LSU Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 2 Game vs. Washington

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2012

LSU Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 2 Game vs. Washington

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    Zach Mettenberger can thank his offensive line and backfield for making his life easy.

    LSU rushed for a combined 242 yards on the ground in a 41-3 blowout victory over Washington on Saturday.

    The Tigers were expected to get their first challenge of the 2012 season from a much-improved Huskies team, but Les Miles' club was dominant on both sides of the ball. In addition to a 242-to-26-yard rushing advantage, the LSU defense also held Washington QB Keith Price in check throughout the game.

    Let's break down this game and take a look at the winners and losers from the Tigers' big win over the Huskies.

Winner: LSU Backfield

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    The Tigers backfield was dominant once again in this contest, rushing for a combined 242 yards and four touchdowns in the 41-3 blowout win over Washington.

    Junior Alfred Blue, who was buried on the depth chart last season behind both Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, was the best back for the second straight week, running for a game-high 101 yards and a touchdown.

    Blue’s partner in crime, sophomore Kenny Hilliard, had another solid game as well, bulldozing his way through the Huskies defense for 46 yards and two touchdowns.

    Ware, who did not play in the Tigers’ Week 1 game against North Texas, came back and totaled 38 yards on just eight carries, and Ford added 48 yards on 10 carries.

    If the Tigers can continue to run the ball at this rate, no one in the country is going to be able to stop this team.

Loser: Keith Price

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    Washington's do-everything quarterback was completely shut down by LSU's dominant defensive line on Saturday.

    Price completed just 17-of-36 passes for a measly 157 yards and an interception.

    Known as an elite scrambler, Price failed to find any running room against LSU's smothering defense. He was sacked on four separate occasions in addition to throwing a pick.

    This is what SEC football looks like, Keith Price. 

Winner: LSU Run Defense

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    This LSU defense is known for its pass-rushing skills, but in this game, the story was the Tigers' exceptional run defense.

    Les Miles' team held Washington to just 26 total yards on the ground.

    The Huskies' lead back, Bishop Sankey, ran for just 16 yards on eight carries—an abysmal rate of 2.0 yards per carry.

    The Tigers defensive line was quick to get in the backfield and bottle up the Huskies backs at the line of scrimmage. 

    Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson is a star in the making for this LSU football team.

Loser: Washington's Run Defense

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    What happened to this Washington defense?

    Don't get me wrong, LSU's backfield can make any defensive line look silly, but this was just as one-sided as a football game can get.

    Every one of the Tigers backs averaged 3.5 yards per carry or better in this contest, and it wasn't just running by the Huskies.

    Kenny Hilliard and Spencer Ware ran over and through the Washington defenders, while Alfred Blue left them in the dust with his elite speed and quick, agile moves.

    When a defensive unit allows 242 yards on the ground, that certainly qualifies them as being a loser.

Winner: LSU Coaching

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    Just like any coach in college football, Les Miles certainly has his critics—no matter how good his record has been since arriving in Baton Rouge.

    But in reality, many people picked this one as a trap game for Miles' LSU team.

    It turned out to be the furthest thing from that.

    Les Miles had this LSU team prepared for this game and executed a flawless game plan to both sides of the football.

    Miles knew that his team could wear down the Huskies on defense with a dominant rushing attack, and that's just what they did.

    Miles knew his team could get pressure on quarterback Keith Price and fluster this Washington offense, and that's just what they did.

    Give Les Miles and his LSU coaching staff plenty of credit for this win.

    They certainly deserve it. 

Loser: Russell Shepard

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    I know it's a shock to pick an LSU player as a "loser."

    After all, how could I possibly single out a player from the team that stomped all over Washington in the form of a 41-3 blowout win?

    But the truth is that this kid was supposed to be LSU's top receiver and one of the top playmakers on this LSU team heading into this season.

    At this point, he isn't even in the conversation for the top-four receivers on this LSU team.

    Shepard didn't have a single catch in Saturday's game, but it wasn't because he wasn't thrown to. In fact, he had a sure-bet touchdown in the second quarter, but Shepard dropped the pass that Mettenberger put right on the money for him in the end zone.

    This guy gets my vote for the most disappointing player in college football.

    Call me bold, but the numbers, or lack thereof, don't lie.