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September 28, 2010

LSU: Close, Very, Very Close

LSU is 4-0! Patrick Peterson is arguably the best player in college football! LSU's defense has no equal! Stevan Ridley is averaging more than 100 yards rushing a game! Alfred Blue is a solid running back and LSU has potentially two of the best running backs in the country (Michael Ford and Spencer Ware) sitting on the bench waiting to get a chance to get some regular carries. All of LSU's special teams are playing great football.  LSU is close to being the most dominate team in college football today - very, very close.

The one thing LSU is missing is a passing game. After watching LSU's passing game go from bad to worse over the last three games the obvious conclusion is that LSU needs to try something different. Jordan Jefferson has been taking almost all of the blame for the lack of a passing game and hey, he is the quarterback so he certainly deserves blame. I have noticed, especially in the last two games, that receivers have failed to catch balls that have hit them in the hands. I can recall four passes that had the potential to at least get the passing game over the 100 yard mark in each of the last two games. On LSU's opening drive of the West Virginia game a ball hit Toliver in the hands, went through his hands and was intercepted. I have heard criticism of Jefferson and the receivers and even of Les Miles and Gary Crowton's poor play calling. What I have not heard mention of since preseason is the name "Billy Gonzales". Didn't LSU "steal" some hot shot "Passing Game Coordinator" from Florida at the end of last season to really ramp up our passing game? Jefferson is doing some things better than he did last year. For one, he is not taking as many sacks. LSU has a plethora of receiving targets: three stars - Toliver, Randle, and Shepard; two tight ends - Deangelo Peterson and Mitch Joseph; two solid true freshmen - Kadron Boone and James Wright; and a whole squad of running backs that can catch a pass. So why does LSU's starting quarterback have only 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions after four games? Why has LSU's passing game netted only more than 100 yards once in 4 games? Why is LSU's passing offense last in the SEC and 115th out of all college football programs this year? More importantly, what can be done to turn the passing game around while not losing a step in the areas that LSU is dominate?

Billy Gonzales, it is time to prove that you are worthy of the title "Passing Game Coordinator." Coach Miles, I would love to have a guy as loyal as you as a coach or even as a friend. So why are you not doing what is best for Jefferson and the LSU football team? Letting Jefferson flounder is cruel. It is giving him just enough rope to hang himself.  Benching him may not be a great solution either. Confidence does play a role in performance. According to all reports, Jefferson has learned very well how to succeed in practice and scrimmages but he is having trouble translating that success to on the field success. Instead of benching him for playing horribly, maybe the coaching staff could plan on utilizing Jarrett Lee in a couple of series designed to allow Jefferson to take a breather. And don't just give Jefferson a breather - give Jefferson some pointers while he is on the sidelines. Let him know which receivers that you (coaches) are seeing open that he may not have seen in the heat of battle. I do not know how Jefferson handles going through his progressions in practice but, I can tell you that he tends to stare down his primary target in games.

I was disappointed to hear Les Miles pretty much come out and say that Jarrett Lee is not ready to start and I am still surprised that Russell Shepard never seemed to gain enough of a vote of confidence to throw a single pass in his career at LSU. Maybe we could occasionally put Spencer Ware or Shepard in the wildcat formation and maybe let one of the two throw a pass just once.

I still have a great deal of respect for Les Miles. Miles makes mistakes like any other human being but he is a great coach. LSU is 4-0 and Miles is still LSU's all time leader in winning percentage. Miles may not come across as a genius but make all the excuses you want to, the numbers don't lie. I saw a quote today by Miles in an article by Brian Lazare on Yahoo/Rivals/ regarding replacing Jefferson that you must see to believe:

"We have to use the strengths of the player when he's on the field," Miles said. "You don't make a change just because the other guy is playing poorly."

As much respect as I have for Miles, I have to ask the question: If you don't change players when a guy is playing poorly - because he is playing poorly, when do you make a change?

I hope what Miles means is that like John Chavis has successfully done with LSU's defense, when you have a whole team of playmakers, you find a way to get as many in the game as possible.  Miles is making it sound like Jefferson is the only LSU player that can actually play quarterback.  That is as silly as suggesting that Michael Ford and Spencer Ware, LSU's equivalent of Marcus Lattimore and Trent Richardson, are not quite ready to get regular carries in a real football game.  Wait a minute! That seems to be another thing that makes no sense in LSU's offensive scheme.  Honestly, sometimes I don't write when I have nothing optimistic to say.  At least I can say with all honesty that LSU is very, very close to having a completely dominant team.  Let's hope that someone whose pay grade is above mine can figure out how to get the ball in the hands of some dynamite receivers.  The talent that has been gathered on the offensive side of the ball deserves to join the defense in enjoying a season marked by LSU playing dominating football.  Figure out how to get the passing game in step with every other aspect of LSU football, and no team will have a chance against the Bayou Bengals.


Denny said...

I believe Lee needs to be ready to go against Florida and will see some meaningful playing time against Tennessee. Coach Miles should alternate him into a few series of the first half.

Anonymous said...

Sorry BobI see that you think that Les Miles is indeed a good college football coach..Words can not help the LSU football team now...A SEC fast moving train is coming around the tracks,and this LSU team, with a bad offense- just might start losing..Not because of a lack of football talent,but because your favorite football coach has bad judgment.
Wasting talent,hard work,and time,because the LSU head football coach is not a good coach at all.
I do not think Les Miles can coach.

Texas Tiger said...

Hold the Les Miles rants guys. We don't know what is going on behind the scenes with the offensive coaching staff. All you "arm chair coaches" tickle me. You all know more than the head coach how to correct the offense's problems. If you know so much, why aren't you on the staff? Let's face it, we fans are amateurs. OK, the offense is struggling, but is Jarrett Lee the answer? I don't think so. Remember last year, all we heard was how good Lee was practicing. Then he got his chance against La. Tech and looked terrible! Also, JJ was handicapped by offensive penalties and dropped passes that could have easily been caught. This offensive ship must be righted, and soon. But benching JJ isn't the answer. Crisp, good play on offense is.

Anonymous said...

What we want to read, and hear,or what we saw happen, down on the LSU football field!
What do you really think is going to happen when...The SEC teams- Auburn,Florida,Alabama,start playing?
Bad QB play, is no improvement on offense at all, from last year team..What coaching?
What are you talking about Bob?

Anonymous said...

With out Patrick Peterson...LSU and head coach Les Miles, is under water!!!
Holy cow.

Anonymous said...

What are the Miles bashers going to do when this team is 14-0?

They bridge police better put up jump barriers on the CCC!

And yes it could happen, because the D keeps getting better and the offense only has one small problem. They don't need Dan Marino. They just need a solid 55% passer who can make the handoffs and not thrown INTs.

Anyhow, LSU is undefeated and this team will be in every game!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Coach Miles is did his best to get a good QB this year, but the LA Dodgers totally screwed us.

Isn't there a walk on QB from UHigh?

Anonymous said...

The LSU QB has not improved so far,in the football game LSU just played...Why would the LSU QB improve, in the next football games LSU is about to play?
The LSU fans have been waiting to see Jefferson improve for the past 3 years..So far,not to much!
How is this LSU football team, going to win- if the LSU offense does not score enough points?

Anonymous said...

LSU is in trouble fans...Coach Miles has known this all summer,LSU does not have a polish QB.
Miles think in his heart, that Jefferson is his best chance..He does not think, that Lee will get the job done.
So Miles has been talking in careful jibber,jabber,seeing if he can keep winning, and buying time.
Now the SEC teams are coming to town,and the rubber is going to meat the road...If LSU start losing..Miles is the first man, that will be beat on..And if LSU loses to many,just might get fired.
If LSU keeps winning,Miles will be a hero..Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

I think that the men who are running the school, is just very stupid..7 year extension,at $3.75 million dollars,a year..4 more years to go!
Lazy men,who do not want to rock the LSU boat.

Anonymous said...

It is going to be carnage in tiger stadium Saturday.Tennessee has very little to stop LSU with.
The tigers will look just great.

Anonymous said...

The Hurricane had just about destroyer South Louisiana,and Mississippi...Les Miles very first football game, coaching LSU, was against Tennessee.
Half time score LSU-21 vs Tennessee-0...The TV reporter ask Les Miles how is this LSU football team playing coach,"Sloppy",answered coach Les Miles...I though how out of touch,
this new coach sounded!
Bad answer.
It has just been down hill after that.

Anonymous said...

12 comments on this story,how many comments will you see, if LSU starts losing?
A lot of people do not like losing,Americans like winners.

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