10 takeaways after 10 games: LSU
Before each team in the SEC reaches its 11th game of the season, we’ll take a look at 10 takeaways up to this point.
LSU TIGERS (7-3, 3-3)
10. There’s still unresolved issues in the passing game: LSU quarterbacks Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris have been nearly non-existent as pocket threats this season, ranking last in the SEC in completion percentage (48.9) and 13th in the yards per game (177.3). The Tigers have attempted just 21.9 passers per game, the fewest during Les Miles’ tenure.
9. Kicker Colby Delahoussaye’s been an underrated weapon
8. We dare you to find a better three-loss team: The Tigers have played five teams currently ranked in the Top 25 this season, including three inside the Top 5 on the day of the game. Outside of a 34-point loss at Auburn on Oct. 4, LSU’s been in several nailbiting finishes
7. Sophomore wideout Travin Dural’s made a slash
6. Danielle Hunter’s met sizable expectations: With a team-best 10.5 tackles for loss, six pass deflections and a fumble recovery for a touchdown, the junior defensive end has done all John Chavis has asked of him as the team’s top pass rusher. He’s likely an early exit for the NFL Draft after this season and will be a challenge to replace off the edge.
5. LSU’s defense as a unit, despite youth, is elite
4. The offensive line’s been instrumental in seven wins: Anchored by four returning starters including three upperclassmen led by Vadal Alexander, LSU’s offensive line has played with efficiency up front nearly every Saturday this fall. The Tigers rank second in the SEC in total time of possession, fifth in rushing yards per game and second in first downs via run.
3. Season turned around for the Tigers during win at Florida
2. Leonard Fournette’s the real deal: Though he’s had several ‘Welcome to the SEC’ moments on special teams, this true freshman’s been what we all expected as the nation’s top recruit, rushing for a team-best 736 yards and seven touchdowns on 152 attempts. He’s surpassed the century mark three times, broken several tackles for big gains and lost only one fumble.
1. Les Miles’ coaching job this season could be his best in Baton Rouge: Staring a fifth straight 10-win directly in the face, LSU’s veteran coach hasn’t let inexperience and the depletion of an offense thanks to NFL departures negatively impact this year’s team. Miles has done a great job disguising areas of weakness by maintaining a simplistic, run-geared defensive approach. His philosophy’s worked out well for the Tigers.