Lackluster Offense And Sideline Incompetency Doom Tigers Again
By John Ventola
Reversal of good fortune? Nah, just lady luck evening up some things with embattled LSU coach Les Miles.
The Mad Hatter has oftentimes defied the odds—and football coaching logic—in his eleven years in Tigertown. There have been some successful decisions (fake field goal
flip to place-kicker Trent Domingue to defeat Florida last season), but overall his quirkiness is wearing thin with LSU faithful, and football fate seems to be leveling the playing field for him.
Even Auburn got even. What LSU fan will forget Miles deciding to have Matt Flynn throw a final play TD pass to Demetrius Byrd in the left corner of the North end zone against Auburn in 2007? One second was left on the clock when Byrd brought in the pass. Miles looked like a miracle worker that night, but it was not a good football decision. The clock would have run out with one more click.
What if the pass was incomplete and the clock expired—-particularly when the game was winnable with a medium range field goal? LSU won that one 30-24, and went on to win that year’s National Championship despite two defeats, both three overtime games against Kentucky and Arkansas.
Auburn, a team that had not won an SEC home game since 2014, beat LSU without even scoring a touchdown, using six field goals by placekicker Daniel Carlson to top the struggling Tigers 18-13 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Forget the controversial final play reversal of a 15-yard touchdown pass from Danny
Etling to D.J. Chark (for some reason I kept hearing the wording of the opening for the old Wide World of Sports as joyful emotions traded sides in the final second fiasco on The Plains—-“The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat”), it shouldn’t have gone down to the wire.
With Heisman hopeful Leonard Fournette and talent on both sides of the football, the game was decided by Miles’ faulty football logic, and his hard-headedness in not changing the offensive schemes of his football team, something he promised he would do after last season.
Miles got a solid “F” Saturday in clock management and play calling. Fournette broke a couple of nice runs (101 yards in 16 carries) and his
backup, Derrius Guice, broke free for a 52-yard gain in the first half. However, Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron made it easy for the War Eagles by predictably running Fournette off tackle in most key situations.
Etling was erratic, taking hit after hit, but his quick thinking and short flip to Foster Moreau accounted for LSU’s only touchdown. He finished 15 for 27 passing for just 118 yards with no interceptions. but missed spotting open receivers (particularly Malachi Dupre) late in the game.
How can a coach, who promised changes in offensive philosophy when he received a last game reprieve last November, not deliver on his promises? Mind boggling!
His coaching future was not decided against Auburn, but it did put another nail in his LSU coffin. Home matchups with high-powered Ole Miss and No. 1 Alabama plus road tilts at Florida, Arkansas, and Texas A & M could result in a losing record for a team that was considered a preseason playoff contender.
One can only hope that Joe Aleva has some qualified coaches on speed dial. LSU has posted a 2-7 record against the Rebels, Crimson Tide, and Razorbacks over the last three seasons.
What is really sad is the fact that the LSU team did not run out of time. Miles and his coaches did not have the players coached and ready to get to the line of scrimmage
before the referee placed the football for a possible final play. The referees gave them time to pull that off as they discussed the illegal shift penalty that negated an Etling completion to an underused Dupre that went to the Auburn two yard line.
Miles froze, like a deer in headlights. Looking at the replay screen like he had all the time in the world. Hey coach, earn that big salary, get your men up to the line of scrimmage and snap the ball as soon as the referee puts it down. Plain and simple. Etling and Chark would have been heroes today, and you would have avoided yet another clock management blunder.
Instead your football team is a disappointing 2-2 with a rigorous schedule ahead. Chances of you righting this sinking ship is slim as this blogger thinks you will have to beat Alabama and finish with a 9-3 record to save your job. Nothing that I have seen shows that possibly happening. Particularly when one considers the expressions and
reactions of two of your star players at game end. Fournette (who took more than his share of hits) and Dupre (who was overlooked many times while running wide open) were visibly upset.
Saturday was not all doom and gloom. Coach Dave Aranda’s defense did themselves proud, holding Auburn without a touchdown by stiffening up in the red zone. A solid goal-line stand highlighted the defensive effort. Arden Key, Kendell Beckwith, Jamal Adams and others stepped up big time.
Miles said after the game he was proud his team got in position for the final play. How delusional is that? They would have scored if they had been coached properly. And, “I don’t know I’ve come as close to winning a game and finished second”. Huh?
Same old story. Les Miles is a good man and a fantastic recruiter. However, he is one hard-headed, incompetent football coach.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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