Final analysis of Virginia Tech-LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Here's a quick look at how LSU roared to a 48-7 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday.


How the game was won: Offensively, LSU was susprisingly productive and fabulously balanced against the perennially tough Virginia Tech defense. Defensively, LSU was utterly dominant -- not a surprise. And in special teams the Tigers played the Hokies to at least a draw in the one phase of the game where Tech normally excels.

Player of the game: Many to choose from, but let's go with LSU running back Keiland Williams. He might have been the Tigers' third RB into the contest but he produced 126 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries. That included the highlight play of the game, a 67-yard sprint for a touchdown that included a cool hurdle over one of his teammates.

Stat of the game: 100. That's how many consecutive minutes the Tigers played this season without allowing a point. Tech finally got into the end zone late in the third quarter of the second game of the year.

Questions answered:
• Does LSU have enough offense to complement that overpowering defense? The answer is yes. There is a wealth of weapons at new offensive coordinator Gary Crowton's disposal.

• Does Virginia Tech have a quarterback controversy? It shouldn't -- true freshman Tyrod Taylor should definitely be the man. Send senior Sean Glennon to the bench and try not to break his spirit, but the Hokies are much better with Taylor's fast feet in the lineup.

What's next for each team:
• The challenge will be tuning out the hype after this powerful start. After Middle Tennessee comes a visit from giant killer Steve Spurrier and South Carolina.

• The Hokies face Ohio and William & Mary the next two weeks before diving into ACC play. Good thing is, nobody else in that league looks like world beaters, either.


Turning point: When the game ball was parachuted into the stadium safely. That sealed Virginia Tech's fate. There would be no getting out of playing this game.

Best call: LSU's early decision to attack Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers instead of Macho Harris. Flowers came in with a great rep but was exploited repeatedly. The Tigers' No. 2 wideout, Brandon LaFell, caught three passes for 78 yards on LSU's first two drives -- both of which ended in touchdowns.

Best player in the half: You could pick any of a half dozen guys in yellow helmets. If forced to pick, I'll take LSU quarterback Matt Flynn, who threw for 156 yards and ran for 14 more and a touchdown against a defense with a big rep.

Three things Virginia Tech needs to do:
1. Breathe deeply into a paper bag. The Hokies appear not just outclassed but frazzled. They need to regroup at halftime and at least show up for the third quarter, or this will end up 50-0.

2. Get Tyrod Taylor loosened up and into the flow. The freshman quarterback relieved senior starter Sean Glennon and one-hopped his first pass, an easy throw. Tech needs to let Taylor use his athleticism to make a few plays and slow down the murderous LSU pass rush.

3. Make a play on special teams. That's been a hallmark of BeamerBall, and the Hokies desperately need something to provide some momentum. They're not going to win this game from scrimmage, so a big play in special teams is vital if the Hokies are going to have any chance to come back.

Three things LSU needs to do:
1. More of what it did in the first half. Keep attacking on defense, keep rotating running backs, keep mixing pass (20 attempts) and run (20 runs). It's hard to see the Tigers blowing this one -- although the last time I was here for a game, they blew a big second-half lead against Tennessee.

2. Keep the prep All-American backups happy by getting them a few snaps. Ryan Perrilloux got one snap at quarterback in the first half. At this rate, he's going to get several more in the second.

3. Make sure Shaq has good seats for the second half. Former LSU basketball player of note Shaquille O'Neal was in the house and was honored at halftime. Shaq shook hands and chatted with a very relaxed LSU coach Les Miles on the field before the third quarter began.

Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ESPN4D@aol.com.