Monday, November 28, 2011
Thoughts about LSU
We've seen them all year. They're dominant, especially on D. Their O isn't that strong, but they are physical and take advantage of the field position and chances their D and special teams give them.
We have long been a bit envious of the natural advantage LSU has in recruiting. The state is one of the elite in producing NFL caliber talent, and because of location and culture, the instate Tigers cherry pick that talent to no end. It leads to an embarrasment of riches we've seen during the days of Lester, a talent advantage so strong even his biggest mistakes can't overcome them.
Ah, ol' Les. We love some Crazy Hat. Come to think of it, he hasn't really had a real Lester moment all year. Yeah, he took a knee with 5 minutes left, but there's been no 'Did he really just call that, and it worked' plays this season. Then again, they've blown everyone but Bama out so that he hasn't really had to pull any rabbits out his hat. Will we be able to keep it that close?
That is the question isn't it. Will Les pull a Les? Will our O and special teams keep it close enough for Grantham and the D to make their mark, and make their usually spot on half time adjustments? The Bayous have a bevy of burners to attack in the return game, and have had big returns all season long. But it's seemed like we've made big strides in our coverage units since the Florida game. We'll need them against LSU. If Walsh and Butler are back on track, that'll be a huge boost to our slim chances of pulling a shocker.
Their D is notoriously stout, with speed and physicality all over. We'll need our OL to continue playing at a high level to even stand a chance. Barkevious Mingo off the edge on Bean Anderson should be giving Murray nightmares all week. But if Crowell can go full speed, and our line get the push and give the protection we saw the last several weeks, we don't need to score in bunches. We just need to make big plays when the opportunity opens, and get some first downs so the defense isn't on the field all day like vs. Boise. Plus, we've got Bennett, Conley, and Mitchell to make plays on the edge (along with Brown, Charles, King, White, etc). There's a good chance if we can somehow get 21 points, that might be enough. Of course, getting 21 points on the Honey Badger and friends is the hard part, and something no one has come close to since September, and even then thanks to the backend of blowouts.
But it's that O that gives us hope. They just aren't that good without the help from their D and special teams. Jordan Jefferson is taking his spot back over, and giving the run/pass threat that lets this offense thrive. Spencer Ware is as physical a rusher as their is in the SEC, and their backs will pound away all day long. Their line is big and strong and can move, led by the most cajun of all names, T-Bob Hebert. The unit brings a power game the likes of which we haven't seen all season long, in another unique challenge for Grantham.
For all the "who have they played" out there, Saturday is the day. Can we at least show respectability, which is all most Dawg fans are hoping for? Or will the overwhelming physical ability of the Bayous rule the day? Are we crazy for even thinking Teddy Grahams gives us the slimmest of chances at a miracle?