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The LSU Spring Football Game: What to Watch For


Les Miles working with LSU students at the student-appreciation practice on Thursday -- taken by yours truly for LSU's Instagram account.
Les Miles working with LSU students at the student-appreciation practice on Thursday -- taken by yours truly for LSU's Instagram account.

Time for LSU's annual spring game, our last sip of LSU football before the long, hot offseason tries to kill us all.

First, some house-keeping...


BATON ROUGE - In preparation for Saturday's National L-Club Spring Game presented by Tony Chachere's in Tiger Stadium, LSU issued the following reminders to fans coming to campus this weekend:

Tiger Stadium

  • Kickoff for Saturday's spring game is scheduled for 1 p.m.
  • Gates to Tiger Stadium open at 11:30 a.m. and admission to the game is free. All seating in Tiger Stadium will be on the west side and the south endzone. All seating will be general admission.
  • Fans should enter the stadium on the west side using gates 1 thru 6. These will be the only gates open on Saturday.
  • Prohibited items include:
      • All backpacks and any bags larger than 8.5 inches X 11 inches will not be allowed. Travel light and leave these items at home or secured in your vehicle.
      • All standard stadium policies apply. For a complete listing of policies, please
      • Smoking is not permitted inside the gates of the stadium.


  • All public parking for the game is free.
  • Vehicle parking lots will open beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Motor Home parking will be available for free in parking Lot 404 or Lot 407 beginning at 5p.m. on Friday.
  • ADA parking spaces will be available in Lot 401 with state issued identification.

To view a parking map before coming to campus this weekend, please visit

Rock n' Roar Block Party

  • Block Party begins at 11 a.m. on North Stadium Drive on the north side of Tiger Stadium.
  • Block Party will provide fun for the entire family, including live music, food and drinks, inflatables, etc.

Road Closures

North Stadium Drive and South Stadium Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Other Events on April 5th - Tickets available at

  • Gymnastics NCAA Regional at 4pm - Maravich Center (gates open at 2 p.m.)
  • Baseball vs. Mississippi State at 6:30pm - Alex Box Stadium (gates open at 4:30 p.m.)
  • ADA access will also be through the west side stadium gates.

On to the game.

Gym Class Heroes

I hate that band.

Still, the analogy works here, because at the end of the day this isn't just a practice, it's a practice designed for public consumption. An exhibition. A split-squad one at that. With players moving at less-than-full speed or intensity. Tackling won't be full-go and green jerseys on quarterbacks radically affect line play. With a split roster and LSU relatively thin both running back and receiver you're also likely to see a host of new faces, namely walk-ons. Chances are some of them are going to make plays.

What I'd like people to remember, are past Spring Game Heroes like Stephen Rivers, Richard Murphy or Guy Harper. This is a game that lends itself to huge outliers. I can remember Kavahra Holmes playing particularly well in last year's spring game and he's just transferred due to lack of playing time. I even remember Alley Broussard throwing a touchdown pass one year.

There are things you can try to draw from this game, and I'm going to talk about them here, but they really are few and far between, and it's important to remember that.


Of course all eyes are going to be on the QBs, and rightfully so. People may have some of the wrong concerns, but that doesn't mean they're wrong to have concerns.

Without a true live pass-rush, or game-planned coverages, stats are pretty useless unless we're talking about the extremes. If Anthony Jennings completes 15-of-18 passes and throws a couple touchdowns, that's probably a good thing. And if misses on 60 or 70-percent of his passes, that's probably a bad sign as well, depending on weather conditions, drops, etc... Otherwise, what I'll be looking for are things like comfort in the pocket, rhythm on delivery and accurate throws when the receivers are open. Keep in mind some of these passes will be thrown at walk-ons or covered by them.

With Brandon Harris and Hayden Rettig, I'm looking for a lot of the same things. Do they find their second and third reads? Especially with against a medium-heat pass rush. Do they bail out to a check down? Do they do it too quickly? I don't expect to see any of these three look like finished products, but it just might be possible to get a feel for them.

Twists and Turns

As I've said a few times in the last few weeks, LSU's offense isn't going to change much in terms of the core concepts. There might be a few tweeks here or there, or some things maybe a little more emphasized than they were last year. Things like the pistol formation. More one-back looks with two tight ends. Or said tight ends flexed or in other positions besides the typical in-line formation.

Last year, Cameron let the quarterbacks call their own plays. Very curious to see if that happens again, as its illustrative of what each player is comfortable with. But in general, the types of throws, like discussed in the QB preview. Rollouts, waggles, screens -- the kind of passes that can bring along a young quarterback safely.

Killer Bees

You're really limited in what's visible on defense with green jerseys and thud tackling. First and foremost I'll be looking at how some guys have filled out through the offseason, namely Kwon Alexander, Debo Jones, D.J. Welter, Frank Herron and the other young defensive linemen.

Otherwise, I'll be interested in things like aggression and teamwork. Do the linebackers and DBs swarm to the ball, do the DBs high-point it in the air and do the defensive tackles take on double teams. That last one in particular might have been the biggest problem on the 2013 defense.

Guys like Danielle Hunter, Ronald Martin, Jalen Mills, Alexander and Tre'davious White have drawn a lot of praise in beat reports and features. I'm looking for how they carry themselves. Are they loose, confident, like players that expect to make things happen on every play but aren't pressing to make them.

Look, we still talkin' about practice here. Let's just hope that nobody gets hurt, the weather holds up and everybody enjoys the festivities. Because this will be the last LSU-football-like substance we're going to get until August.