After a week 1 loss at UCLA, and a lackluster week 2 win over McNeese State, the LSU Tigers were looking to take a big step forward on Saturday night against the Central Michigan Chippewas.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock at Tiger Stadium, the step was taken, and LSU had secured a thorough 49-21 victory.

"I really think we made a positive step," said head coach Ed Orgeron following the win. "We've still got some things to fix, but I told our team we had to go out there and play like LSU tonight, and for the most part, we did."

LSU started fast, scoring a touchdown on the first possession of the game when quarterback Max Johnson connected with wide receiver Deion Smith on a 28-yard score.

Then it was the Tigers defense stepping up early when All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. forced a fumble on CMU's first drive, as it was scooped up by senior defensive end Andre Anthony who ran 33 yards for a touchdown.

An early 14-0 lead set the tone for the rest of the game, as LSU cruised to victory.

Johnson finished the night with 5 touchdown passes on 26-47 for 372, joining former LSU quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Zach Mettenberger as the only players in school history to toss 5 TDs in a single game.

"I think our guys just came to work this week," said Johnson. "(Offensive coordinator Jake) Peetz made some great calls, we let it go, and our guys made some great plays for us. I thought the O-Line did a great job."

Blocking was an area of concern after the first two games of the season. Saturday night, the offensive line gave Johnson ample time.

Smith ended the night with 5 receptions for 135 yards, but he wasn't the only freshmen receiver to impress.

STM alum and Lafayette native Jack Bech caught 5 passes for 81 yards and an impressive one-handed score, while Brian Johnson Jr. reeled in 2 receptions for 50 yards.

Star receiver Kayshon Boutte finished the game with 6 catches for 44 yards and a touchdown, his FBS leading 6th receiving touchdown of the young season.

"I think we took the next step (tonight). We're not there yet. But I told 'em, 'Hey, let's get better. Let's take the next step," added Orgeron. "We're gonna come back with the same attitude next week."

The Tigers (2-1) begin SEC play next Saturday at 11 am in Starkville against Mississippi State (2-1), who lost a heartbreaker today to Memphis 31-29.

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