Hot or Cold: LSU backfields are cooking
What’s cooking with the LSU Tigers as they head into their bye?
The running game. LSU is roasting teams with the running game after a slow start to the season. In the 10-7 win over Ole Miss, they absolutely took it to one of the best run defenses in the country, piling up 264 yards, the most the Rebels have allowed this season, and 4.8 yards per carry. With a rotation of Leonard Fournette, Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard running behind a rapidly improving offensive line, the Tigers have fresh legs through all four quarters.
The defensive secondary. Everywhere Bo Wallace looked this past Saturday, he saw one of Defensive Back U’s finest. Ronald Martin was the hero with his last-second interception, but Jalen Collins had two near-picks and Tre’Davious White, despite his struggles returning punts, was solid across from Collins. The breakout star, though, was Jamal Adams. Putting his acting job aside, the freshman was flying all over the field, making some very solid plays and throwing some hard hits around. He’s a rising star that’s drawing attention for his play as much as his award-winning acting performances.
Anthony Jennings. Week in, week out, the sophomore quarterback provides the same thing: a 50 percent completion rate, some head-scratching throws and some clutch plays. He did exactly that against Ole Miss, once again hitting on half of his passing attempts (8-for-16), keeping him at 50 percent even on the season. He threw two picks, one badly overthrown and one into double coverage. And, of course, he threw the game-winning touchdown on a fantastic play fake late in the fourth quater. Jennings is that glass of water that’s been sitting on your bedside table all night. It’s not the best thing you’ve ever tasted, but it gets the job done if you’re parched.
Special teams play. Colby Delahoussaye missed his first field goal of the season — a chip shot, at that — but that’s not the problem with LSU’s special teams. Both the punting and punt return units were mediocre or worse against Ole Miss. LSU’s punt coverage was solid, allowing just one return on the night, but Jamie Keehn was about 6 yards below his punting average on the night. Additionally, Tre’Davious White struggled with his decision making in the punt return game. He called for fair catches several times when it appeared he had sizable running lanes, and both punts he fielded came in traffic. In a low-scoring affair, field possession is crucial, and LSU didn’t do much to help itself in that battle.