Urban Meyer, fearing the hat.(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
6 & Mother Fuckin' 0. Drink it up Tiger fans. It's a great, great feeling. If you find yourself amongst the grumbling few tonight, you are a lonely, miserable wretch who probably pleasures oneself to videos of puppies being thrown into a river. Seriously... GET. THE FUCK. OVER. YOURSELF. I don't care if Florida is 0-5 when we play them. Going into the Swamp and
stealing victory smacking that ass around all night, is a great win.
Look, the only place LSU didn't dominate this game was the scoreboard. They outplayed us on special teams, you say? Take out Debose's 88-yard scamper they had 66 return yards on five kickoff returns.... we had 138 yards on five kickoff returns. Even considering his 88-yarder, we still outgained them by two yards... return. We owned T.O.P. Total Yards. Passing Yards. Rushing Yards. Yards Per Carry. Yards Per Attempt. Field Goals. Red Zone Scoring (100%). Sacks. Oh yeah.. and points. We scored more points.
Seriously though, is Les Miles the Mickey O'Neil of SEC football. Honestly. You can't understand a word he says. His entire existence seems to lend itself to comedy. Yet, it turns out, Les Miles is a gypsy bare-knuckled boxing champion.Cause at any given moment, he could knock you the fuck out.
I don't think you could meet an LSU fan tonight that wouldn't acknowledge that this game "COULDA, SHOULDA, WOULDA" been a blowout. We gift-wrapped 14 points. Florida scored 14 points on 33 yards. And while I typically caution against rationalizing, they didn't exactly make great plays to get themselves there. JJ threw a god-awful interception returned inside the red zone. Peterson made a god-awful fumble that gave them the ball in the red zone. If one of those two boneheaded plays doesn't happen, LSU likely wins this one with ease.
But this gets back to a recurring theme I've seen in EVERY game thus far. We beat ourselves. A lot. It's easy to point fingers at Les or Gary or Chavis, whatever. But I challenge you to go back and re-watch every game and tell me how it's not on the players. I mean that sincerely. And if it's not one thing, it's another. QB throws a huge INT. Stud punt returner suddenly can't field a punt. A useless holding. A mindless false start. A silly fumble that we recover... but lose 12 yards on. We drop an easy 3rd down conversion. A player fumbles while extending the ball out to get an extra yard... at midfield. In a moment these things seem typical... just plays that happen in the course of a football game. But when you see them recur for three... four... five... six weeks, it begins to set in that some guys aren't playing up to their lofty potential. AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH COACHING.
I see people say, "if we play Lee, we win this one easy." NO. If we cut out stupid mistakes, we win this one easy. We waxed Florida tonight. Make no bones about it. We marched into Gainesville and completely outclassed them... better gameplan, more prepared, better athletes... we bested them in every phase. Until their semi-miraculous 80-yard drive, they had 163 yards of offense. Jordan Jefferson accounted for 142 yards... on his own. I know you can't just throw out the 80-yard drive (I still think the 51-yard pass was aided by a holding on Mingo), but it proved to be more of anomaly than a pattern. It just so happened to come at the worst possible time for LSU.
Look, we got out of this game what we wanted (besides a win). A heavy dose of Ridley (28 carries). QBs being put in manageable situations. WRs making plays. Defense making turnovers. Consistent QB pressure. Sound open field tackling. In everything but the score board, LSU looked like a National Championship caliber team.
If LSU can find a way to eliminate the silly mistakes, this team can be scary good. Just consider what we would look like right now had we not done stupid things in the first six weeks of the season. We had two three and outs all night. Our next shortest drive was five plays, and even that was the result of us killing a drive purposefully to take a FG attempt before the half (and resulted in points).
We've been saying it for a couple weeks here, but I want to re-emphasize it now. Embrace the madness. This team THRIVES off the criticism. The players are taking each and every media slight, dig at their coach, insult, laugh, mock, prod... and saying... "Oh yeah? Well fuck you." The only thing more dangerous than a good team, is an inspired one. And right now, LSU is one inspired bunch.
-We needed this win. I can't think of any one that felt sweeter in the past 10 years, and yes I include the National Championships. With a fanbase divided over the head coach, question marks surrounding our offense and the legitimacy of our team, we needed a victory tonight to prove something both to the national media (eh, fuck them, I don't care what they think) and mostly, to our own fans.
-LSU has only started 4-0 in SEC play 10 times in their history. The last time was 1987.
-How many more of our opponents are going to seriously think they can block Nevis man up? It's becoming comical. Meyer and co. deserve to lose on that basis alone. Nevis tonight: 4.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 7 tackles. His career won't bare it out, but right now Nevis is playing at a higher level than Glenn Dorsey did at his peak.
-After a sloppy game vs. Tennessee, Kelvin Sheppard returned to his ever-present self. He played like a man tonight. 2 TFLs, 1 sack and 8 tackles. He made and outstanding read/tackle on a screen that could've been a huge 3rd down conversion for Florida. And don't forget, he's the guy that gets our guys lined up every single play.
-Oblong leather objects with laces gravitate towards Tyrann Mathieu in a way that even science cannot explain.
-9 TFLs for the defense. If you think they didn't play well, you are kidding yourself.
-People can down PP7 all the want for "not breaking" a return lately. I'll take the 26.5 yards per return he gives us and laugh my way to the bank. This guy is giving us a quarter of the field EVERY time he returns a kickoff. They can call that "bottling" him up all they want.
-Our secondary is scary good. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we gave up a 51-yarder. But the primary reason Florida did shit nothing all night is because our corners and safeties allow nothing to get over the top on them. Our philosophy is classic Tampa 2. Go ahead and take the underneath. We'll let you have it. But you are going to have to do it 12-13 times in succession to score, because we won't let you have anything more. More plays = more opportunities for failure in this sense.
-Our offense performed considerably better with Lee at the helm (10.29 yards per play to 4.6 yards per play with JJ). Yet, I still think the two-QB system is necessary. Usually, I'm wholly against this type of thing, but for us, it seems to work. The guys seem to play more within themselves. Todd Blackledge commented that he hates it because guys typically feel like they have to make huge plays every time they are in. Yet, for us, it seems opposite. Both QBs seem intent on just doing what they are asked. That being said, the weight of the PT needs to shift to 60/40 Lee or maybe even more. JJ gives this offense something, but I think a bulk of new, slim, sexy Jarrett Lee is what will really catapult us forward.
-It's good to see Michael Ford get some run. We need him to continue to develop as that outside running threat. His 1st run was beautiful. His second run, he had no chance, but still hit it up in there hard trying to make the most he could. He's the PERFECT compliment to Ridley considering all the backs we have. If he continues to develop and we can come at opponents with an inside and outside run threat... start praying.
-How perfect was the shot of the praying LSU chick? I feel like that image alone encapsulates our entire season.
-There's just something about this team...