Scooter Hobbs column: Cats use up LSU’s nine lives

Published 11:40 am Sunday, October 10, 2021

On a positive note, virtually nobody in America was watching when LSU found a way to dig deeper into its 2021 abyss, to bore a diamond-cut drill bit down to the darkest reaches of football Rock Bottom.

But, just you watch, word will still get out.

Yes, the goings-on in College Station where Texas A&M was shocking the Crimson out of No. 1 Alabama was the perfect distraction.

Most of the USA’s viewers no doubt were too preoccupied to pay much attention to LSU’s worst game of an already trying season.

But this kind of LSU futility can only be hidden so long.

This was the kind of game in which the focus shifts from Ed Orgeron’s tentative job security to — Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 — who’s on the search committee and how long is their wish list?

Sad, but true.

Another week of hopeful talk, confidence in the tweaks and fixes and adjusted alignments, some different approaches.

Good practices leading in, too, at least according to Orgeron.

And for all that, it ends up with Kentucky 42, LSU 21.

It’s a cliché to say it was worse than the final scoreboard, and, granted, LSU did keep fighting. But it wasn’t really that close and, for sure, the physical beating Kentucky put on the Tigers looked far worse than anything that scoreboard could conjure up.

Face it: LSU got run over and pounded all night.

The Tigers were road kill, often love bugs on the ever-growing Kentucky bandwagon.

That was the most shocking thing.

Kentucky — a basketball school —manhandled LSU as bad or worse than anything Alabama ever did to the Tigers.

When the Wildcats weren’t gashing the Tigers, they were knocking them over like bowling pins.

The usual handful of blown pass coverages were just minor nuisances when the Wildcats were flattening LSU for all but the a brief interlude in the second quarter.

So there will be another of LSU’s Tell the Truth Monday powwows, trying to right a half-sunk season.

It should be a short meeting.

Two words from Orgeron should do it: “We stunk.”

Or, if he really wants to get Cajun eloquent and ramble on: “We are just a very, very bad football team, often bordering on hapless.”

And if the lightbulb wasn’t going to go off this week, when will things get turned around.

If last week’s fiasco with Auburn wasn’t enough to embarrass and shell shock this team into a breakthrough performance, it’s doubtful anything that happened on the bluegrass Saturday will jump-start them into mediocrity.

Give Kentucky credit. The Wildcats looked like the real deal.

But LSU has fooled some others this year.

The Tigers were probably fortunate to be trailing 14-0 at the half.

It might have been LSU’s most hapless offensive half in a season with plenty of worthy candidates.

LSU did discover the first hints of a running game this season in the second half.

But it was too late and the Tigers by then were too far behind to make proper use of it.

Meanwhile, quarterback Max Johnson had his most errant throwing night of the season.

That’s not a good combination, but take victories in small doses — LSU ran for 147 yards and had their first 100-yard rusher with Tyrion David-Price grinding for

147.

It averaged out to 7 yards a carry for King.

Kentucky had two backs, Chris Rodriguez and Smoke Kavosiey, who averaged 9 yards per carry.

Kentucky had 330 yards rushing total.

“I knew they had a good rushing team,” Orgeron said. “But 330 yards…”

Inexcusable.

“I think it was a matter of missed tackles, us getting out of our gaps,” Orgeron said. “That was giving them either a cutback lane or a lane right where we needed to be.”

It wasn’t anything really fancy, just line up and run over you.

Orgeron ended his postgame news conference with the customary “Geaux Tigers!”

Only one exclamation point needed.

And, for that matter, Geaux Where?

With the meat of schedule still on the horizon, LSU looks like … well: One team, no heartbeat … and barely a pulse.

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at scooter.hobbs@americanpress.com