LSU Co-Defensive Coordinator Doug Mallory via www.tigerrag.com
The past two National Championship teams have won with a two quarterback system, Florida in '06 (Leak and Tebow) and LSU in '07 (Flynn and Perrilloux). This was possible due to the luxury of the talent that Tebow and Perrilloux both brought to the field. This years LSU team has run the two quarterback system more because it was a necessity. The quaterback situation this year stems back to the self implosion that was Perrilloux. He was supposed to be the Quarterback for the next two years, Hatch was never intended to be a starter, and Lee was not supposed to be relied on heavily until his junior season (if at all with Jordan Jefferson redshirting this year and Russell Shepard coming in for Spring Training). Today in Mark Schlabach's "On the Mark" post on ESPN.com, he highlighted the most improved teams and the teams that were fading. He argued that LSU is one of the teams that are slipping and one of his reasons is that
LSU's two-quarterback system has failed so far.
I argue that it has not failed, but simply lacks talent and experience. Do you really think LSU would be in any better shape if Jarrett Lee or Andrew Hatch had the sole rights to the position? I do not. Hatch has not been a passing threat, teams know this, teams know the option is going to be run when he comes in. Lee on the other hand has an arm, but is prone to freshman mistakes. Experience will come with time, and I do look for our offense (read: QB) to play more mistake free football next season. Will LSU’s offense be positioned to make another run for the National Championship? I doubt it, but with Russell Shepard enrolling in the spring, I would not put it past them, as long as the Oline can reload LSU will be explosive. The Defense is another story.
I predicted that LSU would go 8-4 during the regular season back in May, with the dismissal of a one Ryan Perrilloux. It seems that my prediction is coming into fruition now that an 8-4 record is looming with Alabama coming up on the schedule and Ole Miss looking better with Nutt at the helm. I believed this solely on the lack of talent and experience at the most important poistion on the field. I did not believe, however, that LSU’s defense was going to be as horrendous as it has been. The MSU game truly was a sign of things to come. My belief (as was many others) was that even though the secondary had little experience, their talent paired with the tenacity of the D Line would pull it all together. The D Line however has shown itself to be nothing more than a paper tiger, the confusion in the secondary is frightening, and our LB play has been decent at best. The question now is, what happened to LSU’s highly touted D? Did it move to Nebraska with Pelini? Does it lose itself somewhere in the airwaves between the headsets of the new Co-Defensive Coordinators, Doug Mallory and Bradley Dale Peveto? Is there a power struggle between the two? Does the sole defensive hire of 2008, Joe Robinson as D Line asst. coach, have anything to do with any of this? I don’t know, but I hope Les Miles fixes it before spring practice begins. The defense is hemorrhaging and they haven’t found a band aid that fits it yet.