So it’s the first spring game of what is a truly completely new era. Brian Kelly and his “alignment” machine seem to have brought a sense of competence, stability, and professionalism to a program that above all lacked order. But the spring game is purely about ball. It’s about players, it’s about very general looks at what the systems will look like on both sides of the ball, and it’s about reacquainting ourselves with LSU football as a product. Here are just a handful of things my eyes will be on come Saturday.
I really have almost no idea what Matt House’s defense is actually going to look like. I have only his defenses from Kentucky to go off, and he has been at another stop since then in a position coaching role. It’s hard to know how he’ll adapt to different players, what he’s picked up in Kansas City, and so on. The first thing I’m looking at on defense is how things take shape up front. LSU has recruited a lot of 4-down style players in the last couple years, but 3-down, odd surfaces have become pretty essential to dealing with modern offenses. Matt House’s defense at Kentucky really liked to base in 3-down, so it’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out. I think LSU has some versatility to go along with their talent up front, and can be very diverse and fluid in how they structure their fronts, rush the passer, and fit the run.
I’m really looking to see what the general philosophy behind Matt House’s coverage structures is. I’m not necessarily going to be able to parse specific rules and whatnot because I won’t have all 22 tape, but I’m trying to get a general idea. Two high base or one high base? Zone base or man base? What’s the general idea of how they approach coverage?
For obvious reasons, the QB battle takes center stage on Saturday, I’m looking to see how these guys operate the offense, work their reads and technique on dropback concepts, and how they can generate explosive plays. There’s a huge caveat that they’re in non-contact jerseys, which doesn’t give you a true look at quality, but it’s what we’ll have to go on.
Those are pretty much the main things I’ll be looking for on Saturday. There are a million things to keep an eye out on but with two new coordinators, the main thing I’m looking at are systems and philosophies.