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Grading Out: LSU vs. Syracuse

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How did each unit fare vs. Syracuse?

QB

Jake:

A. First A for Harris this year from me, and I feel comfortable giving it to him. Yes, the stat line shows only just over 50% completion, but he had receivers drop at least 4 balls, including one deep one to Dural that would have been a big gainer. And for the first time this season, we saw Cam Cameron call plays on a drive - one where LSU was backed up inside their own 10 - that basically told Brandon Harris "throw the ball and get us out of this hole." And he did. 3 straight completions, all for first 10+ yards. He was very good, and continues to grow.

Paul:

B. Not as high on the performance as some others. The WR drops didn't help him out, but unlike Billy, I thought Harris struggled to climb the pocket at times. There were moments he seemed woefully unaware of the coming rush. That said, the OL and WR did him no favors and he still got his first TD pass of the year and dropped a couple of dimes. The passing game just hasn't gelled yet.

RB

Jake:

A+. Williams and Guice struggled on their limited carries, but that was down to the OL giving a pretty lazy effort. This is all down to the incredibleness that is Fournette. Watching him right now transcends the sport. It's not watching a great football player, it's watching something else entirely that I can't describe. He's just stunning to watch.

Paul:

A-. You can't not lump Guice and Williams' poor days into the overall grade. Obviously, Fournette is doing filthy things right now. But we need the other backs to perform capably when called upon. I know the OL struggled, but Guice missed holes and Williams didn't look like his typical bowling ball self.

WR

Jake:

C+. Dural and Dupre both had solid games, making some key catches. Both had drops, though one for Dupre was where he got absolutely blown up. Hard to fault him. John Diarse had multiple drops, and I'm kind of ready to test someone else out in his spot. Just can't have the drops he had. Was good to see Trey Quinn. 4 drops keeps this from being higher.

Paul:

D. Frankly, short of a couple of big plays, the WR play has been downright poor. Drops and penalties and more drops. It's not allowing Harris to blossom as he could be. Surprisingly, Harris hasn't folded or lost confidence, despite the lack of support from his receivers. We need much more consistency if this team wants to compete for a playoff spot during a rough November slate.

OL

Jake:

C-. The blocking on Fournette's 60 yard TD is enough to give this group an average grade. But man were they horrid in the first half. Harris rarely, if ever, had a clean pocket and Fournette often had to break big runs all by himself. They looked disinterested and gave a poor effort. They're better than what they showed on Saturday, we know that, and I hope we don't see that effort again. Looked like they didn't get off the bus.

Paul:

F. Look, normally there's no way I could fail a group that allowed a RB to go for 240+ yards, but let's be honest, huge chunks of Fournette's production were entirely of his own merit. Yes, they beautifully blocked on that long TD, but almost all of it was just Leonard being Leonard. This was their worst performance of the season by a country mile.

DL

Jake:

A. Great game from them. Pass rush was solid again, but the run D was especially superb. Held SU to 4 Y/A, and that's influenced by some of the scrambles and option plays that Mahoney ran. Without his runs, it's just 3.5 Y/A. Did have some over pursuit on the Mahoney designed runs, but they were very good overall.

Paul:

B-. Lowest sack (1) and TFL (4) output of the season. Nice to see Greg Gilmore and Frank Herron growing some into a solid backup DT duo. Arden Key flashes, but the DE play hasn't been stellar. 4.0 YPC is solid in the run game, but it never felt like the DL dominated against a porous offense in the way they should.

LB

Jake:

B+. Pretty good overall. Another solid performance from this group. Beckwith is fantastic, but the rest of the group are all just solid to good players who are gonna give you a 7/10 effort and performance every time. Get the extra bump for Deion Jones' INT.

Paul:

C. Has Beckwith regressed? 5 total tackles? I, and the rest of the world, anticipated him being a major playmaker this season. He's been solid, but I'm not seeing greatness. The other LB spot is a mess without Debo, and Debo himself is only average, but managed to get 5 tackles in just one half of play.

DB

Jake:

A. Mahoney had 4.1 Y/A, and completed 42% of his passes. A couple of drives were extended on PI calls, and to be honest I didn't think either of them merited it. They were their usual fantastic selves, corners providing lockdown coverage and Adams and Jefferson flying around the field.

Paul:

B. One glorious bust over the top puts a dent in an otherwise good day. They weren't helped much by the zebras, though it seems kinda stunning that they allowed a walk-on, who looked utterly helpless for a half, toss three touchdowns, inefficient as they were, on them. Not that Cuse doesn't have WR talent, but I can't give them an A for the effort.