protective orders.

Following the second arrest, Davis was dismissed by the football program.  Student-wise, Davis has been placed on interim suspension by the university, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

A four-star member of the Tigers’ 2016 recruiting class, Davis was rated as the No. 24 receiver in the country and the No. 22 player at any position in the state of Florida.

Davis played in 19 games the past two seasons, starting one of those contests. He will apparently finish the LSU portion of his playing career with four catches for 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His touchdown receptions went for 87 and 36 yards.

No. 25 LSU runs away from No. 8 Miami

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After a 2017 season that saw the Hurricanes start 10-0, including those back-to-back wins over top-15 Virginia Tech and Notre Dame teams, and finish 0-3 with back-to-back-to-back double-digit losses, the goal, the hope, for No. 8 Miami entering Sunday night was to show that 2018 would be more about the first 10 and not the last three.

The first 30 minutes of Sunday night’s game showed that plan to be unfounded. No. 25 LSU opened up a 27-3 halftime lead and cruised to a 33-17 statement win at AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas.

Before the game turned into a blowout, though, there was a moment when Miami appeared to have the upper hand. That’s all it was, a moment, but it happened. Tied 3-3 late in the first quarter, Miami moved from its own 30 to the LSU 32, but the drive sputtered and freshman kicker Bubba Baxa‘s 45-yard field goal sailed wide right.

Then the rout was on.

Nick Brossette registered LSU’s first touchdown with a 50 yard burst straight through the middle of Miami’s defense.

After forcing a three-and-out, LSU scored on another Brossette run, a 1-yarder, which was set up by a 22-yard connection from Joe Burrow to Ja'Marr Chase which appeared to fall incomplete on second glance, but the Tigers were able to snap the ball before the replay official could intervene.

With the score at 20-3 midway through the second quarter, Malik Rosier made a mistake that buried the Hurricanes for good when he didn’t see LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips lying in wait for his slant pass, and Phillips raced the interception 45 yards for a touchdown.

Staked to a 24-point halftime lead, Ed Orgeron took the air out of the ball in the second half — not that the Tigers were slinging it around to begin with — and the Bayou Bengals managed just the third and fourth of Cole Tracy‘s field goals, a transfer who last played at tiny Division II Assumption College in Massachusetts.

A pair of Rosier touchdowns, a 3-yard run with 13:57 to go and a 32-yard strike to Brian Hightower with 8:43 remaining, allowed Miami to cling to a slight glimmer of hope when taking over at its own 5 with 6:30 remaining to chip away at a two possession deficit. Rosier maneuvered the Canes from the shadow of their own goal post to the LSU 40, but Rosier tossed three straight incompletions and then was sacked on 4th-and-10 with 4:40 to play, allowing LSU to shut the door on any possibility of a UCLA-over-Texas A&M Labor Day Sunday redux.

LSU’s offense didn’t jump off the page, as the Tigers achieved only 17 first downs and converted just 3-of-16 third downs. Burrow was a workmanlike 11-of-24 for 140 yards, and Brossette led all runners with 22 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns. But the Tigers didn’t need to be spectacular to win on Sunday; capitalizing on Miami’s plethora of offensive and special teams mistakes proved to be more than enough. Rosier tossed two interceptions and Zach Feagles averaged just 36.4 yards on five punts.

Rosier battled through the entire game, hitting 15-of-35 passes for 257 yards while being credited with 15 carries for 12 yards. DeeJay Dallas led Miami in rushing with 38 yards on eight carries.

LSU opens its home schedule next week with Southeastern Louisiana before beginning its SEC gauntlet with a trip to No. 9 Auburn on Sept. 15 (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS). The Tigers team that took the field Saturday night flashed plenty of potential to win 10 or more games, but a schedule that includes No. 3 Georgia and Florida in addition to a more-ferocious-than-ever SEC West will make them earn it.

Miami, meanwhile, plays a schedule that could still see the Canes reach double-digit wins again. Mark Richt‘s team gets Florida State at home and does not face No. 2 Clemson. But Sunday night’s result shows a potential 10-win season would once again be a mirage.

LSU manhandling Miami through one half in Dallas

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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.