Sunday, November 1, 2009

About Last Night...

As I hinted at in my last post, Tulane does not have a good football program.  And LSU, as you would expect, dominated the Green Wave on Saturday night.

As a Tiger fan, it was fun to watch the replay early this morning.  Although the Tigers stalled a couple of times, and the Greenies moved the ball a couple of times, the game wasn't even remotely in question.

The offense seemed to be running on all cylinders.  Jefferson, although he threw a pretty bad interception, had another strong overall performance.  Charles Scott had well over 100 yards rushing.  Russell Shepard generated some excitement and a touchdown.  And Stevan Ridley gave everyone a glimpse of our possible starting TB next year. 

The defense was swarming, and the Tigers actually had a pass rush again.  Patrick Peterson picked one off to stop a potential scoring drive.  Rahim Alem pressured the QB all night long.  And the LSU linebackers - all four of them - were lights out.  Absolutely fantastic.  Even the backup defensive linemen, like Lavar Edwards, got to shine a bit.

And special teams, minus the punting itself, were outstanding.  Even with unusually short kickoffs, the coverage remained rock solid.  Daniel Graff blocked a Tulane punt, leading to Shepard's eventual score.  And Trindon Holliday twice reminded the nation why most teams prefer to punt out of bounds when he's back to receive.

Great game.  But let's keep it in perspective.  Tulane is very bad, particularly on defense.  The Tigers, minus a couple of errors, should've put up another 2-3 touchdowns. 

Next weekend, the Tigers face a challenge of the opposite kind.  Alabama has a very strong, very talented defense coached by a great staff.  They will be every bit as athletic, deep and well-coached as LSU.  And the game is on their home turf.

I can't wait.   The talk has already begun on the internet sites about the defensive struggle next Saturday in Tuscaloosa.  And it's an understandable expectation.  But I'm not buying it.  Bama has a very strong defense.  Very talented.  In fact, I think Bama's defense is better than Florida's.  But, if Jordan Jefferson has a good game, I think LSU's passing weapons can open things up against Bama, expose some vulnerabilities, and score points.  Jefferson doesn't have to be phenomenal.  But, for my prediction to happen, he has to give a good performance in terms of ball security, confidence, and not getting rattled by sacks and a pick.

Don't expect 400 yards of offense on Saturday, Tiger fans.  But I think, based on LSU's very strong turnover ratio (+10 at the moment) and a receiving corps that could start for any team in the nation, LSU has a great chance to ruin Bama's scoring defense stats at least a little bit.

Just don't let last night set you up for next Saturday.  Because the difficulty of the two games could hardly be any more different. 

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