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March 26, 2011

Tigers' Football Scrimmage Today May Point to Some Interesting Developments

After watching Les Miles post scrimmage interview a few times I have only two potential problems that may give Tiger fans cause for concern and several possibilities that will have many Tiger fans even more eager for the season opener against the Oregon Ducks.  You must realize that at this point in time that anything you read about the LSU football team is either based on speculation, or last year's stats, or what LSU Sports Information releases.  The media was not invited to Saturday's scrimmage and the link above to Les Miles post scrimmage interview is to's video because cut the video much shorter.  Miles likes to keep information about his team carefully controlled and I think that decision is a very sound decision that show how determined coach Miles is to keeping ever single competitive advantage.  Still, I am one of those fans that can never read too much about Tiger football and so the following are my thoughts about what coach Miles did and didn't say in his interview this afternoon.

First, the let's get the potential problems out there.  Miles just happened to mention that incoming freshman, all star running back Kenny Hilliard missed today's 110 play scrimmage for "personal reasons".  My hopes are that everything is OK with Hilliard but, you have to wonder what personal issues would keep Hilliard from showing up to a scrimmage.  I don't see any fire yet, but, it looks like smoke to me.  Second possible cause for concern is what Miles did and did not say about sophomore running back Mike Ford.  I am beginning to wonder if maybe Ford doesn't bring the intensity to practice and scrimmages that is expected or if something else is going on.  Realize I am just making wild guesses but, Miles seemed higher on Jakhari Gore, Spencer Ware and Alfred Blue.  When Ford has gotten into games he seems to produce some highlight worthy runs but, for some reason, he is not making a solid impression in non-game situations.  Good news for Tiger fans is that LSU has several very good running backs.

In fact, Miles singled out Jakhari Gore as a man trying to prove that he belongs on the field at running back.  When asked about whether Gore was a receiver or a running back (Gore is currently listed as a "WR" on LSU's official roster), Miles answered that Gore is definitely a running back and not a running back/wide receiver but a "running back that would carry the ball".

Today's 110 play scrimmage focused on playing within 40-yards of the goal line.  If LSU decides to pass that close to the goal line,  you would expect tight end Deangelo Peterson to be the main target/star.  If today's scrimmage is any indication of the future, Tiger fans can now look for 6'2" 197lbs. wide receiver James Wright to be a "go to guy".  Wright caught 3 touchdowns in today's scrimmage, one from each quarterback.  Wide Receiver Jarrett Fobbs also hauled in a touchdown from Zach Mettenberger.  Quarterback play was reportedly solid.  Jordan Jefferson ran for a touchdown on the first play of the scrimmage and later threw a touchdown pass to Wright.  Jarrett Lee threw consistently well and also threw a touchdown pass to Wright.  And Zach Mettenberger threw two touchdown passes - one to Wright and one to Fobbs.  As with running backs, the good news for Tiger fans is that up until today's scrimmage most folks that follow the Tigers closely would have guessed that after Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard, Chris Tolliver or possibly Kadron Boone would be the most likely third wide receiver.  Wright and Fobbs prove that LSU is packed with a solid wide receiving corp.  Now let's hope that LSU can throw for more than 10 touchdowns with fewer interceptions in 2011.  Great talent is a terrible thing to waste.

While there was good news on the offensive side of the ball, there was even better news from Miles' analysis of the defensive play today.  The official LSU sports information article is titled "Defense 'Wins the Day' in Football Scrimmage."  It appears that incoming freshman defensive tackle Anthony Johnson is going to see a lot of playing time this year.  Johnson had an outstanding scrimmage that included two solo tackles.  Both Tyrann Mathieu and Sam Gibson had interceptions.  Ryan Baker recorded a sack and Ron Brooks recorded a tackle for a loss.  And it sounds like Craig Loston is beginning to play up to his 5-star billing.  I have also read that defensive end KeKe Mingo had a good scrimmage.

Another item of good news for Tiger fans is that it sounds like things are solidifying at middle linebacker with Kevin Minter starting to emerge as number one with Lamin Barrow and Karnell Hatcher as able and ready backups.  From all that I have read I have a notion that Minter is real student of the game and should be able to develop into a player that might fill Kelvin Shepard's shoes as a defensive field general.  All three players bring strength, speed, toughness, and determination to the line backing corp and that ought to shore up any perceived weaknesses at that position.  To add to those thought, remember defensive coordinator John Chavis is the linebackers position coach and Chavis accepts nothing but the best out of his linebackers.

The final good note is that Miles has consistently praised this year's team (more than past teams) for their work ethic.  Almost every time that Miles steps up to the podium to talk about the progress of this year's team, he gets a gleam in his eye, a smile on his face and says how impressed he is with this team's determination and hard work.  Miles' has discussed how individual players could improve.  Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and offensive tackle Chris Faulk both need to get their hips low and remain lower to gain leverage and more control against their opponents but Miles is quick to point out that this would just improve their games and both young players are already ready to play.  And from what I can gather at this early stage, this LSU Tiger football team will be a team that makes Tiger fans proud.


Anonymous said...

The Oregon Ducks football team is the new college football power that is coming out of the far West..Taking the mantle over from the fallen "USC".
The Oregon Duck are telling everyone far & wide that they are the new bully on the block...And that the SEC LSU tigers are just going to learn the hard way about the Oregon Ducks football powers- first hand ..This coming the Dallas Cowboy Big stage football stadium.

The Oregon Ducks,West Virginia,Florida Gators,Tenn Vols,Auburn War Eagles,Alabama Crimson Tide,Arkansas Razor Backs...Is a very real and hard steep hill, for the LSU fighting tigers football team to clime..The SEC Championship is a distant (bridge to far) looking out over the LSU 2011 schedule.
The Oregon Ducks is only the very first bully that LSU must play this coming football season...The LSU football team this year is the accumulated best of what they have to offer, going into this 2011 fight.
Talk is cheap,bragging is cheaper...The college football team in front of LSU this season, reads more like the beginning to a very violent cruel battle, between good football team...How in good judgment can any LSU football fan think that this LSU football team playing this hard schedule, should go on to win the SEC title.Words like should,can,will,vanish into thin air when men run into each other.
These LSU young football players are very talented...The fight in front of them is going the be violent and painful...Only the bravery,determination an passion to win, can drive these young men to train their strength within their body's,to keep trying to win.
When we speak of man "spirit"..Just what do we appraiser what we are talking about...Violent college football game hurt people...Almost every other college football game this year will be a 50-50- war that this LSU football team will fight in, to win or lose...They are training very hard to get their body's into game playing shape...But as impotent as that might be..An no one can win a football game with out good muscle power/speed..But more, it will be their "spirit" that will impress me the most...Their bravery,determination,and their fight..That will bring me to my feet to scout, an cheer..To become gratefuller thankful and prideful of our team..."The LSU fighting tigers"

Bobby said...

Why is your comment longer than the original article. Blow your hot air somewhere where someone might care ... like the PAC (Pathetic Athletic Conference).

Rob said...

Nothing beats the spirit of the Tigers!

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