Last week we talked about the offense needing to take teams to the ground and get to poundin' and we saw that this week. LSU basically took down State and choked them out. It wasn't pretty, but it was pretty effective - and that's the best for this team right now. I know everybody wants great offense, but you're just not going to get it right now.
Here's a few notes for those watching the replay tonght:
- Told you guys the game would be ugly. But oddly, for the first time in a while I really didn't have many issues with the playcalling. The execution definitely still needs work, but there was definitely improvement. Jefferson was managed very well and kept in good positions, by and large. The second offensive drive should have ended with a TD to Toliver on a fade route - the ball was close enough that Toliver should have been able to get to it. As should have the fourth offensive drive - the third-down screen play was a perfect call, credit State for batting down the pass. If it's complete Shepard walks into the endzone.
- Kneel. Before. Zod. Patrick Peterson's first interception was a perfect example of baiting a quarterback. No. 7 allowed the receiver to cut underneath him on the post, read the throw and out-jumped the guy for the play. I spent most of the fourth quarter trying to convince the Fiancé to name our first child Patrick.
- If I can throw on my Jon Gruden cliché hat, Tyrann (osaurus Rex) Mathieu. He's going to be a lot of fun to watch over the next few years. It's not so much the athleticism that jumps out at me as some outstanding instincts. He just always seems to be in position, whether it's on defense or special teams.
- Nothing like seeing a defensive end running down on your kickoff team. Praise for our Steampunk Emperor Barkevious Mingo.
- Russell Shepard needs some work in front of the jugs machine and on his concentration. He has a tendency to turn his head up field before he has the ball secured.
- LSU's average scoring drive went just 32 yards, but it's important to note that on their first drives of each half (including right after State's touchdown), the Tigers marched right down the field. That isn't to say that all offensive problems are solved. Two of those drives were extremely close to being touchdowns. But allow me to mix some metaphors for a second - think of the offense as a slumping hitter (yes it's been a long slump) that has upgraded from striking out to making contact. If he makes that contact consistently, eventually the hits will come. If this offense can continue to move the ball, so will the touchdowns.
EDIT: Not quite sure what's going on, but LSU's Geaux Zone replay of the game is behind a paywall for the moment. For now, Locals will have to catch the CST replay at 7pm