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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LSU will still finish 10-2 and in high cotton

BATON ROUGE - At about the halfway point, we give LSU a "B." The Tigers have looked great and sick at times, but in the end, its only loss is to the No. 1 team in the nation. That's a B.

Let's start with the offense. The coaching has been poor. Offensive coordinator Gary Crowton seems to be too concerned with how many things his offense can do as far as formation and personnel variety instead of what it can do well. It's great to be multiple unless you're not good at multiple things.

The amazing thing is that head coach Les Miles has criticized the lack of playing time for Russell Shepard, who is averaging 6.2 yards a carry in limited use, and the option and at times the lack of touches for Charles Scott. And Miles is the head coach, and he has an offensive background. So Miles, like the CEO coach that he is, needs to get more involved with the offense during this open week. If LSU still wants to run the option, it should look at how Florida runs it. LSU doesn't even do the spacing right between QB and TB and continues to run to the short side of the field, which neutralizes its speed. Grade: D.

Now to the defense. The coaching has been excellent by new coordinator John Chavis. Florida's 13 points were its fewest since 2005. LSU dominated Georgia. After a poor showing in the Washington game, LSU's defense has done nothing but improve and has allowed a touchdown or less in three games. Despite a questionable pass rush from the line, LSU is stopping people. LSU has tackled as well as any team I've ever seen over the last two games. They don't miss. Chavis has seen to it that Chad Jones and Patrick Peterson are blossoming and reaching their potential. The defense will continue to keep LSU in games and win games.

Special teams coverage has been good. LSU has done well in the return game, but it could be better considering the talent. The kicking is good, but the punting has been average to bad. It may be time to try another punter.

Looking to the second half of the semester, I think LSU, mainly because of its defense, will win the rest of its games other than Alabama. Ole Miss is not as good as it was expected to be.

Auburn showed itself at Arkansas, and Arkansas is a one-trick pony. LSU will gradually improve its offense. Crowton is too good for it not to, and there is too much talent for him not to improve. This is the perfect time for an open week. The Tigers will finish 10-2 and play Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.

Florida and Alabama will meet in a rematch in the SEC title game. It's an Urban Meyer-Nick Saban world. Everyone else is fighting for third.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent summary! It's possible that LSU could lose to Auburn, Ole Miss, or Arkansas. If they don't, 10-2 is not a bad year, esp. if they win a bowl game. Many teams would love to have an 11-2 season and a top 5 or 10 ranking.

LSU fans are spoiled, and we have to realize that we're not going to compete for the national title every year. Unfortunately, for now, FL and AL are a notch above LSU, but at least we beat GA in Athens, and the FL game was close.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that Miles it TOO involved in the Offense. In 2007, with comparable talent, every coach in the SEC was talking about the offensive genius of Crowton and how hard it was to defend all of the different looks and plays. It was obvious that the Offense was imaginative and creative utilizing its talent with a few notable exceptions (not staying with the hot hand at tailback, etc). What I think has changed is Miles trying to put his stamp on this offense now. I cannot believe that in two SEC games in a row LSU did not throw a single deep sideline route by design, against much shorter corners. Also the stubborn reluctance to give talented freshmen sigificant playing time will severely hamper future recruiting. With this talent you should be able to score more than 3 points on any team in the SEC and that falls on the head coach.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LSU's offense will be improved against Auburn if: Crowton realizes that Jefferson is not an option QB, Stud emphasizes pass & run blocking and does not have to worry about option blocking, and Jefferson does not stay in the pocket too long.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the 2nd half of the season. The defense has come along. The offense has not. Miles & Crowton: are you worth what you're paid? Reevaluate. The option ain't working. The deep routes are there for the taking. Use your gifted WRs and let Jefferson use his arm to get it to them.

3:53 AM  

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