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Tell the Truth Monday: Alabama

On Monday’s, we tell the truth.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
  • It’s an arbitrary number, but this is the first time LSU has crossed the 300 total yards barrier against Alabama since... 2010.
  • It’s the first time in a long while it felt like we had an offensive scheme that could actually challenge the Tide but was missing some key components to take the next step.
  • No one ever runs the ball well on Alabama and LSU putting up 151 yards is actually a pretty strong effort.
  • LSU’s offense remains chunk plays or nothing, scoring its only TD of the night after a 54-yard scamper from Darrel Williams in the Wildcat.
  • Danny Etling simply isn’t good enough to beat a team of this caliber and LSU needed him to be.
  • There were open receivers to be had against Bama’s secondary, but Etling routinely couldn’t find them. If he does, this is a different game and maybe a different result.
  • He also directly lead to a short field and points for Alabama with a terrible throw far too inside of an outbreaking route, one he normally throws pretty well.
  • I’ve seen some praise for Jeff Grimes and I appreciate the improved performance against the best front we’ve faced all year, but I haven’t yet forgotten how bad the first two months of the season were.
  • Bama found weakness in LSU’s secondary, of all things, hitting them for a few big chunk passing plays. Not at all what I expected, but credit to their OC for finding some mismatches.
  • That said, the fact that they didn’t try to hammer LSU’s front with an onslaught of running boggles the mind. On one drive, they didn’t even give a running back a carry.
  • But credit to LSU here as well, this is the best rushing attack, maybe in America, and the Tigers came to play, limiting them to 3.2 yards per carry and 116 total yards rushing.
  • 44 of those 116 came from Jalen Hurts, who was a magician, at times, evading pressure. He’s nimble back there and LSU finished the job a few times, but his yards mostly came on busted blitzes where he beat the initial men and found open green.
  • I feel an odd confidence come from this loss. We need a lot more data to know about Orgeron, but this performance and the turn around of this season shows we didn’t hire Curley Hallman. We may have hired someone who will find new ways to go 9-3 every year, but that’s still a solid standard.
  • Hoping we can hang on to Aranda and Canada for at least one more season, because the coaching jobs they’ve done have been remarkable. Both units have improved dramatically from September.
  • Of course, getting healthy and not having all the suspensions helps.
  • LSU came with an aggressive game plan, tried multiple interesting things on offense and defense and at the end of the day it just felt like Alabama had the better team. Or, in the least, made the plays when they needed to.
  • That coaching is what gives me hope that LSU is on the right path against Alabama for the first time since 2012. The last four games, even when the outcomes were close, LSU felt helpless at times. And I think we all know the yeoman’s effort was the outlier for the 2014 squad and Anthony Jennings. LSU never felt helpless on Saturday.
  • Frankly, LSU isn’t going to out-Bama Alabama, which is why the whole slugfest strategy wore out its welcome.
  • That said, they still lost by 14. You can’t turn the ball over deep in opponent territory and you can’t bust in the secondary and expect to beat a team of this caliber on the road.
  • Orgeron’s stare down of Michael Cauble post game was awesome and I think will be a lasting image of his tenure at LSU, no matter which direction it goes.
  • We’re coming.