LSU Needs To Go Back To The Drawing Board

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Time To Realize That Tigers Not Very Good

By John Ventola

Surprisingly, Ronda Rousey took a brutal kick to the face Saturday night. In what is turning into not that big of a surprise, LSU’s footballers got their stripped backsides kicked for the second consecutive week by an SEC opponent, losing meekly to four-loss Arkansas, 31-14. The “in your face” Razorbacks beat down was slower, although just as lethal. A first half knockdown was followed by late game domination to overcome a brief Tigers comeback.

Tiger faithful hoped that their team would rebound from last week’s abysmal road performance against Alabama, and return to the form that moved the 2015 College

football

Disorganization, Lack of Offensive Imagination On Display Again

Football Playoff committee to rank the team second in the initial CFP poll. Instead they got a strong dose of disorganization, play calling that again left most scratching their heads in bewilderment, and error filled blocking and tackling performances throughout the lineup.

It was not a pretty sight, and with the Razorbacks leading 21-0 with under a minute left in the first half, a number of so-called LSU fans exited Tiger Stadium. Disappointment takes all forms and is expressed by fans in so many different ways. Some keep the football faith, while others abandon it quickly. One thing for sure, no matter what LSU group one falls in now, the Tigers have gone from CFP contenders to a probable lower tier bowl spot in two weeks.

Reality is that LSU is not a very good football team at the moment.

The Tigers used a fourth down ricochet touchdown pass from Brandon Harris to Travin Durel to Malachi Dupre with 24 seconds left in the second quarter, and a two-yard TD plunge by Leonard Fournette with 11;10 left in the third stanza to make it 21-14, but the Bengal defense could not make critical drive stopping plays the rest of the way.

Arkansas responded with a near six minute third quarter drive to tack on a 25-yard field goal to push its margin back ten before Jared Cornelius scored on a 69-yard run with 10:18 left in the game to seal it.

In between, LSU continued its two-game fizzle, often looking like a mediocre football team that has either regressed from early season performances, or is basically not as

LSU

2015 Tigers Not That Good

good as first thought. The Tigers offense again was predictable, showing no imagination and ability to take advantage of a porous Arkansas defense that gave up 52 points to Ole Miss just last week.

A defense that gave up chunks of yards to the Rebels seven days ago, held LSU to 59 yards net rushing. The same Arkansas defense that had only been able to post eight total sacks in nine previous games, was able to sack Harris five times. LSU’s offensive line has shown itself to be multi-untalented. It cannot run block, and it cannot pass block.

Defensively LSU was a step slow the entire game, seemingly out of position and missing often on diving tackles as The Hogs exploited it with long runs. Arkansas ran for 299 yards, including a 80-yard scoring jaunt by Alex Collins and Cornelius’ clinching run.

Kevin Steele and Ed Orgeron, brought in to fortify LSU’s defense as well regarded

newspaper

Steele And Orgeron Have Failed To Present A Formidable Defensive Scheme

defensive gurus, have yet to come up with a scheme that stops any offense. Alabama and Arkansas ran through and around slow defensive linemen and linebackers. Except for two plays by Christian LaCouture in the Bama game, the defensive front has failed to generate any type of pressure on quarterbacks Jake Coker and Brandon Allen.

The lack of a defensive pass rush leaves weak secondary defenders chasing wide open receivers. So unlike LSU defensive teams in recent years that showcased intense pressure and solid coverage.

Dominique Reed opened the scoring when he took an Allen pass in the flat, and used a block by Cornelius to hold off Dwayne Thomas and Jamal Adams to race untouched for a 52-yard touchdown. Collins then used a stutter-step in a tackle hole to leave a tackler in his wake, and speed to his 80 yard TD. After Collins scored his second touchdown on a 5 yard burst, Cornelius’ final touchdown run proved to be a prime example of this season’s weak defensive back play.

With Cornelius outflanking Tiger defenders and wide open at the LSU 30-yard-line, freshman Kevin Toliver was the only LSU player to stand between him and the goal line. Toliver was being blocked at the ten-yard line and could not disengage from the block in time to even make an attempt at Cornelius. He allowed the blocker to stay engaged, and push him into the end zone. Makes any knowledgeable football fan wonder if any technique is being taught to LSU’s young talent.

Fournette saw his Heisman Trophy hopes disappear in Tuscaloosa because of lack of blocking, and the unwillingness of Coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to deviate from a game plan that was clearly shut down by Alabama. Saturday night Fournette had the same amount of carries as last week, and ran for 60 additional

Lenord F

Fournette Deserves Better

yards, but once again he was often hit as soon as he took the ball from Harris. He gained 91 yards rushing the old fashioned way—he earned it.

While the results have not been there the past two weeks for Fournette, the effort has been. It is a shame the young man has little, or no help, in finding running space to get up a head of steam.

Harris threw for 271 yards and one touchdown, but had a badly thrown fade pattern intercepted in the Arkansas end zone in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the game, instead of throwing a pass away with defenders in his face, he was hit and fumbled at the LSU eleven yard line, setting up Arkansas’ third touchdown.

SEC West title, SEC championship, CFP playoff spot, and the Heisman Trophy are all gone. Ole Miss and Texas A & M await. The past two weeks have been ugly. It could get uglier. Penthouse (CFP spot) to the outhouse (Weedeater Bowl or something similar) often is a short trip. The Tigers could make the trip in four straight unproductive weeks.

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ByJohn


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