Yes, it was breathtaking, to a degree. Amazing to watch. Considering the source, some may go as far as to call it flabbergasting.

At any rate, LSU delivered on its promise of an exciting offense.

But just to clarify here: LSU did not reinvent football when the Tigers made the jump to 21st century offense this season and almost seemed to be showing off a new toy on Christmas morning in the 55-3 debut victory over Georgia Southern.

You have to put it in context.

It's the spread. Yes, it was up-tempo, rat-a-tat-tat-tat. The Tigers huddled one time the entire game, perhaps just for old time's sake. Skill players were scattered out all over creation. Some of the passing routes looked like you'd poked a stick in an ant pile.

Pass the smelling salts, Gladys, can't believe what's happening here.

Head coach Ed Orgeron said it best when he noted that LSU basically did whatever it wanted to … and — get this — added that the Tigers held back a lot of stuff they could have done because there was no need with such a dominant score unfolding.

But, as odd as it may have looked unfolding on Tiger Stadium turf, remember that LSU is a little late to the party.

Before anybody starts wondering if the Tigers and new passing game whiz kid Joe Brady have stumbled onto the elusive Unstoppable Offense, be advised that there's nothing really new here.

While LSU was hunkered down in bunch formations and off-tackle tosses, other teams have been doing this fancy stuff for years, even the run-pass-option shenanigans. LSU has been defending it for years. Some see a lot of the New Orleans Saints' dynamic offense in this thing — which would be fine — and no surprise since Brady came to Baton Rouge from Sean Payton's staff.

Great.

It's a start.

Never mind the standard warnings not to overreact to a first game — good, bad or, in this case, ecstatic — should be in play.

And, of course, you'll need the other disclaimer here: it was only Georgia Southern.

It doesn't take away from the fact that everything LSU wanted to do worked.

But consider Saturday's leisurely 55-3 stroll merely a shake-down cruise.

The Tigers might well have scored 55 points against a Georgia Southern using the old tactics. Maybe not as effortlessly, but they'd done it before.

It just that nobody can remember when it ever looked so easy.

What this change in tactics may have been was an admission that LSU was never going to beat Alabama with its trusty but rusting Model-T.

But that's not important now. Or at least less important than it will be come November.

The Tigers will have to defend something quite similar Saturday against a Texas team that has been at it a lot longer.

The Longhorns presumably know more about defending it, too.

So maybe this is the week you really find about LSU's offense.

"Georgia Southern played the same defense we practice (against) every day," Orgeron said. "There was not much of a change."

Texas, much more so.

"A lot of pressure," Orgeron said. "They blitz a whole bunch, zone blitz."

Better protection at quarterback was one of the reasons LSU went to the spread because it gets the ball out of quarterback Joe Burrow's hands quicker. The Tigers gave up 35 sacks last season.

Saturday they gave up none, a point Orgeron kept making in the postgame.

But this week obviously will be a bigger challenge.

"There's going to be bigger, better athletes," Orgeron said, "especially the linebacker position, the safety position … I think it's the strength of their team. They're going to blitz almost every down."

It's a signature ploy of Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.

After film review, Orgeron didn't seem as excited about the play of his offensive line Saturday.

"I do believe we have the skill and knowledge to get people open and catch the football, make yards after catch," he said. "But we have to protect the quarterback. This is going to be a challenge for us."

Burrow at times seemed to hold on to the ball too long, one of the factors in last year's sack total. But it was only when he had that luxury. He was never risking a sack.

The Tigers will also get back Saahdiq Charles at one of the troublesome offensive tackle spots.

"That should help," Orgeron said.

Charles, the left tackle, and linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. dressed out but did not play last week. Orgeron offered no explanation.

Orgeron said he was encouraged by the play of Austin Duculus on the other side, but had tempered it some Tuesday.

"The left guard position (between Adrian Magee and Chasen Hines) still has to get better," he said. "We're going to get tested. These guys are going to blitz. On the edge, we're going to have to win the one-on-ones."


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

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