Cowboys offense struggles in 34-7 loss to LSU

McNeese football
McNeese football(KPLC)
Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 11:51 PM CDT
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Baton Rouge, LA (KPLC) - McNeese entered Saturday’s game against LSU wanting to show some improvement from last week’s season-opening loss to West Florida, and going up against a powerful Tiger squad that was looking to get back on track from their loss to UCLA last week, the Cowboys battled from start to finish in a 34-7 loss.

“I thought our team came out to a hostile environment,” said head coach Frank Wilson. “I thought we played extremely hard. It was not enough to face the 2019 champs. I like the way we competed. We will go back and correct things.”

McNeese quarterback Cody Orgeron connected with Carlo Williams on a 44-yard catch and run with 4:30 to play in the fourth quarter to ruin LSU’s bid for a shutout.

“It was awesome,” said Oregon of the score. “In my head, I was saying to myself there’s no way we can get shut out. Coach (Ronnie) Letson did a great job of calling that play late in the game and Carlo ran it perfectly. It was my job to hit him in the chest with the ball and then the rest was history.”

Orgeron complete 10 of 20 passes for 91 yards and a score and set a new McNeese record for most consecutive pass attempts without throwing a pass interception, now with 159 straight and breaking the old record of 142 set by Cody Stroud in 2013.

Stephon Huderson led all rushers with 72 yards on 16 carries while Deonta McMahon added 44 yards on 11 carries.

LSU finished 180 passing and 103 rushing yards for 293 total yards in the game.

“We had a great game plan,” said Wilson of the defense. “It gives all of the defensive line a big confidence boost. This week helped us with confidence. We feel like we have the best defensive line in all of FCS. We wanted to come out and show everyone who we are against this opponent. We gave them trouble at times.”

LSU scored on its opening possession after holding the Cowboys to a 3-and-out to start the game. The Tigers converted two fourth down plays to keep their drive alive and scored on a 19-yard pass by Max Johnson to Trey Palmer for a 7-0 lead with 8:16 to play in the opening quarter.

McNeese held LSU on its third fourth-down conversion attempt in the first quarter after the Tigers fumbled the snap, recovered, and the Cowboys Kordell Williams stopped Corey Kiner short of the first down mark on the 4th-and-1 play. The Cowboys took over possession on the LSU 44 with 1:20 to play in the first quarter but managed only 2 yards on the possession and had to punt it away.

Trailing 7-0 in the second quarter and McNeese with the ball at its 32, LSU’s Jaquelin Roy knocked the ball loose from Huderson and the Tigers recovered. Three plays later, Johnson connected with Kayshon Boutte on a 3-yard score to put the Tigers up 14-0 with 6:58 on the clock.

On its next possession, LSU’s Cade York nailed a 55-yard field goal with 1:41 on the clock to give the Tigers a 17-0 halftime lead.

The Cowboys’ defense held LSU to a 3-and-out on its first possession of the third quarter but the Tigers’ defense continued to get to Orgeron with three sacks in the possession and McNeese had to punt the ball away.

Another stop by McNeese’s defense gave the Cowboys the ball at their own 18 and after McNeese moved to the 32, Orgeron was sacked twice over the next three plays and forcing McNeese to punt.

LSU went up 24-0 with 2:47 to play in the third quarter after a 6-yard Johnson touchdown pass to Boutte, then early in the fourth quarter, York set a Tiger Stadium record with a 56-yard field goal to make it a 27-0 LSU lead.

The Tigers added a 23-yard touchdown run by Kiner to build the lead to 34-0 with 7:37 to play in the fourth quarter.

Johnson completed 18 of 27 passes for 161 and three TDs for the Tigers while Boutte caught five passes for 31 yards and two scores.

Williams led McNeese with 10 tackles while McNeely, Grayson, and Leon Young each collected a sack.

McNeese will return to Baton Rouge next Saturday when it visits Southern at 6 p.m.

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