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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Beware the stat man

LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell completed 16 of 23 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns in a scrimmage Tuesday night.

At least that's what LSU sports information tells us.

I don't doubt the honesty of LSU sports information. I am a little skeptical about stats from a closed scrimmage.

In 1991, Curley Hallman regularly had closed scrimmages. After each scrimmage, the stats always had Chad Loup completing some obscene percentage. I think he was 12-of-14 or something sick like that.

So, given those numbers, members of the media wrote about a new and improved Chad Loup.

Then the season started. And it was the same ol' Chad Loup.

Nothing against Chad Loup. He was a nice enough fellow. But those stats - whether they were inflated by the coaching staff or inflated against a bad defense - did nothing to predict how the season would go.

Now, Les Miles is the coach and LSU released just Russell's passing numbers. Which tells me the other guys were either really bad or really good and they don't want anyone to know.

As for me, those numbers from Tuesday's scrimmage are taken with a grain of salt.


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