Published October 23, 2012 - 7:15pm
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Let’s review the LSU Tigers at their bye week:
Record: 7-1 overall, 3-1 SEC
First-Half Review: LSU looked sluggish to start the season, starting on the road against Auburn and the very next week against Towson. They got a wake up call in Gainesville against a more physical team in Florida, who wore them down in the second half. But the Tigers bounced back just like a good team does against South Carolina and Texas A&M in the next two weeks to keep the national championship alive. Look, we now know that LSU is really no different than they were a year ago, whether Jordan Jefferson or Zach Mettenberger is the quarterback. Jarrett Lee and Jefferson combined for 20 touchdowns through the air, and Mett has seven through eight games, falling behind the mark left by his predecessors. We thought Mett could be the one player who could give this team a downfield threat. I’m not so sure he is that player yet, and I will base that on the Alabama. That happens in two weeks.
MVP: Linebacker Kevin Minter has been the most feared defender on the Tigers’ team through the first half. Minter makes play after play and is a sure tackler on an inexperienced linebacker corps. He’s second in the SEC in tackles with 75, and he posted a career-high 20 tackles against Florida earlier in the year. Minter is currently third in the SEC with 7.5 tackles for loss.
Biggest Surprise: The Tigers’ running back position was crowded before the season started with four proven backs in Alfred Blue, Spencer Ware, Kenny Hilliard and Michael Ford. However, the biggest surprise is freshman running back Jeremy Hill. He’s been a welcomed sight for a position that has been somewhat boring since Blue went down with an injury. Hill broke off a 50-yard touchdown to seal the USC game, and he came back against Texas A&M and housed one from 47 yards to ice that one. Hill may have the best combination of speed and size (6-2, 225) of any of the backs on the LSU roster.
State To Note: Teams are scoring on LSU in the red zone 94.12 percent of the time. Entering the Texas A&M game, LSU was letting opponents score 100 percent of the time. The only worse team than LSU in that department is Tennessee. On the contrary, Alabama is only allowing opponents to score 58.33 percent of the time. It’s certainly an interesting stat that we’ll keep an eye on throughout the season.
Looking Ahead: Look no further than November 3rd against Alabama. Dubbed the biggest game of the century in 2011, will it live up to the billing in 2012? However, after Alabama, LSU doesn’t have a cakewalk with Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas all lining up to get their shots in.