Published October 1, 2012 - 3:15pm
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When the season began, it appeared that LSU would steamroll its way to a November 3rd showdown with Alabama. LSU had everything in place for another legitimate run at a title…a nasty defense, a pulverizing run game and finally…a bona fide signal caller. After 3 games, it seemed that LSU might end up being a favorite to win it all. Then somehow, LSU lost its offense somewhere on the way to the Plains of Auburn. The Tigers also lost a ton of focus in regards to protecting the ball as well.
Sure the Tigers are 5-0, but wins 4 and 5 have sure caused some head scratching and frustration amongst Tiger fans. It would be easy to attribute the performance at Auburn to a mix of a hungry Auburn team and an incredibly hostile crowd. Then Towson happened. At home. LSU looked just like the team that muddled its way through Auburn. Unfortunately, the blame is focused on a very familiar culprit, the passing game. Just like the past three years, LSU is getting unsatisfactory play passing game. This time around, it is a group effort. For every sack, fumble or hurry that Mettenberger has incurred, his receivers have also contributed a drop. Whether it is a lack of focus or sync, it is not the type of play that will get the Tigers past the first weekend of October, let alone the whole month.
This first weekend of October has the Tigers facing #10 Florida and the Gators have to be licking their chops. The Tigers are showing some kinks in the armor and the Gators look more than ready to issue some payback for a 41-11 drubbing in Baton Rouge last year. If LSU plays like it has the past two weeks, the Tigers will be leaving Gainesville 5-1.
However, the sky isn’t falling just yet. As poorly as most Tiger fans think the team is playing, the odds makers in Vegas still have LSU as the favorite this Saturday in the Swamp. LSU is still a top five team with a ferocious defense and a ground game that can crank out the yardage, regardless of how many players are in the box. IF LSU can eliminate some of the drops and turnovers, it can win this Saturday.
The Swamp will be a factor, but the Tigers have been tested on the road this year. Jordan-Hare let it all hang out and the Tigers still left with a victory, which is something other top ten teams haven’t done this season. LSU thumped Washington 41-3 this year, which beat #8 Stanford last week. The Cardinal went on the road and lost a conference game to a lesser foe. LSU did the same thing and won. No offense to the Husky fans, but I would bet a pay check that Jordan-Hare is a much tougher venue to play a college game in than the Seahawk’s Century Link stadium.
This week, the biggest hurdle for Les Miles and his Tigers will be discipline. In the past two games, LSU has committed 19 penalties, allowed big plays and turned the ball over a handful of times. Those types of mistakes will be fatal in the Swamp. If Miles and his staff can’t get the team to regain focus and eliminate the mental errors, then LSU will have not just a long day on Saturday, but a very long October as well.