LSU-North Carolina : Viewer’s Guide to the Sunday Replay

 

Here's a quick rundown of a few things to watch for from last night's angrypants mcragefest game. At least, for those of you who think they can make it through without being overcome by fiery, face-melting rage.

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  • Freshmen, freshmen everywhere. True freshmen Tyrann Mathieu, Eric Reid, Tharold Simon, Alfred Blue and Spencer Ware all saw playing time, mostly on defense/special teams, and at least three were involved in some of the major plays of the night. Mathieu was of course responsible for what should have been a game-icing strip in the fourth, and the onside kick hit Blue as he was getting illegally tackled by a UNC player before the UNC recover. And Simon appeared to blow the deep coverage on the 97-yard touchdown to Jheranie Boyd. He probably (I'm guessing without knowing the defensive call) should have been over the top of Claiborne on the play.
  • Offensive line. Overall, not really that bad, paving the way for 162 yards and 4.5 per carry. Joseph Barksdale and Josh Dworaczyk did very well. T-Bob Hebert and Alex Hurst (surprisingly given the talk he got this summer) were two of the main sources of the struggles. I believe both holding calls (including the fourth-quarter call that negated the touchdown) were on these two.
  • Stevan Ridley was a microcosm of LSU. He really had a couple of nice runs, flashing some quick feet and the ability to push defenders for an extra yard or two. But he mixed that with a pair of horribly inexcusable fumbles. The fourth quarter fumble was the worst possible outcome of that play. Even if he falls down and fails to get the first, UNC is out of timeouts and LSU could have bled the clock down to a miniscule figure. Bits and pieces of good things mixed in with terrible mistakes. And that pretty much describes the entire effort last night.
  • Tackling. Overall just a really bad night in this area. What was remarkable was that at times, it didn't matter. The defense was moving so fast that the ball carrier was swarmed shortly after the miss. But when it was bad, it was bad.
  • Final thought. The best adjective I can think of for this game is bi-polar. The highs of the second quarter couldn't be higher. Big plays on offense, Patrick Peterson taking over special teams and a fast, aggressive defense playing dominant football. But then the fourth quarter was completely checked-out, as if the Tigers thought they should already be in the locker room. The question going forward is, where in between those two extremes, will LSU settle.

Those watching on CST, post your observations in the comments.

EDIT: For those out of state, you can catch a replay right here

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