I mean c’mon, it’s basically a repeat of the Kentucky game. They can’t make adjustments, they’re worse than the team they’re playing, blah blah blah who cares, everyone is already fired! What’s the point in getting annoyed at the operators of the program right now? They’re fired already. I think we should just forget Saturdays and pretend that the Bengals are LSU. What a win for the Bayou Bengals yesterday! It’s weird that LSU only plays on Sundays now though.
This one will be brief, because this was a blowout. LSU started well, moving the ball on their first two drives. The first drive ended with a TD to TDP and the second, with a chance to go up 14-0, ended with a 4th and goal (right decision to go for it) INT. It was over from there, if you want a more specific drive by drive recap, ESPN has one here, but I must issue a content warning because yikes:
Yes it’s brutal, yeah it’s basically the Kentucky game, yeah it doesn’t matter because everyone is ALREADY FIRED.
Here, LSU is in an over front. These even fronts have comprised about 300% of their defensive snaps and it’s just really easy to attack if you’re good at blocking zone. LSU just sat in over and under and allowed Ole Miss to catch their IDL in double teams over and over. Ole Miss called the absolute barest bones of their offense on Saturday which was the saddest thing about this game. There are really two ways for a defense to defend inside zone. You can 1: Get into a bear front and clog up all the gaps at the line and/eliminate the possibility of double teams
You have in Bear two 3 techniques outside the guards, a nose tackle, and two defensive ends (or walked up OLBs depending on the DC). This has been one of the most widely used answers to inside zone by defenses. The other is the tite front, which I’ve talked about at length here:
The inability to make adjustments allowed Lane Kiffin to just run zone down LSU’s throat and and enjoy a cocktail in a recliner on the sideline.
As for the LSU offense, their inability to adjust bit them in the ass too. LSU came out with a decent gameplan for teams that would defend them the way they’d been defended previously. Ole Miss came out initially playing more 3 down fronts and quarters looks to defend LSU’s spread pass game. LSU had a good script for the opening possession, as they often have this season. They RPO’d their way down the field on the first possession and just never really adjusted. Ole Miss did, quickly. They started run blitzing up front, bringing that extra safety into the low hole to defend the shallow middle, and playing tight with their corners. Steve Sarkisian talked about this in a clinic recently. The design of his RPO laden offense is to force you up like this so they can take play action vertical shots over your head and really make you pay. LSU just didn’t have that response, they just kept trying to run counter and split zone and inside zone against their run blitzes while their RPO quick routes were sniffed out. They ended up in a bunch of third downs as a result and they just cannot function in obvious passing situations. They also stayed pretty spread out, relying on winning 1 v 1s instead of manufacturing releases, and they got flat out beat by a legitimately awful defense.
One run blitz I found particularly interesting was well suited to attack the predictability of LSU running counter. Here you see the linebacker insert hard right behind the pulling tackle and make the play on the back untouched. They also have the overhang defender (1) come outside the defensive end where he’ll be unblocked since the only backside blocker is the center blocking down to the DE. This is done in case LSU wants to give Johnson the option to keep around the backside or boot off of play action.
Another thing LSU is not good at is route spacing. It’s often used on film twitter as a way to tell whose offense is poorly constructed and yeah.....the guys running this trail concept in the shallow middle are on top of each other, destroys the play.