Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What We Learned About LSU Against Mississippi State

LSU beats Mississippi State 29-7

For the 2010 season the LSU Tigers have been a box of chocolate team. Each half of football you do not know what you are going to get. After an impressive 29-7 win against the Bulldogs of Starksville I had 4 main points I wanted to address about the Tigers.

1. LSU has a defense

The one thing fans came away from the LSU win smiling about was the LSU defense. For the first time in a few years the LSU defense really looked like it could be a force. On paper a 29-7 victory does not seem like that big of a margin, but if one were to have watched the game it would be realized just how much the LSU defense had the game in control. Outside of only giving up 7 points, the LSU defense also picked off Mississippi State 5 different times. The biggest thing that stands out about this unit is their ability to disguise blitzs and cause havoc for the quarterback. Even with a struggling offense, having a good defense will keep LSU in big games. On paper right now I think LSU has a chance to beat Florida because of their defense. Same goes for Alabama. If you have a good defense you can stay in games.

2. Drake Nevis is a beast

My former Communication and Gender classmate is ripping through offensive lines. In 2009 LSU struggled immensely with the pass rush. This year because of the maturity of players like Drake Nevis the Tigers defense is able to get a consistent pass rush and in turn allow for defensive coordinator John Chavis to send in more blitzs. Last game Nevis had an interception and nine tackles. Defensive tackles do not get nine tackles a game, that just shows you how special of a player Nevis is. He is as important to LSU's defense as Patrick Peterson.

3. Gary Crowton has the creativity of, well, someone not creative.

I will continue to hope he turns things around. I will continue to hope the offense starts, well, being more productive. But I am also a realist. The offensive game plan for LSU is all too simple week in and week out. Crowton, the so-called Wizard, continues to run the same predictable plays. I joke with my friends that Crowton has six pieces of notebook paper. On each paper, written in crayon, he has six plays. Honestly when you watch a game that seems like what's going on. All too often there will be a situation where LSU will line up on a crucial third down and as fan you realize what the play is. So if you the fan know the play, what do you think the opposing defensive coordinator knows? THE PLAY! One moment in Saturday's game sticks out the most. It was 3rd and Goal at the three. LSU had run the ball the previous two plays with Ridley. On this third down, the Tigers come out in a I-Form with ZERO WIDE RECEIVERS. Mississippi State packs everyone in and, gasp, LSU surprisingly decides to run with Ridley to the left. And surprisingly LSU is stopped for a one yard loss. Everyone in the stadium, including Mike the Tiger, knew the play. THAT'S A BIG PROBLEM. I have found no reason to think Gary Crowton will address these issues.

4. Offense progressed as game went on

The offense sputtered in the first half. Despite numerous times where the Tigers had good field position, LSU continued to get field goals. With that said, LSU did show progress in the second half. It was 12-0 when Mississippi State, with their back up quarterback now in the game, just scored. At 12-7 the next drive was crucial for Jordan Jefferson and the offense. Jefferson drove the team down for seven big points. Later on in the third he scored another touchdown to put LSU up 26-7. It might not have been much, but one half removed from 4 field goals I do take it as a positive sign when the offense puts up two touchdowns. Hopefully against West Virginia the team can build on that.

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