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Sunday Thoughts: LSU vs. McNeese & the Week Ahead

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Well, there’s a week one result I never saw coming.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Welp, week one is over and we still don't really know much about the 2015 Tigers because...we only saw about 5 minutes of an actual game. Anyways, we have a couple things to talk about, but let's hand out what game observations I was able to come up with:

  • He made it! 
    Mike McNeese


  • Well, people got what they wanted in terms of Donte Jackson on kickoff returns, AND offense. My guess on Darrel Williams being out there is to serve as a lead blocker, similar to Ron Brooks a few years back.

  • First playoff the year...one-back power-O...McNeese kind of guessed right and attacked that side of the formation with a run blitz...Ethan Pocic got really poor push and the line didn't make much room. But on the next play, a power-sweep out of the shotgun, with a Harris keep read AND a bluffed bubble-screen to Dupre to hold the backside linebackers. Worked well, line blocked for about five yards and Fournette ran through for the first down.

  • Play three, Jackson gets back out there to run a fly sweep...a poor cut attempt by Colin Jeter prevented him from getting the edge. And on the very next play, Nick Brossette, Derrius Guice and Jazz Ferguson got into the act. So that's a lot of freshmen on the field in the first four plays. Ferguson badly misses his black on the edge and Guice gets blown up. Had Ferguson made the block, Guice gets at least 4-5.

  • Brandon Harris' lone downfield pass attempt: offensive line does a solid job of picking up and end-tackle stunt on the right side...Harris had Dupre deep, so I understand wanting to take a shot, but he also had DeSean Smith at the sticks...on third down, important to recognize that...it appears that Dupre struggled to find the ball a bit.

  • Defense...play one: McNeese tries a speed sweep of their own...Lewis Neal and Rickey Jefferson do a great job of attacking their gaps and disrupting the blocking...Kevin Toliver had one-on-one and made a nice tackle.

  • On the second play, the defensive line split a bit out of the "under" look...Jefferson times his blitz well...Tashawn Bower was unblocked, but did a great job of avoiding the trap from the H-back and both made a bee-line for Sams.

  • Third play was a zone-coverage pressure...Bower stunted inside and Deion Jones looped in from the backside...Sams was forced to check down and the defensive backs came up and made the tackle. LSU would have had the ball at midfield had the game continued...

What does any of this mean? Nothing really. Without the rest of the game to draw some context, it is what it is -- just a handful of plays.

From there, well, there's literally nothing else. The delay started, although it took a minute or two to announce. Frustratingly, it was another couple of minutes before somebody thought to get some of the other televised games up on the jumbotrons.

Once the second delay hit, my brother, who had to drive back to Metairie, no longer wanted to wait, so we headed out. He was my ride, so I didn't have much of a choice -- and of course cell/wireless coverage was crap so it's not like I could have gotten in touch with any other friends in the stadium.

Traffic was predictably awful, but we hoped to maybe get to my house in time for the game to resume. We were home by nearly 10:30 (great job, BRPD), and by then the cells from the Livingston Parish area were heading West and we were pretty sure the game would be cancelled. That was confirmed by twitter when I got in the door.

Look, I understand that it's frustrating and everybody wants the games to be played, but shit happens. McNeese isn't about to drive back here on a Sunday to try and make the game up, nor does LSU really want them to. Trying to re-set up that stadium is a logistical nightmare (ushers, concession workers, etc...can't just come back because they snap their fingers) -- security sweeps, cleanup, all of these things are not done spur-of-the-moment. Contingency plans do not include "hey y'all, everybody just show up tomorrow, k?" Plus, both teams have a conference opener to prepare for -- McNeese has virtually no incentive to drive back to Baton Rouge to take an ass-kicking when they have a more meaningful game coming up.

LSU says they will offer some refund options for fans at a later date. Make no mistake, the university lost a lot of money on this. Nobody's happy.

But Mother Nature remains undefeated. And hey, so are the Tigers.

In other news: Patrick Peterson announced a $1 million commitment to the football program, which will lead to LSU's weight room becoming the Peterson-Roberts Weight Room...defensive linemen Sione Teuhema, Mickey Johnson and Deondre Clark, along with offensive tackle Chidi Valentine-Okeke were inactive for the game...Valentine-Okeke will be redshirting, as for the rest, there's been nothing official but the standard "team rules violation" suspension is a safe bet...

As for the rest of the country...

Looks like LSU opens as a 3-point favorite in the early betting lines:

Game Favorite Opening Line
Idaho at USC USC 43.5
Hawaii at Ohio State Ohio State 38
Middle Tennessee at Alabama Alabama 34
Miami (Ohio) at Wisconsin Wisconsin 33
South Florida at Florida State Florida State 29
UCLA at UNLV UCLA 28
South Alabama at Nebraska Nebraska 27
Tulane at Georgia Tech Georgia Tech 26
Ball State at Texas A&M Texas A&M 26
Fresno State at Ole Miss Ole Miss 23
Kansas State at UTSA Kansas State 22.5
Appalachian State at Clemson Clemson 21
Toledo at Arkansas Arkansas 21
Georgia at Vanderbilt Georgia 17
Miami at Florida Atlantic Miami 16.5
Buffalo at Penn State Penn State 16.5
UTEP at Texas Tech Texas Tech 16.5
UMass at Colorado Colorado 16
Rice at Texas Texas 16
Central Florida at Stanford Stanford 16
Oregon State at Michigan Michigan 14
East Carolina at Florida Florida 13
Missouri at Arkansas State Missouri 13
Houston at Louisville Louisville 12.5
Notre Dame at Virginia Notre Dame 11.5
Pitt at Akron Pitt 11.5
Utah State at Utah Utah 11
Eastern Michigan at Wyoming Wyoming 11
Memphis at Kansas Memphis 10.5
Arizona at Nevada Arizona 10.5
Bowling Green at Maryland Maryland 10
San Diego State at Cal Cal 9
Kentucky at South Carolina South Carolina 7.5
FIU at Indiana Indiana 7.5
San Jose State at Air Force Air Force 7
Army at UConn UConn 6.5
Temple at Cincinnati Cincinnati 6.5
Wake Forest at Syracuse Syracuse 5.5
Washington State at Rutgers Rutgers 5.5
Georgia State at New Mexico State New Mexico State 5.5
Minnesota at Colorado State Minnesota 5
Western Michigan at Georgia Southern Western Michigan 4.5
Iowa at Iowa State Iowa 4
Marshall at Ohio Marshall 4
Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky Western Kentucky 3
Oklahoma at Tennessee Oklahoma 3
Tulsa at New Mexico New Mexico 3
LSU at Mississippi State LSU 3
North Texas at SMU Even Even
Oregon at Michigan State Even Even

It's a less than ideal situation for the team, and Harris, to now be really opening on the road, but there is some small preparation advantage in State not having much film to look at. Plus, there isn't much wear-and-tear on the team.

I'll drop in the poll rankings as they become available.