How has LSU fared in its season-openers over the last decade?

·4 min read

After a long offseason, we’ve finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel.

The 2022 college football season is already underway, and LSU is set to begin its campaign on Sunday against the Florida State Seminoles in New Orleans. The Brian Kelly era is set to begin in prime time at 6:30 p.m. CT on ABC.

The Tigers aren’t just looking to start the 2022 season on the right foot, though. They’re also looking to reverse the recent trend of early season misfortune and capture their first win in a season-opener since 2019.

With that in mind, here’s how LSU has fared in its first game in each of the last 10 seasons.

2021 - UCLA 38, LSU 27

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LSU entered the 2021 season expecting a bounce-back, and that was supposed to start with a win over Chip Kelly’s UCLA squad in Pasadena. Instead, coach Ed Orgeron’s “sissy blue shirt” comments motivated the Bruins toward a convincing win. They put up more than 470 yards of offense, including more than 200 on the ground. That would prove to be a sign of things to come.

2020 - Mississippi State 44, LSU 34

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LSU’s expectations were even higher the year before coming off the national title, but its defense was absolutely exposed against Mississippi State to kick off the 2020 COVID-affected season. The Tigers clearly didn’t know what to expect from coach Mike Leach’s air raid offense in his first game in the SEC, and Bulldogs’ quarterback KJ Costello passed for a league-record 623 yards as a solid starting debut from Myles Brennan wasn’t enough to keep LSU’s 16-game winning streak — the nation’s longest at the time — alive.

2019 - LSU 55, Georgia Southern 3

Joe Burrow LSU Tigers
Joe Burrow LSU Tigers

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Ah, yes. That’s more like it. From the very beginning in 2019, it was clear this Tigers team was different. [autotag]Joe Burrow[/autotag] began his Heisman campaign with a gem, completing 23 of 27 passes for 278 yards and five touchdowns. LSU’s elite defense, meanwhile, held the Eagles under 100 yards of offense.

2018 - LSU 33, Miami 17

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The Tigers began the 2018 season with a bang, taking down the No. 8 Hurricanes at Jerry World. It wasn’t the most impressive debut for Burrow in an LSU uniform, but running back [autotag]Nick Brossette[/autotag] ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers won by two scores despite being outgained by the ‘Canes.

2017 - LSU 27, BYU 0

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Much like Kelly, Orgeron began his first full season with a neutral site game at the Superdome. Kelly will hope for a similar result as LSU rolled in this one as the No. 13 team in the country against a Cougars squad that finished just 4-9.

2016 - Wisconsin 16, LSU 14

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This was the game that ultimately spelled the beginning of the end for [autotag]Les Miles[/autotag]. The Tigers overcame a 13-0 third-quarter deficit, but the Badgers took the lead on a late field goal. LSU was driving to answer, but quarterback [autotag]Brandon Harris[/autotag] — who had a rough season debut — tossed an interception from Wisconsin’s 35. Following another low-scoring loss to Auburn three weeks later, LSU fired Miles.

2015 - LSU 21, Mississippi State 19

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After the Tigers’ season-opener against McNeese was canceled due to weather, they instead began their campaign against a ranked SEC opponent in the Bulldogs. This one went better than in 2020, and a 150-yard, three-touchdown game from [autotag]Leonard Fournette[/autotag] and failed two-point conversion from MSU in the fourth quarter secured the win.

2014 - LSU 28, Wisconsin 24

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We have another repeat opponent, and this one went a bit better for Miles. At least, eventually. Wisconsin jumped out to a 24-7 lead, but quarterback [autotag]Anthony Jennings[/autotag] overcame a rough start to lead LSU to 21 unanswered points and a season-opening win in Houston.

2013 - LSU 37, TCU 27

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The Tigers kicked off the 2013 season with a ranked win in Houston against TCU. After a competitive first half, LSU managed to separate in the second half thanks to a solid defensive performance and a good outing from quarterback [autotag]Zach Mettenberger[/autotag].

2012 - LSU 41, North Texas 14

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Coming off one of the best seasons in school history in which the Tigers nearly captured a national title, they entered the season as the No. 3 team in the country. LSU looked the part in this one, easily dispatching the Mean Green. The Tigers ripped off five-straight wins to begin the season before dropping their first game at Florida, and they ultimately finished 10-3.

Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire