For the second straight week in a row this past Saturday Night against Mississippi State, LSU appeared still to have more questions as opposed to answers for their beleaguered offense.
LSU completely failed to score in the second half.
The offense looked disjointed and vanilla. While observing the game, I felt that if I saw one more swing pass, I was going to puke.
What ever happened to pushing the ball down field?
Sep 17, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette (7) runs for a touchdown against Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Leo Lewis (44) during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Factor in two uncharacteristic fumbles by Leonard Fournette, and you start wondering what happens to this team in the locker room at halftime?
Where is the sense of urgency?
Why doesn’t Les Miles tell Cam Cameron to “put his foot on the gas” and run up the score for once?
Can LSU even do that?
The Tigers should have been able to put this one to bed early but the Bulldogs hung around. Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen “pulled a Les Miles” and replaced starting QB Nick Fitzgerald with Damian Williams.
Williams provided a spark to the Bulldog offense; going 5 out of 8 for a total of 94 yards while scoring touchdowns both running and throwing. Mississippi State mounted a drive on the last possession that had the Tiger faithful holding their collective breath.
Sep 17, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Fred Ross (8) catches a pass over LSU Tigers defensive back Dwayne Thomas (13) during the fourth quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Mississippi State 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Thankfully, Arden Key came up with the game ending strip sack that had everybody sighing in a state of relief instead of a pained agony.
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This team is frustratingly talented on both sides of the ball and cannot seem to put it all together for 4 quarters.
That is an indictment of the head coach and offensive coordinator.
I will spare defensive coordinator Dave Aranda of any harsh criticism here because the defense has clearly kept the Tigers in all 3 games this season.
LSU as of right now is a ‘one trick pony’ that everybody has written the book on — and if that doesn’t change, LSU is bound and determined to get torched by superior competition down the stretch this season.
Scoring 23 points will NOT win games against the likes of Florida, Ole Miss and especially Alabama.
The defense will not be able to bail out the offense all the time. Les Miles and Cam Cameron need to figure out ways to get the ball in the play makers hands early and often.
Run back the film on that first TD to Chark.
Rinse and repeat!
I saw some flashes of creativity, i.e. letting Fournette attempt a pass for what could have been a big gain, and by all purposes was a pretty good throw.
But seriously, this isn’t Pop Warner or the Pee Wee Leagues.
This is “big boy football” and Les Miles — who unless he’s wearing fire retardant khakis — absolutely has to know that his seat is completely on fire at this point.
Sep 17, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles runs onto the field with his team before a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
You have a promising QB that can push the ball down field; and from the small sample size we have, seems to be a playmaker in the pocket.
We know what Fournette is, so why not work on the rest of the offense?
The next test will be a road game against an Auburn team that is much better than anybody anticipated.
They play fast on both sides of the ball and I am positive that they remember being embarrassed by LSU last season.
This could be a trap game for the Tigers and if this team doesn’t show up to play all 60 minutes, it will most likely end up in a loss.
Etling needs to take the next step, and Cameron needs to provide him the tools on offense to do so.
Sep 17, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Danny Etling (16) throws a pass against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the second quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
10 wins won’t be enough to satisfy this fan-base, this season.
Miles needs to show that this team is headed in the right direction. I’m not sure everybody feels that is the case.
The season is not lost, but the play of the offense could quickly tank a once promising season — and Miles’ tenure as head coach of LSU right along with it………..