Ole Miss humiliates LSU – the big questions

I can take a loss. They happen. I can also take a disappointing season – they also happen. But what I have a hard time accepting is stupidity.

It’s becoming clear that LSU is full of stupidity, and I think it’s on the sideline. There are three big questions that come to mind following LSU’s embarrassing 31-13 loss to Ole Miss:

1) Where in the living hell is LSU’s pass defense? Credit Jevon Snead for three outstanding throws on one Ole Miss touchdown march, but drive after drive in this game was peppered with the same unbelievably bad pass coverage LSU has exhibited all throughout this season. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this question – it’s because Les Miles eliminated the position of defensive coordinator. How long does it take for the “young” defense, as the popular excuse theorizes, to actually start playing pass coverage? You can’t blame youth and inexperience 11 games in to the season.

2) Why has Jarrett Lee remained LSU’s starting quarterback? I had given Leslie & Co. the benefit of the doubt – surely Jordan Jefferson just isn’t ready to run the pass offense – but it was clear today that Jefferson is at least as capable and steady as Lee. Based on Jefferson’s performance after Lee went down, I’m going to say he seems to be much better than Lee in all aspects of the game, but at minimum he is just as good. When Lee threw three interceptions against Georgia, he should have been benched for the Tulane game in favor of Jefferson. Are we to believe that a kid who goes 10 for 20 for 129 yards against Ole Miss today was incapable of leading the team against Tulane three weeks ago? Tulane should have been Jefferson’s tryout for the Alabama game, but it wasn’t. Instead we got four more Lee interceptions against Alabama, an almost-inescapable hole against Troy and no answer to Ole Miss’ offense tonight. Jefferson showed himself to be a capable passer and a powerful threat running the ball. I wonder what LSU’s offense would look like if it had been designed around Jefferson instead of Lee. What Lee has done and what Jefferson clearly seems capable of doing has me seriously doubting Leslie’s mental capacity.

3) Going for it on 4th and 23 from your own 47 yard line down 15 with 8:11 left in the game? Are you shitting me?? It was bad enough when Leslie was deciding to go for it on 4th and 18, but to stick with that plan after a false start penalty is sheer, inexcusable stupidity. Eight freaking minutes left! That ridiculously stupid decision by Miles ended the game, as Ole Miss had to move just 38 yards to get a field goal and put the game out of reach. In what Idiot’s Playbook does that call make sense?

I can take the losses, but I can’t take the stupidity.

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4 Responses to “Ole Miss humiliates LSU – the big questions”

  1. TCL says:

    Added thoughts:

    (1) Perhaps having a guy who’s solely responsible for the D backs would enable him to ensure that they drill on TACKLING. Bad, blown coverage is one thing — and it’s a bad, bad thing. But we have an entire corps of D backs who DO NOT TACKLE, not when they’re playing pass coverage, not when they come up to blitz or stack the line. Never. Coleman, P.Jones and McCray think that they can just hit a guy and he’ll fall, Peterson is a true freshman and apparently not strong enough to bring guys down. Even some of our linebackers and DEs are just arm tackling. If only Chad Jones and Rahem Alem had nine more brothers. Our D just sucks and we’re graduating a shitload of guys.

    (2) Presumably the offense was designed around Jefferson early in the offseason, but his name was Ryan Perrilloux. I’ve been giving Miles and Crowton the benefit of the doubt that they’ve been seeing someing in practice that led them to believe Jefferson wasn’t ready, but comparing his limited game performance with Lee’s, I can’t imagine what Jefferson could have been doing in practice so poorly. Another thing: We moved the ball on that first Jefferson drive at the end of the half by throwing. In the second half we seemed to weight the run and the option (or so it seemed in real time; I haven’t checked the stats), as if the coaches went in during the half and said, “OK, we need to put in our mobile QB playbook.” I still think that with Byrd, Lafell, Tolliver, we needed to be stretching the field more on early downs.

    (3) Yeah you right. Fucking moron.

  2. Jeff says:

    I agree with almost everything that has been said. I don’t disagree with the 4th down call, though. We haven’t been able to stop their offense and the way the clock drains it was a do or die situation. I was livid with the false start that made a bad situation worse. I do see your point of being 38 yards away from a field goal.

    I am sick and tired of hearing how we are doing so well in practice. Lee probably looks awesome against our pass defense in practice, but other SEC defenses tackle and don’t blow assignments constantly. These morons told CBS that they had the answer for the wild rebel offense. HA! They are a bunch of idiots. The back out of the backfield has also been a mystery to our defensive coordinators. The back is almost always open, WIDE OPEN! I am also tired of seeing our defense look for the big hit and not wrap up the ball carrier. When the big hit works they then get up and start celebrating. They did it vs Florida down 21 and ole miss down 18. You are getting it handed to you and you celebrate after a big hit? Are you kidding me? Get your butt back to the huddle you haven’t done crap all game! There is a total lack of discipline on this team. The team has gradually lost discipline year after year since Saban left. When he got his butt handed to him his players never showboated after plays like Les’s bunch. I do understand Les won a national championship but look at the overwhelming talent he had. A blind moron could have backed his way into the national championship eventually before all the talent graduated.

    I give Miles one more season to get his stuff together. You make decisions in the offseason to get the defense in order and find a quarterback. Maybe Russell Shepard can solve this issue, if he stays verbally committed. If Les refuses to make any adjustments then you can him and the defensive coordinators! Then you go after a big name coach that can coach and recruit.

  3. Cap'n Ken says:

    Jeff – On the 4th down, I gotta disagree with you on liking the call. If you look at the previous three Ole Miss drives, they were each five plays for an average of 11.6 yards. So there should have been decent confidence of stopping them again.

    It’s the totality of the situation – 8 minutes left, at midfield, 18 (then 23) yards, down just two scores – that made that just a stupid decision. 5 minutes left, on the 40, 8 yards to go, down two scores, sure. Down three scores in the 4th-and-23, sure.

    But I think that decision just shows that Leslie isn’t all that bright.

  4. Jet says:

    Are we experiencing De-Ja-Vu all over again, again?

    What if the guys last year were just good enough to win, in spite of questionable (I am being nice here) play calling and strategy… and, what we are seeing now is the product of 1) losing of the guy who ran the defense and who coached the defensive secondary, 2) a poor hire for special teams coach, and 3) (pick one) an offensive coordinator who is so determined to run his package he cannot scale it back and come up with a scheme to take advantage of a young QB’s skills to compliment and utilize the other strengths his offense possesses (like a great offensive line and 3 outstanding running backs), or is it the head coach who is determined to run the package and force a balanced run/pass ratio, or who (pick one or both) who cannot recognize an outstanding freshman talent at QB and refuse to give him a chance.

    On the QB situation, in 1987 Tommy Hodson was a true freshman and was outstanding. In 1996, Herb Tyler was discovered mid year when DiNardo realized his 1st team defense couldn’t stop his scout team freshman QB. I also remember, Matt Flynn who sat the bench and couldn’t even pee in the starters bathroom while he sat bench watching JaMarcus Russell take two years to learn to throw the ball away and lose key games throwing interceptions trying to use his arm instead of his head. When Flynn did get to play, he dismantled Miami and won a national championship… but the head guy (who see’s him practice every day) wouldn’t give him a chance. I saw it, and I bet you saw it.

    I remember Gerry DiNardo who brought in a good staff with him when he was hired, and experienced initial success; but was not able to replace the losses (as the good coaches were hired away) with equal or better, and the program fell apart.

    I am off the Miles bandwagon until he shows me he can right the ship. Just my two cents. Enjoy your column.

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