Sports LSU used a massive field position advantage to beat Miami

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0:00: LSU 33, Miami 17: There was a time when LSU led this game by 30 points. If you only looked at the scoreboard, it certainly looked like the Canes were getting the doors blown off of them. But the final score didn’t show how close the actual play was on the field.


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What’s not shown on that stat recap: average starting field position. The Tigers had their drives start on average at their own 43-yard line. When you basically start every drive at midfield, it’s hard not to win.

4:42: LSU 33, Miami 17: Miami is unable to convert on 4th and 10 from the LSU 40-yard line. Things are looking bleak for the Canes.

5:22: LSU 33, Miami 17: Brian Hightower adds another beauty to his highlight reel from Sunday night:

8:43: LSU 33, Miami 17: [extremely broadcasting the game voice] It’s now a two-score game after Brian Hightower reeled this one in:

10:10: LSU 33, Miami 10: Ed Orgeron got mad.

13:57: LSU 33, Miami 10: Miami has found the end zone on a Malik Rosier 3-yard touchdown rush. They still have a long way to go.

There’s also this, despite the score:

Miami’s currently outgaining LSU lol

— College Football by SB Nation (@SBNationCFB) September 3, 2018

14:31: LSU 33, Miami 3: Fan morale update…

:59: LSU 33, Miami 3: This was just a ridiculously good catch by Miami’s Jeff Thomas. Finally, something good.

3:51: LSU 33, Miami, 3: Another field goal for Cole Tracy. A 54-yarder. His fourth of the night. He’s flexing.

4:32: LSU 30, Miami 3: LSU has gotten yet another interception, and they’ll start with the ball on Miami’s 41-yard line after a shifty return by John Battle.

This is a complete picture of what’s going on with Miami fans:


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7:32: LSU 30, Miami 3: Miami holds LSU to their third field goal of the night after the Tigers get down to Miami’s 3-yard line. Something positive for Miami, I guess!

9:57: LSU 27, Miami 3: Hey, just checking in. Miami’s first possession of the quarter resulted in… a punt.

LSU 27, Miami 3


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Looks like Leonard Fournette is watching — and enjoying — the game.

1:30: LSU 27, Miami 3: Man, Miami doing absolutely no favors for itself on consecutive punts by the Tigers coming out of the shadow of their own goalposts. On the first punt, Miami got a running into the kicker penalty. On the next one, the Canes got called for leaping the shield, and that one gave LSU a new first down.

Miami handed LSU 20 yards of penalties and the ball back, and the Tigers just kneeled on the ball to head into half from there.

4:21: LSU 27, Miami 3: Uhh … welp.

4:56: LSU 20, Miami 3: Tigers get to the doorstep, but have to kick a field goal. Miami again gives up a chunk play thanks to the run, but this time it was the threat of it. A play action pass got LSU in the red zone.

9:21: LSU 17, Miami 3: It looked like the Tigers maybe scored on a long Joe Burrow completion to Ja’Marr Chase, but no biggie — the Tigers punched it in on the next play. That’s after an 11-play drive in which they converted on two fourth down conversions.

:35: LSU 10, Miami 3: LSU’s been a garbage fire before the snap, but after the snap? That ain’t been half bad. Please feast your eyes on this simple zone run the Tigers score their first touchdown on. Pay close attention to the right side of the offensive line, stymying backside Miami pressure, and the left guard climbing to the second level to spring the big play.

3:05: LSU 3, Miami 3: Attention: The LSU Fightin’ Tigers have used all three timeouts in less than 12 minutes of game time. I’m impressed.

6:49: LSU 3, Miami 3: Tie ballgame after Bubba Baxa hits an equalizer. ESPN’s graphic on-screen had Baxa as only making 4-10 field goals during his senior year. He was still the 14th-ranked kicker in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

7:56: LSU 3, Miami 0: Dad’s in the house.

8:31: LSU 3, Miami 0: LSU does little with the friendly terrain. But a big loss for Miami: cornerback Trajan Bandy ejected for targeting.

10:37: LSU 0, Miami 0: The Canes were hugely opportunistic last season with the whole turnover chain thing, but they’re a little slow to the punch early on.

Nobody on this screen recovered this LSU fumble (but it stayed with the Tigers … somehow).

15:00: LSU 0, Miami 0: Kickoff is shortly after 7:37 p.m. ET.


The No. 8 Miami Hurricanes will see an early test in the form of the No. 25 LSU Tigers on Sunday. The Week 1 college football matchup will be played from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC (live streaming via WatchESPN, ABC).

Miami started last season by rattling off 10 consecutive wins, but they faltered down the stretch, losing their regular season finale in addition to the ACC Championship game and the Orange Bowl. The Tigers scraped together a 3-2 record before winning six of their last seven, but also fell well short of expectations a year ago.

Now both hope to be in the national picture and the College Football Playoff this time around. Both teams have a big opportunity to make a statement on Sunday.

  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Tx.
  • TV: ABC
  • Streaming: WatchESPN, ABC
  • Odds: The Hurricanes opened as 3-point favorites.

Fulton will almost assuredly slide directly into the starting cornerback role opposite of Greedy Williams, as had been expected when his suspension was originally upheld two weeks ago. Fulton was originally suspended for two years for attempting to use fake urine in an NCAA drug test, before pouring it out and using his own when caught. A drug test that he ultimately passed.

How far away are they both?

Both the Tigers and Hurricanes are used to national attention and contending for championships, but neither team is really sure where they are right now, and won’t be until the game gets underway on Sunday. Mark Richt seems to have Miami going in the right direction, but we really won’t know too much about them until they see the field on Sunday and battle in what is probably a College Football Playoff eliminator.

Miami has a projected S&P+ ranking of 17 even, with LSU sitting at 14.2, meaning the Hurricanes would have a 2.8-point advantage on a neutral field. That’s close to where the betting lines opened, and though it will be close, Miami is simply the smarter pick.

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