Kayshon Boutte was candid in his remarks this week about the seriousness in which LSU took UCLA in the season opener. It was an underwhelming performance all around and Boutte hinted that not all of the Tigers respected the opponent and paid dearly for it.
That's an approach the sophomore receiver said can't become the standard for this team and doesn't believe it will after the McNeese game. While the week two effort wasn't in question, the execution certainly left a lot to improve on.
"I got a lot of respect for all my opponents. I don't downplay nobody just because they're not SEC or none of that," Boutte said. "It's respect your opponents because I feel like UCLA, we kind of didn't respect our opponents and we got it handed to us. That's a lesson to learn from."
The concern over the team's mindset was news to coach Ed Orgeron, who said Wednesday that the coaching staff felt it had prepared the team well and there was no lack of focus ahead of the UCLA game.
"I don't know that, obviously as a coaching staff we tried to get it across, especially after they beat Hawaii," Orgeron said. "That's a player's opinion, maybe he's correct, I haven't heard talk about that but we didn't play well. I should've prepared the team well so I put it all on me."
Preparing for Central Michigan, the focus has been devoted to raising the offensive tempo while defensively, the Tigers are hoping to see consistency in stopping the run. Offensive lineman Liam Shanahan sure isn't taking the Chippewas lightly as he's seen enough game film to know the offensive line has its hands full handling the blitz.
"They're a good team. They played Missouri really well a couple weeks ago. Based on what I've seen on film so far, they run a pretty base four down looks, nothing too crazy with blitzes and what not, but blitzes and movement is something we haven't done a great job with to start the year so we're always expecting to see some of that. It's going to be a challenge."
If there's one thing this LSU team can't do moving forward it's not take an opponent seriously. Come SEC play, it's unlikely the purple and gold will be favored in many games, particularly with one of the most difficult schedules remaining in the country.
LSU needs to take advantage of the opportunities in front of it and Saturday's matchup with Central Michigan is the perfect final exam before the start of conference play.