Late Saturday afternoon, after his team had suffered a road loss to NC State, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers stepped to the podium and talked about the Wolfpack having a better defense than the LSU team the Orange faced a week earlier.
Maybe that was all Troy needed to hear before taking the field at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Maybe they already knew it. Maybe they could expose No. 25 LSU as the frauds it showed flashes of being. Maybe they could stun the Tigers.
Whatever the motivation was, no one outside of that locker room expected the upset that ensued, a 24-21 victory at LSU’s home. The first home non-conference loss since 2000 for the Tigers. Arguably the biggest win in Troy’s history.
Hey @LSU, thanks for having us down for homecoming! We really enjoyed it!
— Troy University (@TROYUnews) October 1, 2017
LSU gave up more than 350 yards — 191 of which were earned by Trojans running back Jordan Chunn — lost the turnover battle 4-2 and appeared dejected ever since Troy hit 37-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter. That sequence seemed to sum up LSU’s night. The Trojans picked up a first down with only a few seconds remaining, but the clock operator let time expire. By the time the officials corrected their mistake — and added two seconds back on — both teams were heading toward the tunnels. Troy came back out charged up to attempt the field goal. The Tigers looked like they were sent to detention.
Nothing about that seemed to change at halftime.
Take this scene early in the fourth quarter. With Troy setting up on third-and-two outside the red zone, LSU’s defense wanted no part of the next play. Tigers players stood around with their hands on their hips, breathing heavily, searching for even the faintest sign of help.
None came. Instead Troy rushed to the seven-yard line. They reached the end zone on the next play to take a 24-7 lead. Cheers erupted from the crowd as the Trojans crossed the goal line. It wasn’t coming from LSU fans. The stadium had gone so quiet you could hear the small group of Troy fans who made the road trip going wild.
Even after scoring a touchdown on its next possession, LSU allowed a 29-yard run to the red zone on the following play from scrimmage.
A couple of late scores made the game look respectable. It was nothing of the sort. Tiger Stadium cleared out late in the fourth quarter. Those who left early will remember this game for what it was:
An unmitigated disaster that head coach Ed Orgeron will have to answer for one way or the other.
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