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June 9, 2011

An Interview with Paul Hoffman: LSU Tiger Fan Living in Oregon

I have contacted a couple of LSU alumni living in PAC 12 territory to get their take on the LSU/Oregon season opener.  The first West Coast Bayou Bengal to respond to the call is Paul Hoffman, the Chapter President of the Rose City Tiger Alumni Association.  For Tiger fans unfamiliar with "Rose City", I looked it up and evidently, it is another name for Portland, Oregon.  

Paul last resided in Baton Rouge in 2002 and obviously LSU football is not well covered in Portland so Paul let me know very early in the interview that he is a bit rusty on how specific players are shaping up for the 2011 season.  I have edited out some of Mr. Hoffman's comments about not being as up on the Tigers as he was when he lived in Baton Rouge.  I think that is a reasonable/understandable disposition.  My interview with Mr. Hoffman may or may not yield player specific insider information about this year's LSU Tigers but, it speaks volumes about honest perceptions held by many residing in PAC 12 territory about what they expect of the Tigers and Ducks.  Here is the interview with Paul Hoffman:  LSU Tiger Fan Living in Oregon.

Bob:  What is the answer to LSU's QB woes? Should coach Kragthorpe concentrate on developing Jefferson or try to develop one of the backups?
Paul:  After Jordan Jefferson's performance in the Cotton Bowl (3 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD), it's his job to lose. I think the other QBs deserve a shot and should be evaluated and developed, but Jordan Jefferson needs to know that he's a senior coming off an impressive bowl victory and therefore it's his job to lose. If he plays like he did in the Cotton Bowl and keeps the offense moving in the right direction, he has nothing to worry about. Big if, I know...

Bob:  Which player will have a surprise breakout season on offense this year?
Paul:   I'm sure most Tiger fans hope our QB has a surprise breakout season and I'd bet most of them would have their money on Zach Mettenberger, not Jordan Jefferson!

Bob:  What will be LSU's biggest strength on defense - the line or the defensive backs?
Paul:  My gut tells me the line as they have traditionally been stronger under Miles. But if you look LSU players currently on NFL rosters, there are 12 defensive linemen, 11 defensive back and 6 linebackers. That's pretty balanced. Says nothing about the prospects for the 2011 season but it does show LSU historically produces a well rounded defense. 

Bob:  What are your expectations for the Oregon Game?
Paul:  Honestly, I'm scared. The Ducks, despite losing, looked pretty damn good against Auburn. I was really surprised the Ducks' defense played as well as they did. They will definitely be one of the toughest opening games in LSU's storied history. I'm excited that the game has already sold out and set a record for away game ticket sales. As president of the LSU alumni chapter in Portland, I'm really excited as this will probably be our biggest viewing party for a game since the BCS Title Game against Ohio State. As an Oregon resident, I also remember two other games against Pac NW opponents that LSU won but not very convincingly: Oregon State in 2004 and Washington in 2009. As I recall, the Beavers should have beaten LSU but we put a voodoo hex on their kicker. That kicker was in his first game as a freshman and later went on to set school records for PATs made (he missed 3 against LSU). Since I have to live with Duck fans 24/7 (and they are a TAD obnoxious), I really hope we beat them soundly. But I wouldn't bet one red cent on this game and I fear we may need another voodoo hex to get a victory over a very talented and crafty Ducks team. It's a tossup at best -- maybe a slight edge to LSU as it's in Dallas and we'll have massive fan support.

Bob: What do you expect the Tigers overall record to be this year?
Paul:  I'd say 8 or 9 wins. The QB situation more than anything (as usual) will be a huge factor. As a result, LSU will have to have success on the ground to relieve the pressure on the QB. We were much more successful at running in 2010 than we were in 2009. If we continue to have success running (and hopefully improve upon it), 8 or 9 wins should be very achievable – the minimum we expect every year these days. My expectations aren’t too high as I see 2011 as a transition year at QB because we're all hoping that Mettenberger pans out in 2012 and takes us back to the BCS promised land. From 2012 forward, I think Les will run out of excuses at the QB position and the fans will really start to lose patience (as if they haven’t already) if the Ole War Skule doesn’t reload our arsenal with more solid QB prospects like Mettenberger.

Geaux Tigers,
Paul Hoffman
Chapter President, Rose City Tigers LSU Alumni

Thanks, Paul for your thoughts on the Tigers and on the upcoming LSU/Oregon game!

Paul's answer to the question concerning the Oregon/LSU game.  A quick look on yielded that as of the 2008 season LSU was 12-3 versus the PAC 10/12.  Add to that the 2009 victory over Washington and the Tigers are 13-3 versus the PAC 10/12.  The Tigers are 2-1 versus the Ducks.

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LA Tigre said...

8 or 9 wins - I sure hope not. Should be more like 10 or more wins.
Paul, come to Cowboys stadium and we will stand with you against those obnoxious Duck fans.
Geaux Tigers!!!

Anonymous said...

Good interview Bob and Paul! Note: Come September 4th you will need to update that LSU vs PAC 12 to 14-3. They must have beat the Tigers those three times back in the dark ages.

Tiger in Tennessee said...

Shout out to the Tiger in the great Northwest! Hang in there brother, the Tigers are going to shut the mouths of those Duck fans. Paul is a smart guy and he may be right about the Tigers being even better next year. He also has good points about those close wins. Ok so the Tigers may win another close one. It's still going to be a W

QuackAttack45 said...

You LSU people are clueless. See you in Cowboys stadium to watch the Ducks destroy the kittys.

Eric said...

QuackAttack45, thank you for proving Paul's point about obnoxious Duck fans. Duck fan is the worst part of living in Portland.

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