Saturday, October 24, 2009


LSU's defense (and Auburn's penalties) gave plenty of space for a still-inconsistent LSU offense to work its way to a much improved four quarters of football.

But I'm still staying realistic about expectations for this season.  I saw plenty to be happy about in this game.  But I also saw plenty to keep in perspective.

  • The Defense.  Just look at the stats if you didn't watch the game closely.  LSU's defense will keep them in any game.  And we all know that defenses win championships.  Which is why Florida and Bama are still at the top of the heap.
  • LSU's cornerbacks are really good and really deep.  Chris Hawkins' interception was awesome.
  • Turnover ratio.  Although the Tigers didn't take advantage of every turnover in terms of putting 7 on the board, a 3:1 turnover ratio is smokin' good.
  • Russell Shepard finally broke one.  I gotta admit - I was getting tired of seeing him in predictable situations, getting hit hard by Eltoro Freeman, who was obviously spying him.  But he finally got the seam he needed and it was over.  If he gets a chance to complete a few passes for big yards out of the Wildcat (WildTiger, whatever), then we're going to see more of him racing into the end zone.
  • Reuben Randle's great grab.
  • Jarrett Lee getting some snaps, making a great throw to Lafell (after a scary throw to Tolliver...)
  • Jordan Jefferson remains rock solid in terms of his care of the football (except for the fumble), his ability to not make big mistakes (except for the fumble), and his knack for getting good, important yards with his legs (except when he fumbles).  Seriously - Jefferson's fumble aside, he's a solid QB. 
  • The announcers said it.  I've been hoping it's true.  LSU is still improving.  If that continues, that's a very good sign for this postseason and next year, obviously.
  • Auburn is not good.  I thought they were a lot better than they are.  And mostly, they're not good because their defense is not what it has been in the past.  So when their offense sputtered, it cost them big time.
  • Jordan Jefferson is still not throwing the ball all that well.  He made some good throws (TD to Tolliver).  He also made a lot of poor throws, some of which were dropped, some of which were not.   He's also still taking way to0 long to throw downfield and his timing is not great.  Why am I picking on this?  Because Auburn is not good.  Jefferson looked OK against a weak defense and a team that basically gave up in the second half.  Bama has a much better defense than Auburn.  So does Ole Miss.  Right now, Jefferson is solid, but not good enough.  I still think his job is not secure heading into the off-season if he doesn't begin to really stretch the field on a regular basis.
  • No.  Pass.  Rush.  Seriously.  Two sacks and I was ECSTATIC!  That's sad.  Chris Todd had tons of time to throw.  It's a good thing LSU's secondary is so good and Chris Todd isn't.
BOTTOM LINE:  I'm stoked that the Tigers beat Auburn and still control their own destiny.  But I'm maintaining that LSU will be a 2-loss team at best, and more likely a 3-loss team when all is said and done.  Because a QB that doesn't scare defensive coordinators and a defense that can't pressure the opposing QB is a recipe for exploitation by top caliber teams.  Florida has already done it.  Alabama will do it next. 

I hope Jordan Jefferson and the LSU defensive front improve greatly against Tulane and just shuts me up against Bama, Ole Miss and Arkansas (Mallett is a good QB).

Tough to be pessimistic about a 31-10 dominating effort of Auburn.  But that's where I'm at.

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