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LSU - Kentucky: A Viewer's Guide to the Sunday Replay

I guess we probably shouldn't be surprised that LSU slep-walk through a kickoff that was seven-and-a-half hours too early. Luckily, Kentucky is bad enough that the end-result was still a 28-point win that was never remotely close.

  • In general, the offense just looked lethargic, starting up front with an offensive line that really struggled to get any push on Kentucky's defensive line. P.J. Lonergan in particular had a brutal day, getting flat-out blown off the ball at times.
  • Pretty brutal day from the Tiger passing attack. Both quarterback and receivers. Jarrett Lee was making bad decisions and tossing bad passes, and when he wasn't, his receivers were dropping the good ones. The two biggest pass plays of the day required receivers making outstanding things happen -- Rueben Randle skying to take the ball away from double coverage (Lee threw to an out-numbered receiver at least two or three more times) and ODB taking the Wildcats through the 36 chambers of death on a pretty sick open-field run.
  • I'd been hoping to see some more of LSU's motion and misdirection passing game, but after seeing Lee look totally awkward on some roll-out pass attempts, those plays are better off left on the shelf. He looked completely uncomfortable, with some awkward throws off of his back foot with little to no pressure. Ironically, he managed to make a play or two in some improvisational situations, which aren't typically his strong point. But if a team can make him have to move around in the pocket consistently, he's going to struggle.
  • Easily Lee's worst day this season. But after three straight really strong games, he's earned some benefit of the doubt. And as mentioned in the preview, Kentucky's pass defense has been solid this season. But he is going to have to continue to raise his play, especially if the running game is struggling.
  • The jet-sweep to Russell Shepard was almost perfectly timed, and really does need to become more of a staple of the offense. Shepard will likely continue to struggle catching the ball consistently, but he's too fast not to keep him involved in the offense. Those sweep plays are also ones ODB can run.
  • The stats tell the story with the defense. 155 yards of total offense allowed, 2.4 per play and Kentucky crossed the 50 all of twice. That being said, the defensive line and the defensive backs are still powering this defense, and the linebackers can still be a liability at times. Almost all of the passes Kentucky completed exploited linebackers or safeties in short-area coverage.
  • Incredibly active day for Bennie Logan, who was hustling up and down the line of scrimmage.
  • Tharold Simon had one of his most dominant days as a starter, with two big-time pass break-ups. His long arms are such an asset in coverage, and can make up for mistakes in the same way that Patrick Peterson's otherworldly speed used to.

  • Honey Badger don't give a shit. It takes what it wants.
  • A question. Why is Eric Reid trying to seduce Tiger Stadium in his pre-game introduction picture? Dude is eye-fucking the hell out of the camera.
  • Great day for the special teams units. While LSU never had to kick any field goals, kick and punt teams were completely on-point, although Tyrann Mathieu never really had any room on punt returns (and hasn't all season).
  • Fantastic to see Al Blue have a nice day carrying the ball. He's one of the team's best special team tacklers, and it's great to see that rewarded.
  • Have to admit, seeing as much of Jordan Jefferson as we did was a shock, but I do think the way he was implemented was smart. A quarterback sneak is a simple enough play (and one he's run very well) that can get a player used to getting hit without putting much at risk. Later on, using him in a spread package was a nice change-up attempt when the offense and running game were stalling (removing him on third down shows they're not ready to have him throw much yet). What Jefferson's role going forward will probably be, to quote Les Miles, a "game feel." Yesterday, the offensive line was really struggling to create room for the backs. If Jefferson can come in and consistently execute option plays well, it can be a quick injection of energy. I still think whether it's just a change-up or a true rotation will depend, in large part, on Lee's play.

Finally, allow me to say a few words on the reaction of the folks that chose to boo Jefferson upon his insertion into the game in the second quarter. If you're of the sensitive persuasion, I suggest turning away, as the language may be graphic.

I don't know that I've ever been as embarrassed to be an LSU fan as I was after hearing a large portion of Tiger Stadium boo a quarterback entering the field for a fourth-down quarterback sneak. It's great to know that some LSU fans don't support the Tigers. Only certain ones.

And don't give me that "I was booing the decision, not the player," bullshit. You know what's worse than the sort of dumbass that boos players on the college team they claim to love? One that doesn't have the balls to admit it. They were booing the decision? Really? This wasn't punting on fourth and inches. This wasn't an ill-timed reverse. The decision was to play Jefferson, and that's who the booing was about. If Russell Shepard or Spencer Ware had come in to run a quarterback sneak, you can bet your bottom dollar there wouldn't have been anything but cheers. They were booing Jefferson. People using this lame line of reasoning are either very foolishly in denial, or, simply put, don't have the guts to stand up and admit what they are doing. To themselves, or other people.

The upside is the way the players seem to be reacting. When somebody like Bennie Logan tweets "we all we got," it means that they're drowning it out, ignoring people and playing for each other. That is actually great to hear, if still a little sad at the same time. Lord knows it is abundantly clear that some fans are NOT with this team through thick and thin. That means they need to be there for each other, and there's some evidence now that that is the case. That mentality will serve LSU much better than some of these so-called "fans" ever will.