HOUSTON — The LSU soccer team performed unquestionably one of the most strangest video games in program historical past Tuesday evening in the Texas Bowl against Kansas Converse.
The Tigers handiest had 39 scholarship gamers on hand and started a huge receiver, Jontre Kirklin, at quarterback. Even essentially the most hardcore of followers would’ve had peril recognizing among the names on the backs of LSU’s white, crimson and gold jerseys.
With that in mind, the consequence was as soon as predictable. LSU (6-7) misplaced to Kansas Converse (8-5) in unspectacular model, 42-20, and type the season with the program’s first losing portray since 1999. For Kansas Converse, coach Chris Klieman grew to alter into the first man no longer named Bill Snyder to lead the Wildcats to victory in a bowl game.
Listed below are a couple of takeaways from the Tigers’ final game of the 2021-22 campaign.
Jontre Kirklin’s first start up
With freshman Garrett Nussmeier sitting out the sport in thunder to construct his redshirt feature, LSU turned to Kirklin, the senior huge receiver, as its starting up quarterback.
Predictably, Kirklin struggled because the Tigers no longer ceaselessly tried a circulation in the first half. He had 4 passing yards except he chanced on Jaraya Jenkins for a 23-yard procure in the support of the terminate zone that nick the LSU deficit to 14 with seconds left in the half.
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The offense was as soon as predicated on Kirklin’s abilities as a runner, with freshman Corey Kiner and sophomore Josh Williams splitting carries and counterfeit handoffs in the backfield. However LSU’s wildcat attack might well not build its defense off the self-discipline, dooming a unit that was as soon as already low on our bodies.
The game was as soon as already successfully out of hand for LSU by the purpose Kirklin threw his 2d interception of the evening in direction of the terminate of the third quarter.
Outdated to Tuesday, the ideal time Kirklin – who was as soon as LSU’s scout-team quarterback in 2019 – took snaps at quarterback in a game was as soon as the 2017 Louisiana Class 3A bid title game with Lutcher Excessive, a game his team received. As a senior that season, Kirklin threw for 2,543 yards and 29 touchdowns.
LSU’s offense comes alive slack in the first half however would not ideal
A 13-play, 75-yard force to shut the opening half from LSU was as soon as instrumental in keeping the Tigers in the sport.
LSU’s speeding attack, led by Kirklin, came to life. The senior rushed for 34 yards and capped the force with his first completion of the evening for added than 2 yards — discovering Jenkins in the terminate zone to type it off.
With the ball to start out up the 2d half, the Tigers were in a tall feature to flip the script. However LSU went three-and-out, handing the ball support to Kansas Converse.
The Wildcats scored by surprise, taking a 28-7 lead with 8: 46 left in the third quarter. Without unparalleled of a passing game, LSU’s course to victory had in fact been shut.
LSU struggles on defense
It was as soon as a tough evening for LSU’s defense, namely on third and fourth down.
The Wildcats ran 29 plays before LSU even started its 2d force of the evening, winning the time of possession battle 15: 03 to three: 19 at the time. They converted six of eight third downs in the first half and both fourth-down makes an are trying as LSU didn’t force a Kansas Converse punt.
LSU’s defense wasn’t a total pushover, continuously forcing the Wildcats into third-and-long instances. However the Tigers didn’t capitalize.
Within the 2d half, the defense got drained. LSU had peril even forcing the Wildcats into third-down instances and surrendered touchdowns on Kansas Converse’s opening force.