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How to Salvage a Season 101: LSU Edition

Let’s look at some hot topic discussions following the Florida State game.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

LSU suffered an embarrassing 45-24 loss to Florida State last Sunday.

There was a lack of effort on the field, players were playing out of position, the gameplan on both sides of the ball was inefficient and LSU looked outmatched against a very good Seminole team.

If LSU wants to get to where they want to go, they need to fix several things. Here are some things that either need or don’t need to happen.

The Answer Isn’t Switching Quarterbacks

Although the offense put up over 500 yards of offense, something was missing. I don’t think Jayden Daniels was inefficient at all as there were several big-time drops, most notably Brian Thomas’ Kyren Lacy’s drop in the middle of the field that for sure would’ve been a touchdown because all he had to do was run as there was nothing but open field.

Could Daniels have made some better throws at times? Absolutely. Could the blocking, play-calling and wide receivers have been better? Absolutely.

However, what does the LSU fanbase want to see from Daniels to do? I understand people want him to rifle the ball down the field like Joe Burrow did. However, that’s not Daniels’ playing style and there is nothing wrong with that because every quarterback is different. Moreover, he was moving the ball down the field efficiently during the first half, which is an integral part of having a successful offense. Also, this receiving corps isn’t that great outside of Malik Nabers. Is it good yes, but this isn’t 2019 y’all.

The reason why the deep ball was so effective in 2019 was not only because of Joe Burrow but also because you had three receivers drafted in the first two rounds of the draft over the next two years, including two of the best receivers in the NFL in Justin Jefferson and Ja’marr Chase.

Another reason why the deep ball was so effective in 2019 was because the playcalling fit the needs of the team. Burrow was a quarterback who loved to take chances down the field because he knew that Jefferson, Chase and Terrace Marshall were going to make plays and they had all kinds of creative route trees that would make sure that the ball gets put in their hands.

I know that people want Jayden to throw it deep, but he can only throw deep unless the play is called in and has a receiver going deep. However, that play might not even be there.

When Alabama had Jalen Hurts, Nick Saban and the coaching staff catered its entire offense to his strengths, which was a key reason why they went 27-2 during his time at Alabama.

LSU needs to due to same with Daniels by giving him more opportunities to get him out of the pocket whether it is sending on a bootleg or calling a run-pass option.

Here’s a clip from the Mik’d Up podcast where both former LSU baseball players Jared Mitchell and Mikie Mahtook discussed the whole Daniels’ conundrum. I think this is a good clip because Mitchell also played on the football team as well and was a member of the 2007 national championship team.

Look, I am not saying LSU will do any worse under Garrett Nussmeier. However, there are loads of issues that LSU is facing at the moment but its quarterback play is the very last thing on the list as its offensive line, wide receivers and offensive playcalling all look very shaky at the moment, none of which Nussmeier cannot overcome and neither can Daniels.

The Dogs Need to be Let Loose

Brian Kelly and his staff need to let his best players play and be themselves. Everyone from that one dude at the bar to college football analysts at ESPN drilled Kelly and LSU’s coaching staff for making Harold Perkins an off-ball linebacker instead of an edge rusher.

Moreover, wide receivers Chris Hilton and Logan Diggs did not play a single snap after taking significant reps with the first team during fall camp. We also didn’t get a chance to see some of the younger players enter the game such as Shelton Sampson and Dashawn Womack.

The biggest thing that bothered a lot of people was that LSU seemed to get pushed around on the field and did not fight back even a little

If LSU wants to compete for an SEC title, it needs to find that “dawg” in them. I’m not sure if they have lost it or if they never had it to begin with. I’m not saying LSU are some “dawgs”. However, they are playing more like labrador retrievers rather than pit bulls. Labrador retrievers are great dogs, sure, but they are too friendly. The LSU fanbase wants to see the pitbull stand his ground and remind everyone that this is his territory.

The coaching staff also cannot be afraid to start its freshmen such as Womack, Sampson, Ashton Stamps, Kyle Parker and Kaleb Jackson. If they are your best chance of winning, you need to play them.

The Offensive Line needs to Wake Up

After raving about the offensive line throughout the spring and summer, everyone was shocked about how abysmal LSU’s offensive line was. Everyone knew Florida State had the best defensive line in the country. However, the Seminole defensive line pushed around LSU’s offensive line like a bully in a schoolyard.

The run game was nonexistent and Jayden Daniels at times was flustered in the pocket. Although LSU was able to get over 100 yards rushing, that had more to do with Daniels’ escaping the pocket and a 35-yard run from Josh Williams. Also, they got stuffed on 4th and short twice in the first quarter including one on the goal line.

However, the most embarrassing moment happened after the game when Florida State defensive linemen insinuated that LSU offensive lineman Miles Frazier complimented the Seminole defensive line during the middle of the game.

I’m pretty sure LSU’s coaching staff saw that clip as Kelly said in his post-practice media session on Thursday and said true freshman Zalance Heard was going to see a lot of first-team reps.

LSU needs its offensive line to be at its best and it needs to start on Saturday against Grambling.