LSU vs UCLA: The Tigers trail the Bruins at the half

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The LSU Tigers defense got their first shot on the field, after forcing a quick 3rd and 11 the UCLA Bruins take their first shot down the field. Micah Baskerville gets beat down the field for a huge 37-yard reception. On the second third down, Ali Gaye and Maason Smith got disruption with the senior getting the sack to force the punt.

The first play of the season saw Max Johnson find Jaray Jenkins coming across the middle for the first down. Jack Bech made his first reception for another first down for the offense. Facing a third and nine, Johnson didn’t have time once the pocket collapsed on him. Three-straight runs by UCLA failed after Derek Stingley Jr stopped Dorian Thompson-Robinson behind the line of scrimmage on third down.

As the Tigers starting putting together a drive as they found themselves near midfield, third down ended in a Johnson sack. The game became a defensive slugfest as the first quarter winded down. The Tigers were able to corral the UCLA quarterback on third and nine for the punt. The first quarter ended 0-0.

Koy Moore and Bryan Thomas Jr get back-to-back receptions to get the Tigers into the red zone. With the run game being nonexistent, Johnson and the LSU offense kept attacking through the air. Another reception by Jenkins put them in the redzone.

On the next play, Austin Deculus went down with an injury. He would walk off the field with help. Charles Turner would come into the game to play right tackle. After two failed runs in the goal-to-goal situation, Johnson found Kayshon Boutte in the corner for the touchdown.

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The UCLA offense strikes back immediately with a 75-yard pass from Thompson-Robinson to Greg Dulcich, Major Burns misses the tackle and off to the races for the tight end. The Tigers had an opportunity to answer with a long catch and run but a Johnson pass falls incomplete to Trey Palmer. Pressure from the Bruins forces the three and out.

The Bruins continued to attack the LSU defense with a huge run by Zach Charbonnet, then Thompson-Robinson found him on a long catch and run. They fed him down the field to take the lead over the Tigers. The defense had too many missed tackles on the drive.

The Tigers would get a boost as Deculus would come back into the game. LSU faced a third and short but they were bailed out by a penalty against the Bruins defense. UCLA kept the pressure on Johnson and forced a field goal attempt by Cade York. A false start pushes the 52-yard attempt back five yards. The Tigers would punt it away.

Eli Ricks comes up big for the Tigers’ defense as he takes the ball away with the interception.

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Following a first down catch by Boutte, the Tigers take a shot at the end zone that ends with a pass interference call against UCLA. LSU was set up inside the 10 in another goal-to-go situation. Both Boutte and Palmer had touchdown opportunities but couldn’t haul it in. The team settles for a York field goal.

A sack by Andre Anthony forced UCLA into a third down and 20 on the following drive. Charbonnet ran for 18 yards to force the fourth and short, but the Bruins would punt it back to LSU. Johnson got the ball with 1:52 left in the half with two timeouts. It wouldn’t matter as the offense went three and out.

LSU would go to halftime down 14-10 to UCLA

First Half Stats

Max Johnson: 14/27 for 138 yards, 1 TD

Tyrion Davis-Price: 7 carries for 7 yards

Kayshon Boutte: 3 receptions for 21 yards 1 TD

Jaray Jenkins: 2 receptions for 29 yards

Eli Ricks: 1 INT