Gene Chizik gushes over former foe, new LSU OC Matt Canada
Gene Chizik works for the SEC Network now, but he spent the past two seasons in the ACC as North Carolina’a defensive coordinator. One of his toughest foes was new LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
“I say that Matt Canada was an A-plus hire,” Chizik said on the SEC Network. “I know that because I defended this guy for the last two years.”
In 2015, Canada was the offensive coordinator at North Carolina State. Chizik’s Tar Heels defeated N.C. State (45-34), but it wasn’t exactly a banner day for the defense. The Wolfpack had 514 yards of total offense, including 308 rushing yards led by QB Jacoby Brissett’s 128 yards on 20 carries.
Last season, Canada was Pittsburgh’s play-caller. The Panthers fell short (36-37), but once again, Canada’s offense rushed for nearly 300 yards. With a 28-yard loss attributed as a “team” run, Pitt finished with 281 rushing yards.
Chizik pointed to what Canada has done to other ACC defenses.
“I’m going to give you some numbers that pop out: 42, 43 and 76,” Chizik said.
The numbers are the scores, in order, by Pitt against Big Ten champion Penn State, defending national champion Clemson and Syracuse.
“He does an outstanding job of taking what he has and he formulates an offense around his people,” Chizik said. “You can’t pigeon-hole Matt Canada into being a spread guy. He’s not a west coast guy. He’s not an uptempo guy. He is really a whatever guy who can do anything based on his personnel. And let’s not forget, he really does a great job of developing quarterbacks.”
With weapons like Derrius Guice and an assortment of tall wideouts, Canada should be able to develop an exciting offense.