Pizza’s here: LSU tried to gain an edge on BYU by watching Cougars’ season opener last week

September 1, 2017 GMT

The biggest thing Christian LaCouture learned while watching BYU play Portland State last weekend is to never promise pizza to a group of defensive linemen.

As BYU opened its season last weekend, the LSU defensive end saw it as a perfect opportunity to invite his teammates over and see what they can learn about their opponent.

Like any good college house party, LaCouture ordered a couple of pizzas for the guys. But like an offensive tackle trying to protect his quarterback, LaCouture learned that nothing will keep a group of LSU defensive linemen from attacking a box of pizza.


LaCouture said he bought four pizzas, which were supposed to last the whole game. They lasted about 15 minutes.

“It was crazy,” he said. “I didn’t realize how many people were coming. I thought 10 to 12. We had 16 to 17 people over, and I had four boxes of pizza. (Ed Alexander) is the first one (to get pizza). Takes a whole box and walks off.

“I had, maybe, a slice. Greg (Gilmore) said, ‘I’m going out for more pizza.’ Gets another six boxes, and Tyler Shelvin takes a box. I’m like, ‘Y’all got to stop. It’s not fair. I just need a slice or two.’ ”

The day wasn’t a complete loss, though.

LSU was able to get a glimpse of the Cougars ahead of Saturday’s season opener in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. What the Tigers saw was the Cougars struggling to pull away from a team that ranked seventh to last in the Football Championship Subdivision in scoring defense last season.

But the Tigers weren’t looking for what the Cougars did wrong. Teams can always fix what they did poorly. The advantage comes from knowing what they did right.

“I’ll show the defensive line the film where Portland State’s line is getting crushed,” coach Ed Orgeron said. “(BYU’s) running backs are running over people. They are very physical and very good. ... They are a good football team.”

LSU quarterback Danny Etling didn’t watch the game live but was able to see video the next day. He said BYU holds a distinct advantage by getting all the first-game jitters out against a lower-level opponent, whereas LSU has to work through its season-opening issues on the national stage.

“You saw a lot of advantages they had, being able to get out those first-game kinks,” Etling said. “I think they had a 10 men on the field (penalty). Just some things you can’t really expect until you have your first game and some things go wrong.”