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September 20, 2010

The Rest of the Miss. State - LSU game: What did we learn?

I watched the replay of the Mississippi State/LSU game on Cox Sports TV and I have to say that the second half was similar to the first half with a few exceptions.  LSU's defense gave up the first touchdown of the game.  The LSU D did not give up a big play in the 3rd quarter but they gave up a score.  

Last week I commented that one of the only things missing from LSU's defense was an interception and it seems like the defense really responded to that one.  What the heck, this week's assignment is for the defense to pitch a shutout.  LSU has only allowed two scores, a field goal and a touchdown, in the last two games.  Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are two SEC teams that have proven they can score and both teams had a lot of trouble scoring against a truly remarkable LSU defense.  West Virginia can score lots of points quickly.  It's time for the Tiger D to pitch a shutout!

LSU's offense is still not ready for prime time.  Jordan Jefferson still did not crack the 100-yards passing mark.  For the Tiger offense to be where they need/want to be, Jefferson needs to aiming for the 200-yards passing per game mark.  LSU has the receivers to make that mark.  So Jefferson is a work in progress but the good news is that Jefferson is improving.  I received an email, from a reader named Louis, that I believe correctly pointed out when Jefferson's first receiving choice does not come open, he runs.  While that seemed to be true in the Miss. State game, it is a marked improvement over last year.  Last year Jefferson would wait too long to throw or run and take a sack.  I do not think LSU gave up a single sack in the Miss. State game and Jefferson ran out of at least two potential sacks and made positive yards.  Jefferson still is not able to effectively run the option but there were two passes that hit Russell Shepard's hands that would have given Jefferson at least 125-yards passing and a passing touchdown. 

I still think that Jarrett Lee should be given at least an early third quarter series and a fourth quarter series because my reader friend Louis is absolutely right in another point that he made in that email:  that if Jefferson continues to run like he did against Miss. State, he may need a backup that is ready.

Alfred Blue did a great job up to the fumble.  Blue is proving to be a solid running back and hopefully will get a chance to redeem himself but for heaven's sake why in the world are Mike Ford and Spencer Ware not getting touches?  I think Crowton and maybe even Miles need to sit down with Chavis and learn his philosophy on how to work talented freshmen into the offensive mix.  Tyrann Mathieu is a freshman beast! and Sam Montgomery and KeKe Mingo are redshirt freshmen beast!  Spencer Ware could be the offensive equivalent of Mathieu and didn't redshirt freshman Ford prove anything in the Spring game?  Ridley and Blue are solid running backs but how bad could it be to put two more sets of fresh legs in the game by inserting Ware and Ford?

The defense has solved the puzzle.  If the offense solves their half, then lookout Alabama!  LSU has the talent.  Do their coaches have the sense and guts to do what the Big Cheif John Chavis has done for the Tiger defense? Let's hope that Miles and Crowton have the vision to do what is best for LSU.

Five interceptions!!!  Averaging 4 sacks a game!!!   Plus side of take aways/give aways!!!  A top scoring defense!!!  A shutdown run defense!!!  - The defense needs to pitch a shutout!

Kicker Josh Jasper is awesome! Five field goals and the 51-yarder would have been good from five more yards!

When the defense runs an interception to the 10-yard line, the offense has to come away with more than a field goal.  Come on offense take charge or get out of the way and let some of the guys on the bench show you how to do it!   


Anonymous said...

Hay,I liked your column, it is very true...Not much to add,but to also reminds people, that how a man plays the cards, he is dealt, matters a great deal.

Anonymous said...

Russell Sheppard said to follow "Drake"..I think we should,because I am, a Russell Sheppard voter.

Texas Tiger said...

Your column says it very well. The defense is fantastic! I just love an aggressive, fast defense. Special team kick coverage is very good, and what more can you say about Josh! JJ showed improvement last Saturday, but as you said, he needs to get those passing yards up to around 200. If we can do that, with the running game we have, look out 'Bama!

One thing really bothers me. I just don't understand why Michael Ford and Spencer Ware aren't getting reps on offense.

TIM said...

Bob, it's hard to put a finger on what Jefferson is doing wrong. I think it's a good point that he runs if his first receiver is covered. One thing I see is that the offense seems to lack a good rhythm when he's on the field. It seems like the game is still too fast for him and his decision- making ability. In his defense, he's still a young QB, but after starting last year, I'd expect him to be better now. Well, we'll see.... it doesn't look like Miles is going to give Lee any meaningful series.

Anonymous said...

Well tiger fan, we are all in this deal together,and we seem to be seeing the same thing..Jefferson still has a unpolished look,but I did see some improvement..I am glad Lee is still in the wings, in-case we need him..I would play Lee more, but we will see. The rest of this team, is really looking great,how do you like this tiger defense?
Wow,and look at how many good players we have, they just seem to keep coming of the bench and playing good..I was very impressed.
If Jefferson, could play polish,this LSU tiger football team would become a very dangerous team indeed!

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