On Thursday last week, I wrote about five things I was looking for in Saturday's game.. Unfortunately, due to the time and channel change, I was unable to watch the whole game (we don't have ESPN Classic where I work), so this will be incomplete. Hopefully that will be a one-time occurence this season. Take this for what it's worth.
1) The quarterbacks. Well, Les Miles and Gary Crowton played this one about as down the middle as one could. It's frustrating really because neither quarterback stepped up. The bit I saw of each was very average. Clearly, Hatch provided more options with his running ability, but outside of that, he's the Chad Pennington of the LSU quarterback race. Lee looked lost, like a freshman should, in his first game. He clearly has more upside, but defenses from Troy and Auburn will be much more opportunistic in the coming weeks. I didn't think Jordan Jefferson would play unless it was a blowout. It was a blowout, but Jefferson still didn't see the field, likely because Hatch and Lee were so average.
I imagine Saturday against Troy will look a lot like this past Saturday with each quarterback splitting the snaps. If Jefferson doesn't play again, I would be shocked. If he's as talented and performed as well as some have reported, you'd think there would at least be a "Tebow Package" for him. If he doesn't play Saturday, my guess is he won't this year barring some catastrophy.
Either way, the addage, "if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks" appears to be true right now. Luckily, Auburn appears to have the same issue so we may be able to win that one without a quarterback.
2) The secondary. Jai Eugene, Harry Coleman and Chad Jones all started for the first time on Saturday. Patrick Peterson also saw action. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch the defense as much as I would have liked so I didn't really get a grasp on how they performed and whether the corners were left on islands much.
That said, the numbers are encouraging. Appalachian State quarterbacks went 14-for-33 with only 187 yards passing. However, the defense wasn't able to turn it over at all, which is troubling. And then there was the busted coverage for a touchdown. You can't do that against the big boys.
3) Ricky Jean-Francois and Charles Alexander. Alexander didn't play and Francois wasn't credited for a single tackle. I doubt that will be the case in any other game this season.
4) The running backs. This was the most interesting outcome of the day. Charles Scott is clearly the guy for Les Miles. He only had 16 carries, but I don't remember anyone else having one before he had his 16. Keiland Williams might have had one or two, but it was obvious Scott was the No. 1 back. He showed why with 160 yards. Williams did nothing in the game to challenge that status and neither did Richard Murphy. I believe all three could be the starter and LSU would be fine, but for now it appears Scott owns the position.
I'm a little surprised that Trindon Holliday didn't get a few more touches. One rush and some kick returns won't cut it when you have a guy with Olympic-type speed.
5) Appalachian State's spread offense. If this is how LSU will defend the spread this year, the Tigers will be just fine. Unfortunately, other teams have a little more talent than the Mountaineers did. Either way, this was a great preview for some looks other squads might throw at the Tigers. I'd say the defense passed with flying colors.