LSU / SEC Week 8 Recap

I’m trying hard to avoid feeling really good about No. 9 LSU after the thorough spanking the Tigers put on Auburn last Saturday. As I mentioned before, this is a deeply-flawed Auburn team. But while the 31-10 win over the War Eagles wasn’t some landmark victory for LSU, that game and others set up an intriguing context for the SEC West homestretch.

The two key things in the LSU / Auburn game were that the defense played to scale (if Kentucky holds them to 315 yards and 14 points, LSU holding them to 193 yards and 10 points is very good) and the offense broke loose (for the most part). There has to either be better production by LSU’s hammers (Charles Scott averaging two yards a carry won’t cut it) or a more imaginative ground game (i.e. Russell Shepard) for the Tigers to finish this season strong, but the passing game opening up was a very positive development. We will need Auburn-game numbers from Jordan Jefferson (21 for 31, 242 yards, 2 TDs) and our receivers to move the ball and open up the ground game going forward.

So we got exactly what we need to see on defense and about 70% of what we need to see on offense. Hopefully we’ll see more offensive tuning this week against Tulane.

But the other encouraging developments for LSU took place away from Baton Rouge on Saturday. Alabama’s struggles against Tennessee should be a huge motivational lift for the Tigers (and, unfortunately, Fonzie and the Tide), Arkansas showed itself to be very containable and Ole Miss finally got some offense, but against a horrible Arkansas defense.

In short, the SEC West is winnable for LSU. I don’t think I would have believed that a few weeks ago. Obviously Alabama will be a challenge, and we’ll need some kind of running game to win that one. It’s too much faith to put in the LSU staff to assume that will happen, but it’s possible. And, clearly, LSU can beat Ole Miss and Arkansas. I’ll stop short of saying a win over Alabama should be expected, but we should expect a competitive game at least.

Somebody asked me this week if LSU will look past Tulane in preparing for the Bama game. They say it shouldn’t be that way, but I think the Tigers will view the Greenies game as a scrimmage to prepare for Fonzie & Co. Offensively, we need to work more kinks out. The gameplan for Tulane should be one that aims at Alabama preparation. We’re talking about a 2-5 team that just fell to Southern Miss 43-6, after all. If the Tigers need to specifically focus on how to beat the Greenies, we’re in trouble. I think we’ll see a lot of Charles Scott and the offensive line working on run schemes, and more of Jefferson throwing deep.

Elsewhere in the SEC:

The only game I missed was Arkansas / Ole Miss. Give the Rebels credit for stopping the Mallett offense and finally breaking out their passing game.

Not much else needs to be said about Alabama / Tennessee. Clearly Bama is beatable, but I would have preferred a Tide blowout instead of the motivational lesson handed to Fonzie by the near-loss. Couple that with an open date this week and Bama is probably going to be better prepared for LSU than if they had beaten the Vols by 28.

Mississippi State made Tim Tebow cry (I have to assume that’s why he ran away from the media after the game) and has the Gators questioning themselves. That was fun and makes this week’s Florida / Georgia game a good one to watch. If Florida is to break out of the funk, what better opponent than Georgia? Or if the Gators are to fail, what better opponent to do it than Georgia?

For the week: 5-1; for the season 51-8.

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One Response to “LSU / SEC Week 8 Recap”

  1. Dogwood Girl says:

    “Or if the Gators are to fail, what better opponent to do it than Georgia?”

    From your lips to God’s ears! Not getting my hopes up, though. Still, the setup for my game this week is pretty great, from a dramatic effect viewpoint.

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