BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU coach Ed Orgeron didn't hesitate to utter the words "concerned," or "unacceptable," after the 12th-ranked Tigers' latest lopsided victory.
He's been in major college football long enough to know that penalties, untimely execution errors and an anemic kicking game can spell doom in big games, even if they've been inconsequential so far.
Derrius Guice ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns, D.J. Chark returned a punt 65 yards for a score, and LSU overcame bouts of sloppiness in a 45-10 victory over Chattanooga on Saturday night.
"They know we need to play better," Orgeron said.
LSU (2-0) was penalized 11 times for 74 yards, one week after committing 10 penalties for 86 yards against BYU. One penalty wiped out what would have been a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown by D.J. Chark.
"It's something we want to improve on and something that's unacceptable," Orgeron said. "It's a mindset and it's got to come from me and I'm not putting up with it anymore."
LSU also had two drives end with missed field goals by two kickers — Jack Gonsoulin from 40 yards and Connor Culp from 47 yards. Culp did hit his second attempt, from 45 yards out in the fourth quarter.
"We need to still find a field goal kicker. We don't have a guy right now. ... We're going to open it up," Orgeron said. "We can't go for it all the time. We need to get points and we need to get it fixed fast, and hopefully we can."
Orgeron still managed to maintain his sense of humor and hand out compliments where he thought they were deserved. After all, he had to take some solace in the fact that the Tigers have outscored their first two opponents 72-10 combined.
Orgeron joked that perhaps 2016 sack leader Arden Key, who has missed the first two games while recovering from shoulder surgery, "can come back next week and kick a field goal."
The coach also was pleased with an offense that has continued to show an ability to convert long passes.
Of Danny Etling's eight completions, five went for 27 or more yards, including two completions for 46 yards and one for 48. The longest went to Chark, who finished with 103 yards receiving on just three catches.
"Danny was tremendous on the shots tonight," Orgeron said.
Etling finished with 227 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown to Drake Davis.
"It was mostly the receivers going up and making some big catches," Etling said. "It is my job to just try and give them a chance."
Several early penalties helped Chattanooga (0-2), a member of the NCAA's second-tier Football Championship Subdivision, drive inside the LSU 10 on the game's opening series for an early 3-0 lead.
The Tigers scored the next 42 points — with senior Darrel Williams scoring twice on rushes of 4 and 3 yards.
Nick Tiano completed 15 of 32 passes for 174 yards, was intercepted twice and sacked five times. Darrell Bridges rushed for 88 yards, including the Mocs' lone TD from 16 yards out in the fourth quarter.
"We're a very good football team when we know our job and we do our job, but we also learned that we're not a very good football team when we don't," Mocs coach Tom Arth said. "We need to improve our consistency and how we execute."
Chattanooga: There were moments when the Mocs looked like they belonged, just not enough to remain competitive for four quarters. Still, there were enough plays made to offer Chattanooga hope of emerging as a contender in the Southern Conference.
LSU: The Tigers are loaded with talent both young and experienced, as evidenced by spectacular highlights recorded in all three phases of the game. But inconsistent execution and mental errors could cost them if not fixed soon.
LSU cornerback Andraez "Greedy" Williams, a redshirt freshman, intercepted his second pass in two games. Later, freshman cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. made a diving, one-handed interception of a tipped pass, pulling the ball into his body with his left hand as he crashed to the ground. Freshman edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson had two sacks.
The nation's top-ranked player for the recruiting class of 2018, quarterback Justin Fields of Kennesaw, Georgia, made an official visit to LSU. Before the game, he could be seen chatting with Orgeron and offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Fields plays for Harrison High School, where in 2016 he had 2,770 yards and 23 TDs passing and 1,176 yards and 15 TDs rushing.
Chattanooga: Hosts UT-Martin.
LSU: Opens its Southeastern Conference schedule at Mississippi State.
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Posted on Sun, September 10, 2017
by By BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer