Published October 12, 2012 - 4:46pm
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What a strange place LSU has found itself in. The team is 5-1 and apparently going down in flames..fast. Showing up this week to help speed up the process is Steve Spurrier and his #3 Gamecocks. Typically, this would elicit a furious rally cry and talk of payback for all the times Spurrier waltzed into Tiger Stadium and embarrassed LSU. This time, even the most diehard Tiger fans are somewhat skeptical about a victory this Saturday against South Carolina.
It’s not as if LSU is a bad team, it is just a team with a horrible passing game. It still has a tremendous defense, great talent at the running back position and talent at the offensive line position, regardless of who is hurt. If only LSU could make a third down conversion or complete a pass with any consistency. That is a big “if” considering LSU’s offense has only managed one TD in its last three games against SEC opponents.
What is the problem? If someone were to poll the LSU community and ask which personnel on offense or defense would likely be drafted one day, almost every position would be represented except for three. Quarterback, Receiver and Tight End. This is the issue. Sure, all of the players may have been highly touted coming out of high school, but the LSU coaching staff hasn’t done anything with that talent. LSU simply does not have any big-time playmakers in the passing game. If it does, why do they disappear against stout opponents? Why don’t they catch the football and then protect it when they do catch it? Is the lack of confidence in the quarterback that great to call a third down half-back jump pass against Florida?
LSU is a home favorite to win this Saturday. Teams have figured out that the best way to beat LSU is to force them to pass and control the clock…both of which result in the LSU defense being on the field way too long. IF LSU is going to play like a real home favorite, this is the punch list…
Convert on Third Down
LSU has a tremendous defense. However, they are still human and humans get tired after 70+ snaps of football, regardless of conditioning. Last week, Will Muschamp was better at LSU football than Les Miles was. The Gators had possession for over thirty-seven minutes. It killed the stamina of the Tiger D. LSU has to start controlling the clock again. It has to allow its defense to stay fresh and bring the pain train, not get run over by it.
Give Mett Time
LSU will take the field against South Carolina with only two of its first string offensive linemen on the field, Lonergan and Collins. This is not what you want when lining up against Clowney and company. If LSU is to do anything offensively, Mettenberger must have the time and opportunity to throw the ball. Not doing so will result in eleven Gamecocks lining up to stop the rush.
If the Tigers can, they should return them for touchdowns. The offense will need the help.
Give the crowd a reason to stay pumped
The crowd must be a factor in this game. The Gamecocks need to feel the noise in their chests. The Tigers and their fans must remind the Gamecocks of why Death Valley is one of the toughest places to play in all of sports. Do that, and the Tigers might welcome Sunday with a 6-1 record.
Land some stud WR prospects
The LSU campus will be full of star recruits this weekend. Some of them will be the type who run down the field and catch the ball. Get them to commit this weekend.
I have been with Saturday Down South for over two years. In that time, there has never been a game where I felt LSU had the chips completely stacked against them. Until now. The injuries and anemic offense will finally catch up to the Tigers.
The Hat: 10
The Visor: 20