But when the Tiger defense stiffened, the passing game couldn't deliver the goods.
Tanner McEvoy, in his first start at quarterback, gacked up a couple of second half interceptions in the Kickoff Classic.
LSU scored 21 unanswered points and won their 46th consecutive non conference game, 28-24.
Melvin Gordon III was a tad off his 8.1 yard per carry rushing average, but ripped off big runs and found the end zone.
Backfield mate Corey Clement also chipped in with a touch.
But McEvoy struggled to get on the same page with his targets and barely completed a third of his passes.
It was, to say the least, a most inauspicious debut.
In a curious call by head coach Gary Andersen, the Badgers opted to punt deep in their own territory, trailing with less than two minutes to play.
It was fourth and 12 from near the 10 yard line.
LSU needed just one first down to seal the deal.
Wisconsin had no antidote for the Tigers' Kenny Hilliard.
And the Tigers easily ran out the clock.
Losing to a powerhouse like the SEC's LSU is no ignominy.
And the Big 10 season is still ahead of them.
But as far as mentioning Bucky in the same breath as the elite teams, that is not on the horizon.