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August 15, 2010

Miles Not Happy with Scrimmage but Sees Hope

In his post scrimmage interview Les Miles was very honest about what he saw in Saturday's scrimmage.  LSU was not able to throw the ball as well as Miles had hoped.  

The passing game went OK but, true freshman receiver James Wright catch the only touchdown pass thrown in the scrimmage.  The silver lining here is that LSU has an outstanding pass defense.  Miles eyes kind of brightened when he said that the cornerbacks played outstanding.  Patrick Peterson had an interception and true freshman defensive back Tyrann Mathieu knocked down a couple of passes during the offense's two minute drills. The defense also managed to create and recover a fumble during the scrimmage.

One good note about the passing game is that most of the passes completed went for ten yards or more.  Another plus for the offense is that the running backs averaged about five yards a carry.  Two negative notes about the running game are highly regarded freshman running back Jahkari Gore did not get a single carry and even worse Michael Ford had such an off day that coach Miles pause before listing how many yards Ford gained and simple said that Ford had not gained very many yards.  Miles did say that the two backs in front of Ford on the depth chart, Stevan Ridley and Richard Murphy, ran well in the scrimmage.

The pessimist among LSU fans are going to wonder if LSU's success in running points to a weak run defense. We will not absolutely know the answer to that question until LSU plays other teams.  We could surmise that LSU has a bad passing game and a weak run defense but it is just as fair to surmise that LSU has an excellent pass defense and a really good run offense.

In all fairness I have had a ton of information input from fans and experts and I believe that the correct analysis is that LSU probably has the best pass defense in the country and that LSU may not have the best passing game. But, throwing the ball against other teams will be much easier than trying to throw against LSU.

With the loss of Ryan Baker to a broken jaw in Friday's practice, run support from LSU's linebacker corp may still have some questions concerning run support.  Add to that potential weakness the fact that there are only two defensive tackles listed at 300lbs. or more (Michael Brockers - 300lbs. and Chris Davenport - 311lbs.) and LSU might very well be vulnerable to teams running between the tackles.  It might be a good idea to have Brockers in the game at one of the tackle positions most of the game.  I have been told that though Davenport did not come into practice hitting on all cylinders, he has found recently really started coming around and working like a man on a mission.

The case for a LSU having a strong running game this year is a real possibility.  LSU does need to find a good fullback.  From Miles' post scrimmage interview I gathered that no fullback has stood out yet. However, with or without a good fullback, LSU has a group of largely unproven but really talented running backs.  One of the things that stands out about this group of running backs is the variety of running styles.  Opposing defenses are going to potentially see the full range of running styles from the LSU backfield.  And no matter which back is in the backfield teams are going to have to respect the possibility that LSU may run.  LSU also has running backs that can catch the ball.  

The real case for LSU having a running game can be made by looking at the film of last year's games when this starting Guard Will Blackwell and this year's starting Tackle Alex Hurst were in the game.  LSU's running game came alive last year when these two guys were in the game.  Blackwell created two beautiful running seams last year that provided highlights of an otherwise lackluster offensive campaign last year.

I am going to take from this scrimmage that LSU has a killer passing defense and that LSU's offense will open up because of the ability to establish the run.  Miles near the end of his statement said "Am I happy? No." and then went on to say that with the way that the team is working and with the attitude that they are bringing each and everyday to practice, he will be happy by the time the Tigers hit the game field.  Later this season we may find cause to abandon Miles' guarded optimism but, for now, I am going to remain optimistic.  I have heard that this year's team is eager to prove themselves and I am going to support that effort in any little way that I can.


Anonymous said...

Every year, the same thing... The key to opening the offense is establishing the run.... Like Bobby Bowden said in the lat 70's when he put FSU on the map.. "Dont waste my time".

Teams move the ball either by the pass or the run. Havent noticed Texas Tech establishing the run too often before passing.

Miles does what he wants, not what divine wisdom requires. He runs because thats what Bo did. Not because its going to open up anything. And by the way, how many of those good news passes of over 10 yds were thrown 5 yds down the field with the rest of it YAC??? Since no one said, its pretty safe to say that the lack of comments about the new and improved mid range passing game mean one thing. We're still throwing 5 yd passes.

Any wonder our pass defense looks so good. So will everyone elses too.

Anyone honestly think that LSU suddenly has the best pass defense in the country? seriously? All because of Peterson? We have no pass rush, no Linebackers and what, one guy is going to shut down another team?

Our pass defense is so great because its going against a pass offense that runs plays like you saw last year.

Wake up, the coffees brewing, skip the kool-aid, this year

Anonymous said...

I don't remember the last time Texas Tech played for a National Championship and Bo had some pretty fair teams when he coached Michigan.

I don't know if the anonymous guy at 9:20 caught your article an article or two ago Bob - what did it say something like 4 of the defenders run 4.25 forties and Peterson and Mo Claiborne are two of those guys.

I wonder if the 9:20 guy noticed that Peterson was not the only bright spot. Tyran Math. swatted down passes and the D caused and recovered a fumble.

Defense wins championships and being able to run the ball effectively helps out the defense that is why the old Leach Texas Tech system will almost never equal a NC. Oh and btw TxTech had solid running on those teams to.

Anonymous said...

Dude you have to make up your mind. You can either have an exciting Texas Tech type passing show or you can win by having great defense and a solid running game not both.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I am going to give Miles a chance like you say but I am not going to wait forever.

Anonymous said...

Yuh... you fella's ur rat... ever-wun no's yu gots-ta run da dam ball. Dats how Bo done it...And he did perty fare...Yuh think?

OK 1:26

Genius... Whens the last time LSU maximized its talent? When did it take what it had and use it in a creative way to make the sum of the parts greater than the whole?

Bowden did in the 80's, Bryant did it in the 70's and it worked pretty well. They hit the other guy where they werent. And it worked.

Bo, he got fired for doing the 'up the middle' thing a few yrs after Woody punched a guy that stopped his team the first yr they had given up on the 'up the middle thing'.

So, what other truisms you got? Oh, 'defense wins championships'. Right.. Thats how Texas and USC did it with more offense than has been seen in the last decade.

And right, Spurrier dominated the SEC in the 90's with his power running game and defense.

Frikkin moron.

You go ahead and swallow the swill about how we dont need to pass unless we can first run. Then after you spend the first four games watching the other guys control the ball on you for 20 more plays a game because you cant maintain a drive with a 3rd down greater than 2 and you have to punt it to them all the time...

Then you can watch and see how your defense that was so great in fall practice against your 'hmm' offense does when they have to go against an SEC caliber qb that isnt getting a pass rush because your coach wont blitz 7 or 8 until he first gets a rush with the front 4.


And by the way, when LSU maximizes its offensive potential (which is national talent caliber) the way Texas Tech maximized its (which because its TT probably never will), then you can compare.

But until you can see the difference between maximizing potential (texas tech) and having a bigger athletic budget (LSU) then you'll just be on the sidelines watching the boat go by to the BCS title....

Tell yourself you think LSU maximized its potential, and is on the road to doing so again... Moron.

Anonymous said...


Someone set him off... All the same, does the guy from 1:26 really think that TT, from the Big 12 used the run to set up the pass? They ran pretty good, but it was always set up off the run.

Lots of ways to skin a cat, chill people.

Billythekid said...

Why don't you guys get some names?
My concern is JJ. From what I've read I'm just not convinced he can run the offense. Man I hope I'm wrong but I'm getting nervous.

Anonymous said...

Blow hard,1:26,who is god gift to LSU tiger football, your opinion, is as important as your rear end can stand, keep writing checks like that,(Like you know anything about Les Miles personally.professionally) and you are going to need a good seamstress,to stitch up the rear of your pants..Good luck this football season!

FloridaGatorProud said...

LSU has played solid football since 2003. Has had only one coach that you all can agree was a good coach (Saban), and tons of fans that "know" how the team should play ball. Any of you guys every coach more than your kids pee wee flag football team? or is that you guys don't just get drunk and obnoxious on game day but stay that way 24/7?

Anonymous said...

Scout ranks this guy Zack Lee as a 3star and puts 20 QBs ahead of him in there ranking. What is all the fuss about? This is the QB that is going to save LSU?

RollTide423 said...

A couple of you brave anonymous guys are sure taking personal shots at the equally brave 1:26 guy. 1:26 is right about one thing - Defense does win championships.

Anonymous said...

Bob, did you post twice yesterday? I almost missed this article:

Anonymous said...

8:44 am

Wow, good comeback on the facts there. Dont like an opinion, so, rather than refute, name-call. Clearly a fan to be proud of. Bet you 'tiger-bait' guys with their families too... wouldnt doubt it.

So, defense wins championships. Good thing we have Kyle Williams and Chad Lavalais on the interior and Hill and Spears on the ends, right? And that Landry, wow, he sure can hit at safety. Oh, right, those guys arent here, we have Dorsey, Favorite, Francoise and the predator. They're pretty good too, no worries... Oh, they're gone too..

Its o.k., our guys arent mentioned, arent known, and the same people we bathed in the praise from for our stars on defense now tell us we have lost the edge, except for Peterson... But they dont know, we like being unknown... its better, you're probably right.

And line backers, well, we have one, and db's well, we have one, and a freshman that looks good.

So, a linebacker, a cb, and a safety... we've got the making of the best pass coverage in the nation there... no doubt.

On offense, well, we've got a pair of 3rd yr guys, qb is set. ;). Running back? ehhhh, probably ok, and receivers are cracker-jack. Too bad the likely best guy to get them the ball is also a receiver.

You can pick your spots and you'll find a really good player. But like Saban said in year 2. Who on our team would the other SEC teams trade for?

The qb?, running back? o-line? d-line? lb?, Probably Peterson, and thats it. All the new talent? Miles hasnt played new guys much, so lets just go out on that limb again, and say he probably wont this yr either...

Avg sec talent, a couple of good players tossed in here and there at receiver and db, and what?

You're gonna call names for people saying that? Or that Miles is gonna try to run into the pile like he's always done? he will, you know he will...

You're gonna have to do better than insults to change anyones mind.


Anonymous said...

This is a lot of fun. Reading Tiger fans slug it out in the comment section. This is like those pay forums except it's free. I may have to go to Bob's store and buy a LSU cap and shirt and hang around outside Tiger field and watch Tiger Fan UFC. Keep this forum free!

Anonymous said...

Les Miles is not a bad football coach,the people who are saying that are wrong.
Miles need no real defense of his coaching ability, because the LSU football record does the speaking for it self.
I think some of these LSU blogs fans, are hoping that Les Miles fails,and there fore, are just dumb enough to say so.
I think this LSU football team is going to do just find,and what ever the Les Miles haters think,does not really matter.

Anonymous said...

Les Miles has not beaten UF or Bama in two years, and after this season it will likely be three. He hasnt beat OM in two years either.

Does anyone think Jordan Jefferson is what a D-1 coach should have on his field as his no. 1 guy heading into a season that most would expect will require playing 2-4 teams in the top ten?

What you've seen of Miles is what you'll get again. Lavalais, Williams, Dorsey, Favorite, Spears, Hill, Webster, Daniels, Landry, Adai, and Flynn... those guys arent here. And what...

We're weak on the d-line. We're weak at qb. We're weak on the O-line and we've got no proven running back. And the one we all hang our hats on has two reconstructed ACL's.

And we're gonna try to run the ball (Miles own words, all spring and summer), and we're gonna try to get a push from our front four rather than blitz.

Five yard passes, we just need a qb to manage the game... keep say'in it.

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