LSU / SEC Week 3 Recap

I’m quickly growing tired of the “we’ll come along” line about LSU football.

Bad defense against Washington? It’ll come around. And they say it came around with a “great” effort against Vanderbilt, holding the ‘Dores to 210 yards of offense. Yeah, and Vandy managed just 157 yards of offense against Mississippi State this week. Oh, and it was awesome how Washington beat USC with the Huskies gaining 185 fewer yards and scoring seven fewer points in their win over the Trogans than in their loss to LSU. Idaho held Washington to 104 fewer yards than the Tigers gave them.

So giving up 272 yards to USL is supposed to feel good? Yeah, the goal line stand was awesome – it would be great if the Cajuns would have just run into the big pile of larger guys on every play. And the Tigers held USL to 14 fewer yards than they gained against 1-2 Kansas State.

I don’t buy it. LSU is sitting at No. 9 in the SEC in total defense. And this against no teams that rank in the top 50 nationally in total offense. This is not to say LSU is doomed on defense, but we aren’t where we need to be come Oct. 3 and beyond. Any thinking Tiger fan would be concerned about what we’ve seen so far. The defensive line needs to step up, close down the rush and gets some pressure on the quarterback. That, rather than pass defense, feels like the problem this year.

And the picture is more concerning on offense. I think I know why we haven’t seen Jordan Jefferson throw deep until last night – he’s not hitting guys long. But the USL game was a good time to figure that out. We don’t need the long ball to be successful, but we do need a ground game. We averaged just 4.5 yards per carry against the Cajuns, and the outside run game that saved us against Vandy and UW was gone. Keiland Williams averaged 7.3 yards per carry against the Huskies and 7.2 against the ‘Dores. He got more touches Saturday night against the weakest rush defense we’ve faced and his average dropped to 4.3 yards per carry.

Right now, nothing is working particularly well offensively. LSU is dead last in the SEC in total offense and 90th in the nation. We dropped 330 yards and 31 points on USL. Alabama dropped 523 yards and 53 points on North Texas. Kansas State and Southern both put more yards on USL than LSU did. Mississippi State put more yards on Vandy than LSU did. Idaho and USC put more yards on Washington than LSU did. There is just nothing good to say about LSU’s offense right now.

So one more relatively easy game and then these Tigers have to get serious. There’s not much I’m seeing that gives me a good feeling about October.

Elsewhere in the SEC:

I was pretty amazed at the joy expressed by Tennessee fans for not feeling embarrassed coming out of the Florida loss. A loss was a given, I guess, so anything short of looking foolish must have felt good. But I don’t like seeing that from a program the caliber of Tennessee. It was one thing to see Washington fans all full of pride for putting up a competitive game. But they were 0-12 last year. Have a little more program pride, Vols fans. Yes, I predicted a Florida blowout.

Apparently Georgia signed a secret pact to join the Big 12 when they were out in Oklahoma. All of a sudden they’re a big-throwing team with no defense. It wasn’t entirely surprising that this game became a shootout, and I give the Dawgs credit for coming out on top as I guessed they would.

On the flipside of the Tennessee attitude, I understand Auburn fans being really happy to win a game over West Virginia they probably should have lost. No, this isn’t the “great” West Virginia, but it’s still a quality non-conference win in a year when the War Eagles really need to get some wins and get off to a good start. Whether Vol fans will be happy with a feel-good loss to Auburn in two weeks remains to be seen.

I’ve talked enough about Vandy, but obviously the ‘Dores losing to Mississippi State doesn’t make LSU’s win feel that great. They played like Vandy of old, and I bought the idea that they might be something more. Silly me.

Good win for Kentucky. Expected wins by Bama, South Carolina and Ole Miss. Amazing that Ole Miss is sitting at No. 5 in the poll (and No. 4 in the one that doesn’t matter) having played absolutely nobody.

For the week: 8-1; for the season 23-4

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One Response to “LSU / SEC Week 3 Recap”

  1. TCL says:

    I’ll be honest, it’s looking like 8-5 right now unless we can get this thing turned around. Maybe 9-4 and we beat Auburn if we don’t give them five turnovers like WV did.

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