After filling all of its coaching positions on the defensive side of the ball, LSU finally chose who it wanted to call the offensive plays.
LSU has promoted quarterbacks coach Joe Sloan and wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton to co-offensive coordinators, according to Matt Zenitz of 247 Sports. Sloan will handle most of the playcalling duties.
The offensive coordinator position at LSU came open two weeks before LSU’s date with Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl when Mike Denbrock left Baton Rouge for Notre Dame so he could be closer to his hometown of Homer, Michigan. Homer is less than two hours away from South Bend, Indiana where Notre Dame is located.
Under Sloan and Hankton, the Tigers put up 493 yards of total offense against Wisconsin in LSU’s 35-31 victory over Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl on New Year’s Day. Wisconsin had allowed 339.3 yards per game heading into the game. Moreover, quarterback Garrett Nussmeier threw for 395 passing yards and three touchdowns in his first career start after Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels opted out of the bowl game.
LSU head coach Brian Kelly praised Sloan and Hankton after the game.
“The plays came down from the box. There was an input and I thought Joe and Cortez managed that end of it really well,” Kelly said. “And then we had great adjustments from our entire staff to be an efficient offense in this transition.”
If there was one thing that should have caught everyone’s eye was when Kelly mentioned the chemistry between the offensive coaches when it came to the offensive gameplan. That should have been a giveaway that Sloan and Hankton were in strong consideration for a promotion.
“Today was really about a cohesive group,” Kelly said after the game. “Brad (Davis) had great suggestions on adjustments on the offensive line. Frank (Wilson) is doing a great job, you saw his rotation of backs in there. That all feeds into what you’re doing offensively. It doesn’t fall on one shoulder or shoulders if you will.”
Everyone in Baton Rouge and around the country will see if Sloan and Hankton can keep the machine going come Sept. 4 when LSU plays USC on Sept. 1 in Las Vegas.