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Saturday, September 18, 2010

5 things to watch for against Miss. State

BATON ROUGE - For those demanding that Jarrett Lee play quarterback for LSU tonight against Mississippi State in the Tigers' home opener, the following questions:

1.Have your brain signals been intercepted? 2.Have you lost your mind? 3.Or have you just lost your memory?

There is no question No. 1 LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson played poorly last week in the win at Vanderbilt, completing 8 of 20 passes with an interception in the end zone when an open receiver stood waiting. Even some of his completions were poorly thrown - in the shoe area. He also ran badly as he often picked the wrong hole and just seemed out of it. And Jefferson was not under the constant pressure he was last season. He was sacked just once.

But Jefferson at his worst still does not produce interceptions and put his defense in awful situations the way Lee has in remarkable quantities even, at times, when he is at his best.

Jefferson has played in 21 games for LSU with 16 starts. In eight of those games, including seven starts, he has not thrown an interception.

Lee has played in 19 games for LSU with nine starts. In only one start did he not throw an interception. That was against Louisiana Tech last season when he had worse numbers than Jefferson had last week. Lee was 7 of 22 for 105 yards in that game with at least two dropped interceptions. In only six games of his career has Lee not thrown an interception, and in all but one of those he was on mop-up duty. In two of the five, he threw three passes. In the other three, he threw once in each game.

Through 310 passes in his career, Lee has thrown 17 interceptons. That's one every 18 throws. Lee also threw eight interceptions in a three-game span in the 2008 season after starting three games prior to that. Through 410 passes in his career, Jefferson has thrown 10 interceptions. That's one every 41 throws. He has never thrown more than one interception in a game.

Lee's record as a starter is 5-4. Jefferson's record as a starter is 11-5, and Jefferson began starting as a true freshman in 2008. Lee spent an entire season and spring "learning the system" before he became the starter early in the 2008 season as a redshirt freshman.

Jefferson's passing efficiency rating - a statistic that encompasses just about everything that a quarterback does - is 130.44. Lee's passing efficiency rating is 114.20. In his first season as a starter last year, Jefferson finished 36th nationally with a 137.18 rating. In his first season as a starter in 2008, Lee finished 81st nationally with a 116.9 rating. He also had the highest interception percentage at 5.95 with 16 in 269 attempts, or one every 16 passes.

Yet, many of you fans and some in the media want Lee. He does have a better arm than Jefferson. It's an arm that still tends to seduce LSU's coaches, but they now know how dangerous it also can be. Lee has thrown for more yards per start than Jefferson - 230 to 177. But yards in Lee's case have not meant wins.

An Associated Press story said that Jefferson has never thrown for more than 250 yards. Lee once threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns in a game. That was against Georgia in 2008. He also threw three interceptions in that game, and two were returned for touchdowns. LSU lost 52-38. Of Lee's two 250-plus-yard games, LSU was 1-1. Of his four 200-yard-plus games, LSU was 2-2. Of Jefferson's five games between 200-250 yards, LSU won three.

Jefferson also has never had two bad games in a row. Lee, meanwhile, has strung together bad games even when bad opponents are involved. In four of his last five starts, Lee went 8 of 20 with an interception against Tulane, 13 of 34 with four interceptions against Alabama, 4 of 12 with an interception against Ole Miss and 7 of 22 against Louisiana Tech. That's a .363 completion percentage and an interception every 14 passes.

Is that what you want?

1. All that said, if Jefferson does have another bad quarter or half, look for Lee to enter in the second quarter or start the second half and finish the game. Lee deserves another chance, even if it is about his fourth or fifth. Maybe he will be better this time. Regardless of what happens, look for Lee to play at some point in the first half.

2. Look for Mississippi State to have a lot of trouble scoring. LSU will sack each Bulldog quarterback twice and thoroughly dominate the game. We are about to see LSU's best defense since 2004.

3. Look for true freshman tailback Alfred Blue to get 10 carries and gain 79 yards with Richard Murphy out with a hamstring. Stevan Ridley will add 56 yards on 12 carries.

4. Look for a newly motivated Jefferson to respond with one of his better games, completing 12 of 17 for 186 yards.

5. Look for LSU to continue to run out of options with the option.
FINAL SCORE: LSU 17, Mississippi State 9.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guilbeau is a decent writer but not a great predictor re: his 5 things to watch for.

3:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice column.. I would like to see less, (les) stress, and more polish, on the LSU football team..But that wish, has become a dream I will never have, as long as Les Miles is the head coach at LSU.
Les is a shyster,Miles looks like he is learning, as he goes from game to game, year to year,much like his choice at QB..two pea's in a pie..Where the polish?

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hay,if you are going to baby sit, a QB, train the best passer..Why waste the talented football team, time,and hard work, on a lesser talent?
Lee had a lot of pic-6, in that freshman year,so you would just give up on Lee,and play a QB going no where, "JJ" instead.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bull,Jarret Lee is now better.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me?
Are you apart of our LSU problem to?
Lee is a better QB then Jefferson..What are you looking at!
Lee throwing (7 pic-6)in his early years, is better then the slow-moving Jefferson, going no where.
Only someone who does not really care,about LSU football, could try and keep Jefferson playing QB over Lee.
You are fired to!

8:26 PM  

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