Behind the Numbers: LSU v Tulane

 

We beat Tulane.  Big whoop.  I'm doing the Behind the Numbers early just to get it over with.  Honestly, trying to glean meaning from a win over Tulane is a fool's errand.  Do not read too much into anything that happened. 

267.  LSU's rushing yards.  The running game has been, at times, downright brutal this season.  Getting 267 yards against anyone is a feat for this team.  Charles Scott rushed for 112 yards, his first 100 yard game of the season.  I'm happy for Scott, but let's not call it a breakout game until he does it against a defense with a pulse.

2.  Keiland Williams' total touches.  He didn't catch a ball and he had all of two carriers.  Meanwhile, Stevan Ridley looked great in his 8 garbage time carries and Russell Shepard looked explosive in his five carriers.  Shep seems to have taken over the "shifty back" role in the offense, relegating Williams to a few change of pace carries and waving his towel on the sideline.  I feel really bad for the kid, who came in as a five star recruit with all of the hype in the world.  His LSU career is not what he, or anyone, imagined for him.  He's been a good player and, to his credit, he's never publicly complained about his role, but it is probably time to admit he is a bust.  Russell Shepard's expanded role will probably come at Keiland Williams' expense. 

50.  Trindon Holliday had not one, but two 50 yard punt returns.  Man, he is an explosive player.  He never quite has been a star, but he always has these flashes of brilliance. 

2-51.  In case you didn't notice, Drew Alleman got the start as the punter.  He punted twice in the first half, and shanked them both.  Josh Jasper, our do everything special teams guy, came out in the third and punted it 41 yards.  I'd rather Alleman shank it against Tulane because it's likely he won't get the chance to do it against Bama.  With Derek Helton out, Jasper is now going to have to take every kick.  No pressure.

1.  LSU's three and outs.  In every game, the offense has gone into the tank for an extended period.  That didn't happen against Tulane, which was another positive sign.  The only three and out was actually the first possession.  LSU probably won't go 7/10 on third downs against the Tide, but it was nice to see the offense stay on the field.

38.  Tackles by LSU's top linebackers: Kelvin Sheppard (13), Perry Riley (8), Jacob Cutrera (6), Ryan Baker (6), and Harry Coleman (5).  The five linebackers also combined for 5 TFL's.  It's been a long time since our linebackers were the most productive unit on defense.  That is a positive sign going into Alabama.  Our linebackers must make tackles.     

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