BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU's ground game is finding its usual dominant form if more than 300 yards rushing against Kent State is any indication
Combine that with a rejuvenated and unusually consistent passing attack, and it looks like the Tigers have attained the dynamism on offense that they've coveted for several years.
"Simply the threat of certain things is making us a better offense," said running back Jeremy Hill, who had 117 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries against Kent State on Saturday night.
Opposing defenses were "attacking the run a lot last year and now we are making them have to worry about whether or not a pass is coming," Hill added. "It puts them on their heels."
The Tigers are averaging 488 yards of offense, with about 219 per game on the ground and 269 per game through the air. They are also scoring an average of 46 points. Consequently, LSU has won all of its first three games by double digits and has moved up in the latest AP Top 25 Poll to No. 6.
The real test, though, will be when LSU opens SEC play. That starts next Saturday with a visit from Auburn, which defeated Mississippi State on Saturday night to improve to 3-0. Coming off a 3-9 campaign in 2012, Auburn hasn't persuaded enough voters of its improvement to enter the rankings yet, but it received some votes this week.
"We're looking forward to facing a quality SEC opponent in our stadium next week," LSU coach Les Miles said.
When the Tigers played at Auburn last season, they narrowly escaped with a 12-10 win, in part because quarterback Zach Mettenberger fumbled twice and could not consistently complete passes, finishing with 169 yards and no touchdowns. If could have been worse had Mettenberger not completed a clutch 33-yard pass to running back Spencer Ware on a late third down play to help seal the game.