Apologies for getting this up later than normal, I spent Sunday driving back from Louisiana to Nashville and revisiting LSU’s loss Saturday night slipped my mind.
Of course perhaps it’s better to pretend that game never happened, goodness knows the offense was doing so except it was while the game was happening. I think the disappointing thing about Saturday is that even with an average game offensively, LSU beats the Aggies in College Station. LSU could’ve scored its marquee win of the 2020 season and whiffed.
Winner: Terrace Marshall
One last time for No. 6, the best player on LSU’s roster. 10 catches, 134 yards and a score. All Terrace Marshall did in his three years at LSU was catch touchdowns, so if this really is goodbye it’s fitting the last pass he ever caught was in the end zone.
Winner: Derek Stingley and DBU
I’m not foolish enough to say the LSU defense has fixed everything because of one good game in terrible weather conditions against a mediocre quarterback, but 2020 has been a terrible year so I’m allowing myself a bit of much needed reprieve.
Now it needs to be said: Kellen Mond was ass Saturday night. Watching a senior quarterback go 11-34 for 105 yards against a historically awful defense is some Jordan Jefferson type of shit. But let’s give credit to the Tiger secondary, especially Derek Stingely Jr. who reminded us all he is still that dude. Mond threw at Stingley nine times and only completed one pass for a mere nine yards. Stingley likely won’t make any All-American or All-SEC teams this season, but when he’s right he’s still the best defensive back in America.
We also need to give a shoutout to JaCoby Stevens and Jabril Cox who helped negate A&M’s stud tight end Jalen Wydermeyer (four catches for 31 yards on 10 targets). It’s the best film the two have put out all season long.
Loser: TJ Finley
Saturday’s loss was not on Finley, I want to emphasize that. But man that was rough. Finley was 9-25 for 118 yards and threw two interceptions, one of which was a game ending pick six. Is the entire game different if the officials don’t overturn the touchdown throw to Kayshon Boutte? Absolutely. But Finley had a touchdown overruled against Arkansas and he didn’t miss a beat, finding Jaray Jenkins for the game-winning score. Unfortunately for Finley, he couldn’t recreate last week’s signature moment.
But hey, Finley completed 36 percent of his throws while Kellen Mond completed 32 percent of his. Finley’s a freshman on the road, what’s Mond’s excuse?
Winner: Micah Baskerville
Baskerville usurping Damone Clark is looking like 2020’s version of Kendell Beckwith doing the same to DJ Welter in 2014. I’m sure Clark is a great guy to have in the program and a team leader—he’s No. 18 he has to be— but you simply can’t have him playing over Baskerville.
Baskerville had 12 tackles Saturday night and most importantly seven were solo. When Baskerville sees ball he hits ball, and that’s something the Tiger linebacking unit hasn’t had much of this season. Clark can be your lead by example guy, but Baskerville has to be the one who leads on the field.
Loser: The Offensive Line
I mean come on.
You’re playing on the road with a freshman quarterback in rainy conditions, you have to be better than that. A&M was credited with two sacks, five tackles for loss and nine quarterback hurries. Frankly all those numbers seem low. It didn’t matter if it was Finley or Johnson, both quarterbacks had free rushers making a mad dash to tear their head off.
And of course there’s the running game or whatever it is you want to call LSU’s effort. Final tally from Saturday: 25 carries, 36 yards, 1.4 yards per carry. LSU y’all still got that Joe Moore Award in the trophy case? Mail that thing over to Joe Burrow’s house, he’s 80 percent the reason why y’all won that.
Speaking of the offensive line...
Winner: Tristan Leigh and Garrett Dellinger
Gentlemen y’all want to play football at the collegiate level? Come on down to Baton Rouge, there’s a pair of starting tackle spots just begging to be taken for the 2021 season.
Loser: Ed Orgeron
You need to do some soul searching, Coach. Your best player opted out prior to the season starting, your starting quarterback has been lost for the season, the guy who emerged as your No. 1 offensive weapon just opted out after giving a speech to his teammates imploring everyone to stick together and now you’ve got the best team in the country coming into your house who has been looking forward to bashing your head in for more than a year. The ship that is the LSU football program is taking on water, what are you going to do to stop it from sinking?