Tigers run over Hurricanes at AT&T Stadium

{{tncms-inline content="<p>LSU 33 | Miami 17</p> <p>NEXT: vs. SE Louisiana, 6 p.m. Saturday</p>" id="270d94ae-bed9-4c99-a10d-1688ce70d0d1" style-type="refer" title="FINAL" type="relcontent"}}

<p class="indent">ARLINGTON, Texas — In LSU’s wildest dreams…

<p class="indent">No, probably not.

<p class="indent">Not even the most optimistic Tiger could have dared fantasize the carnage that unfolded in Jerry Jones’ futuristic football fantasy land Sunday night.

<p class="indent">OK, maybe Ed Orgeron.

<p class="indent">He seemed to be the only guy in AT&amp;T Stadium not rubbing his eyes while squinting and trying to figure out who these guys were as the Tigers opened the season with a 33-17 “upset” of No. 8 Miami.

<p class="indent">Orgeron acted like he was expecting it all, even the most unlikeliest of heros stepping forward in running back Nick Brossette.

<p class="indent">“If that was happening out there, I didn’t know about it,” Orgeron said of any statement game. “We just viewed as we’re playing Miami. We’re 1-0 and that’s all that matters. We saw it all in camp.”

<p class="indent">That’s his story. For the rest of the state — to say nothing of the national outlets that largely wrote LSU off before the season started — it was enough to make you swear off preseason predictions forever.

<p class="indent">By halftime, it was hard to remember that LSU was a 3.5-point underdog and that the season was beginning under the doom and gloom of lowered expectations.

<p class="indent">Not anymore— not after the shellacking the Tigers put on Miami on a night when they had center stage as the only game for America to watch.

<p class="indent">“You could tell today at the hotel that our guys were locked in and ready to go,” Orgeron said.

<p class="indent">The Tigers even had some fun not-so-subtly taunting the Hurricanes for their flashy Turnover Chain that was such a big hit a year ago.

<p class="indent">LSU’s poor man’s bling consisted of a common towel as an impromptu necklace, which teammates wrapped around Jacob Phillips’ neck after his 45-yard interception return for a touchdown, and again for John Battle, who got the second interception of Miami quarterback Malik Rosier.

<p class="indent">“They beat us soundly,” said Miami coach Mark Richt, who’s team didn’t score a touchdown until falling behind 33-3 in fourth quarter. “We tried to make a game of it. We got close enough to make them think about it a little bit, we just couldn’t finish.”

<p class="indent">The No. 25 Tigers seemed to have a chip on their shoulder, maybe over the worst preseason ranking this millennium, and made a statement.

<p class="indent">“There was no talk about any of that,” Orgeron insisted. “Our goal was to be 1-0. We practiced all week to play Miami.”

<p class="indent">Brossette, a senior could have been the poster child for the chip-on-a-shoulder movement. He knows a little about not getting much respect, having hung around the program for three previous years without so much as scoring a touchdown.

<p class="indent">He was part of the reason the smart money figured that after all these pound-and-grind years, LSU had finally run out of running backs.

<p class="indent">All he did was ignite LSU’s second-quarter scoring firestorm with a 50-yard touchdown run in the waning moments of the first quarter — it seemingly came out of nowhere with neither team doing much. Then he kept it going with another short scoring run. He finished with 125 yards for the night as LSU, for all the talk of being a team that would have to throw the ball, still did most of its damage on the ground.

<p class="indent">“We were going to throw the football,” Orgeron said, which was well advertised. “You know what? We couldn’t (with the defense Miami was playing). Not like we wanted to. But we could run it.”

<p class="indent">Transfer quarterback Joe Burrow was fine, although he didn’t get much help from a receiving corps guilty of several key drops while he completed 11 of 24 passes for 140 yards.

<p class="indent">Maybe the best play he made was with his head — it was Burrow who spotted something on the Miami defense on second-and-15 that made him audible into the play where Brossette burned a Miami blitz for the 50-yard scoring run that sparked the whole thing. Another Burrow audible on the next series helped LSU convert a fourthand-1 gamble that kept their second touchdown drive alive.

<p class="indent">“Joe Burrow kept his cool and we were able to score 33 points,” Orgeron said. “He did great just managing the game. We won the game, we scored 33 points. I thought he kept his poise. Saw the same thing in camp. He was able to get a win. That’s what counts.”

<p class="indent">That ending may need a little work.

<p class="indent">LSU led 33-3 entering the final quarter before a flurry of acrobatic catches by the Hurricanes led to quick touchdown passes with conceivable time remaining.

<p class="indent">But the Tigers’ defense, otherwise controlled the game, and recovered to force the ball over on downs on two lastditch Hurricane drives.

<p class="indent">About the only thing that came as advertised was Dave Aranda’s defense, which controlled the game and didn’t let the Hurricanes score a touchdown until early in the final quarter — which cut the gap to 33-10.

LSU 33 | Miami 17

NEXT: vs. SE Louisiana, 6 p.m. Saturday