Published September 11, 2012 - 4:37pm
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The Tigers showed their stripes against Washington, and those stripes are very similar to the ones worn during LSU’s epic 2011 regular season. LSU is going to suffocate an opponent on defense and pummel them with the rush on offense.
To be more specific, Les Miles’ philosophy is to make the other team tap out. As soon as LSU takes the lead, the execution starts. The Tigers are going to line up and start swinging the hammer with a bludgeoning ground game. Depending on the mettle of the opponent, either this will be a steady chipping away or huge chunks start crumbling off. Either way, the end is typically the same…an opponent that has been broken down physically and mentally.
Two games in, we are also getting glimpses of how deadly LSU’s offense can be. LSU has been able to both run and pass effectively with Mett under center. One series against Washington best exemplifies the ‘pick your poison’ offense of LSU. With the Tigers operating out of the “I” formation, James Wright caught a frozen rope from Mett for seventeen yards. LSU lined up again in the same formation and Washington was then handcuffed. The Huskies couldn’t cheat against the run and provide adequate coverage in the secondary. The result, Alfred Blue takes it twenty-one yards to the house.
If LSU can force defenses to play honest, look out. Les Miles will not have to bludgeon opponents to death. He will have the luxury of killing quickly with lethal strikes from the arm of Mettenberger.
However, you get the sense that quick strikes and booming punts aren’t going to be Les’ modus operandi. If the 2012 season is a poker game, Les is going to have those aces up his sleeve, ready to go. Yet, you know Miles won’t use them. Instead, he is going to sit there and smile while showing a deuce and a five off -suit. Why? Because he knows he’s about to pistol whip the other players at the table, take the pot regardless and no person will be able to stop him. The LSU ground game is that dominant.
Why is it that good? If Alfred Blue, Michael Ford, Kenny Hilliard and Spencer Ware are the opponent’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, then the LSU OLine and FB J.C. Copeland are the weapons and beasts bringing them to battle. Anytime a team can lose its starting left tackle and improve the next week, it is good. Scary good.
Speaking of Harbingers of Death…. The LSU defense is quickly finding out that was always much more than #7. Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo have been fierce off the end, while the tackle rotation has created constant headaches for opponents thus far. In regards to the secondary, freshman CB, Jalen Mills, seems to be the real deal. Yet, it is hard to single out any one performance, as the whole unit collectively has racked up some impressive numbers. The Tigers have four sacks, 14 tackles for loss, eleven passes broken up, ten QB hurries and three turnovers. The Tigers are also allowing a miserly 8.5 points per game and just over 200 total yards per game. Expect both of those numbers to drop this week against Idaho.
Note: Last week, if there was one bright spot for Washington, it was the Husky fans. The Husky faithful traveled better than more than a few of our SEC brethren and they weren’t afraid to jump right in. Much like a native Louisianan, the Husky fans never seemed to meet a stranger. Whether it was sharing a bowl of Jambalaya or a couple of Moonshine Cherry bombs, they embraced the experience whole-heartedly. They appreciated the LSU traditions just as much as the hospitality, and unlike Ole Miss, they were there for a win, not the party. To a fan, each could intelligently and rationally explain why a win was possible. (Something that is sorely lacking in states east of Mississippi and west of Florida and Georgia.) I can only hope that we see them again on a home and home sooner than later.