O Ed If Only Passion Decided Football Games
By John Ventola
One thing about the beginning of the collegiate football season each Fall—-every team starts the year with a clean slate. After eight months (nine months in the case of teams that did not appear in a bowl game), the expectation and excitement of seeing if offseason changes and improvements can fulfill conference and national aspirations reaches a fever pitch by early September.
Because of the damage Hurricane Harvey wracked upon Houston and the site change
of the Brigham Young season opener, it means that the last two LSU head football coaches paced the sideline for their initial games after the stadium site was changed because of a hurricane (LSU bested Arizona State in Tempe in September, 2005, to claim Les Miles’ first LSU victory after Hurricane Katrina).
Ed Orgeron posted six victories last season after taking over for Miles when LSU dropped two of its first four games (losing to Wisconsin 16-14 and Auburn 18-13). Orgeron, the South Louisiana native with the gravely “Cookie Monster” voice, was on the losing end of two heartbreakers in Tiger Stadium (10-0 to Alabama and 16-10 to Florida), but showed enough to the powers that be in Baton Rouge to take over the full-time reins of the Tigers before his squad was selected to play in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
Although the Tigers suffered those two key SEC losses while he called things on the sidelines, the energetic, high-octane coach held the team together, and passed his audition despite a bothersome ankle injury that hobbled Heisman Trophy hopeful
Leonard Fournette. With Fournette basically limited after a record-setting 284-yard rushing performance against Ole Miss, Orgeron used talented Derrius Guice as the main offensive weapon while depending on a veteran laden defense. Guice rushed for 252 yards against Arkansas and broke Fournette’s month-old rushing record by gaining 285 against Texas A & M.
Since Nick Saban directed LSU back into national prominence in 2003, LSU has avoiding losing seasons. The Tigers lost five games twice under Miles (’08, ’14) and four games once (’09) while he and Orgeron combined for the four losses in 2016. Although the Tigers lost some senior and early departure draft picks, the talent level of the team is still high. Guice, defensive stalwart Arden Key, and wide receiver D.J. Chark should gather multiple accolades this season, and Orgeron continued the team’s outstanding recruiting. Look for many freshmen to make their mark during the campaign.
Four losses in Baton Rouge does not go well with Gumbo. Orgeron and defensive coach Dave Aranda, put together an impressive game plan to limit Heisman Trophy
winner Lamar Jackson and Louisville as LSU easily prevailed in the Citrus Bowl, 29-9, on New Year’s Eve. Defensive backs Tre’Davious White and Jamal Adams joined Fournette as first-round NFL draft picks.
While Guice will be the key, new offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been known to accomplish a lot with far lesser talent, using multiple sets, misdirection, and a fast-paced offensive tempo. Quarterback Danny Etling should remain composed and not try to do things beyond his ability level. Freshmen Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse could provide passing and running talent to jump start the offense if Etling has any performance letdown. (Note:Former quarterback Brandon Harris looked shaky in his first action for new team North Carolina earlier Saturday, throwing an ill-advised interception to kill a Tar Heel rally at the end of the first half).
Well, the season opener is here. Time to see who is only talk’in, and who is talk’in—-and walk’in.
Brigham Young versus LSU. It will not be a Baton Rouge Saturday Night, but Orgeron should have his guys revved up to handle anything the Cougars should present. Might be a little hard to imagine, but this blogger thinks the impassioned pleas of Coach O will mute the volume on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir tonight (the BYU fanbase, not the actual MoTab).Thanks For Visiting JV Sport Shots .Com’s Website And Viewing Our Latest Blog(s) / Page(s). We Would Really Appreciate It If You Would Leave Us A Comment Or Remark Below. This Helps Us Provide Great Sports Content; You Would Like To See In Future Posts.
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