Saturday night in Tiger Stadium used to be where opponents’ dreams go to die. This particular Saturday night, LSU’s pride is what perished.
The home-standing Tigers were embarrassed by Troy 24-21 in front of a Death Valley crowd that looked like a shell of itself after more than half the fans bailed when the Trojans — a three-touchdown underdog — took a 24-7 lead in the fourth quarter. It’s the first loss for LSU to a no-conference opponent at home since UAB topped the Tigers in 2000 — a streak of 49 games.
The result, coupled with the mass exodus, is a clear sign that, after just one month of the season, the honeymoon is over for first-year full-time coach Ed Orgeron.
LSU should never be this inept. The defense lacks discipline and has not developed; the offense lacks playmakers outside, and the quarterback situation — which featured starter Danny Etling and true freshman Myles Brennan Saturday night — is its traditional big hot mess.
It wasn’t like Troy brought it’s “A game” against the Tigers. At best, it was a “B-” performance from coach Neal Brown’s crew. It only managed 363 total yards, turned it over twice and didn’t match LSU in terms of first downs. What’s more, in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, Troy out-muscled and out-athleted LSU.
Again, the Trojans did that to the Tigers — not the other way around.
This is a much bigger rebuild in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, than anybody expected. Brennan was scheduled to be part of game plan alongside Etling anyway and came out under center with the Tigers down 17 in the second half after Etling left shortly before halftime after getting the wind knocked out of him.
Now the wind is out of the sails of the LSU football program. That begs the question: What happens with Orgeron?
Nothing. At least, not quite yet.
Despite that hefty paycheck, it’s clear that this is becoming more of a punchline to a bad joke than a return to power for LSU in 2017.