For whatever reason, this August has seemed so much longer than previous ones. Maybe it's just my anticipation of wanting to see if LSU can duplicate its success over the past few years. Maybe it's just that my fantasy baseball team is horrible so my lone sports activity of the summer has been a lost cause for so long. Either way, I'm excited to don my LSU jersey and watch some football. There's a number of things I'll be interested to see from Saturday.
1) Duh, the quarterbacks. Who's going to be the quarterback and how will the snaps be divied up. I think Andrew Hatch will start and Jarret Lee will play a lot. I don't plan on seeing Jordan Jefferson unless the game is wrapped up in the fourth quarter.
But I think at the very least we'll get a feel for what's going to happen next week against a solid Troy team. I hate the fact that even after Saturday we could be no closer to having a clear-cut starter than we are today. It reminds me of 1998 when Gerry DiNardo couldn't choose between Craig Nall, Josh Booty and Rohan Davey.
So, when they both play, hopefully one will clearly grab the bull by the horns.
2) The secondary. Obviously, the loss of three starters in your back four is troublesome, especially when you're throwing two new corners out there. Don't get me wrong, I think Jai Eugene, Patrick Peterson and Chad Jones have the talent to every bit as good as the Corey Websters and LaRon Landry's that have come through the past few years.
I'm interested to see how safe the defensive coordinators play in terms of not leaving their corners on islands. Will we be able to blitz from an array of positions, or will we have to drop back more to make up for lack of experience. As a side, will the front four be able to get consistent pressure without help from a blitz?
3) Ricky Jean-Francois and Charles Alexander. Both missed a majority of the 2007 season, but are arguably the best tackle tandem in the country. How much chaos can they create and how many lanes can they fill to keep Armanti Edwards in check.
4) The running backs. I think it's pretty safe to say that four different guys will get touches most of the season. Keiland Williams, Richard Murphy, Charles Scott and Trindon Holliday are all too talented to be sitting. But how will Gary Crowton use them and who will be the go-to-guy when it's 3rd and 2.
I've long been a believer in Williams and think he's an incredible talent. I'd also love to see how we can get Holliday 10 touches a game, because you just know on one of them nobody will be able to catch him.
5) Appalachian State's spread offense. Obviously, the Mountaineers have the chops to take it to the big boys on offense. I'm looking to see how our defense responds and fills their responsibilities. This is a preview of what we'll see from Auburn and Florida.
Hopefully, LSU will be able to keep Edwards in check and, most importantly, not let a receiver break free for a big play. That's what doomed Michigan a year ago.