Great win, but it was one game of a long season

<p class="indent">ARLINGTON, Texas — OK, let’s see how outrageously we can overreact to LSU’s latest season-opening takeover of the Dallas Metroplex to go 4-0 in Jerry World with a 33-17 dismantling of Miami, the former No. 8 team in the country.</p><p class="indent">It generally calls for using one performance in a season that will evolve and fast-forwarding through the remaining schedule with surefire Ws and Ls for the remainder.</p><p class="indent">As you should know, it’s a futile exercise almost as fool-hardy as accepting preseason previews as indisputable fact, but has it become as much a part of college football as pom poms, tailgating and targeting ejections.</p><p class="indent">So right on cue, there they were the morning after at the hotel breakfast nook Monday, where in one corner a trio of Miami fans seemed to be in the early stages of firing head coach Mark Richt.</p><p class="indent">“Same kind of stuff he pulled at Georgia,” one said in reference to their head coach’s former job.</p><p class="indent">Not be outdone, an LSU foursome was in the modest buffet line and … well they were Tiger fans. And they had to complain about something. So they were mostly aghast that their team soured a dominating performance by giving up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.</p><p class="indent">The nerve of the Tigers putting a damper on their night like that.</p><p class="indent">Experience told me to stay out of that discussion. So I kept my mouth shut and didn’t ask them if, before the game, they would have gladly taken a 16-point victory over the alleged No. 8 team in the country.</p><p class="indent">Not to be outdone, two others in purple and gold were alreadying worrying about Alabama … and how the Tide might react when LSU is still undefeated in November.</p><p class="indent">Nobody mentioned Ed Orgeron in the same breath with “hot seat.”</p><p class="indent">My silent take?</p><p class="indent">It was one game. One. And it’s a long season.</p><p class="indent">But, really, for LSU, what was there not to like?</p><p class="indent">There are details to dissect, but mostly the more aggressive Tigers took it to Miami from the start, then went into a feeding frenzy in a second quarter where everything went right (but LSU still had to take advantage of it) before coasting back into the national discussion.</p><p class="indent">Premature? Possibly.</p><p class="indent">But if there was a true positive that might translate into something special in the coming months, LSU looked like a talented bunch with real team chemistry.</p><p class="indent">The signature moment may have come at the end of the first half, with LSU’s offense running out the clock to get to their quarters with a 27-3 lead.</p><p class="indent">The defensive All-American, linebacker Devin White, happened to be standing on the sideline near where newcomer quarterback Joe Burrow took a quick knee before jogging toward the dressing room.</p><p class="indent">White adjusted his own exit route and made it a point to meet up with Burrow for a nonchalent but meaningful low-five. He didn’t have to say a word. The reassuring gesture said it all — “Hey, man, looks like this is going to work for all of us.”</p><p class="indent">For a team that spent the month of August being dismissed from the national scene and had more question marks than the smattering of familiar faces from a year ago, the Tigers played with uncommon confidence.</p><p class="indent">That helps when there are things you still need to work on.</p><p class="indent">But, at the risk of too bold of a conclusion after an opener, whatever problems LSU may have this year, quarterback won’t be one of them.</p><p class="indent">Burrow will be fine.</p><p class="indent">The opening numbers certainly won’t awe you. But that might have been the most impressive 140-yard passing game (just 11 of 24) in LSU memory.</p><p class="indent">His receivers have some making up to. They didn’t help him much with several crucial drops. They undoubtedly will practice it.</p><p class="indent">But LSU isn’t working around the quarterback this year. Even while throwing just 24 times, even while the Tigers got unexpected production from an unknown running game, Burrow was obviously in charge of that offensive show.</p><p class="indent">That’s been a rarity for LSU. It all went through Burrow, whether he was audibling into Nick Brossette’s 50-yard scoring run (on secondand-15), wisely throwing away passes that might have let Miami break out its Turnover Chain and get back in the game or hitting the passes that were there.</p><p class="indent">His whole presence, from huddle to pocket to end zone celebration, looked like a quarterback who’d been leading this team for years — certainly not a mercenary transfer from Ohio State.</p><p class="indent">And maybe that was White’s intent with his halftime acknowledgement — the unquestioned defensive leader formally annointing his offensive counterpart to the club.</p><p class="indent">Something like, “Me and you, brother.”</p><p class="indent">Oh, about that fourth quarter?</p><p class="indent">There was nothing wrong with the defense LSU was playing.</p><p class="indent">Some great Miami athletes finally made about four or five circus catches even though for the most part they were well covered — it wasn’t for blown assignments and it certainly wasn’t sloppy play.</p><p class="indent">LSU expected that kind of defense.</p><p class="indent">But Sunday night it looked like a complete team that really might have been announcing that rumors of its insignificance were grealy exaggerated.</p><p class="indent">Even if it is early … and you’ll need more proof.</p>””<p>LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron sings the Almamater with the players and cheerleaders after winning against Miami Hurricanes during the Advocare Classic at AT&amp;T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, September 2, 2018. (Dennis Babineaux/Special to the American Press)</p>