LSU football concluded spring practice this past Saturday in Tiger Stadium with a very vanilla look at the team.
Over 25,000 fans attended on a warm afternoon and did not see much. The â€œgameâ€ saw at least a dozen key players miss the action for a variety of reasons. This is what was seen, however.
Offensively: Jordan Jefferson did not have a good afternoon; letâ€™s hope he is saving his Texas A&M type performance for the fallâ€¦.his numbers were poor, he body language also poor.
Jarrett Lee did not look much better than Jefferson. It is hard to believe he is not more comfortable in this new system under offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe.
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As expected, Zach Mettenberger showed signs that he can be a good one in the future.
Please do not read too much into this spring game. The fall (August) camp will tell a better story.
One thing you must know about Les Miles -- read what he does! Not what he says! He said Jefferson is the starter (echoed by Kragthorpe) and will have a good season. Letâ€™s see if that is what he does in August and leading up to the September 3rd opener against Oregon in Dallas. I am not accepting Milesâ€™ statement that Jefferson will have a great season (yes, I am aware of his record as a starter at 20-7). Miles was very aggressive in getting Mettenberger to LSU. Again, it is what he does and not what he says that you have to follow.
One of two things will happen under center for the Tigers: 1) Mettenberger will make Jefferson better (competition is always good for all positions); or 2) Mettenberger will be leading LSU for the bulk of the upcoming season.
As for the rest of the offense, the running backs led by Spencer Ware are solid. The offensive line looks to be better up front. This team will run the ball and run it a whole lot. The receiverâ€™s positions are suspect and not deep in experienced talent. With the receivers not proven, that gives all the more reason to run a lot.
Defensively: This unit could be the best edition yet at LSU under defensive coordinator John Chavis. There is some serious talent and many NFL prospects on defense.
Sam Montgomery, Tharold Simon, Tyrann Matheiu, Mo Claiborne and KiKi Mingo will all be solid. Watch for defensive lineman Michael Brockers to explode on to the scene. Records in total defense and scoring defense could be set in 2011. This solid defense will win some games for LSU as it did last year.
Special teams: A lot of work needed. Newcomers will have to produce early and often in the kick game and the return game. New special teams coach Thomas McGaughey will have to have an immediate and strong impact, strategically and psychologically.
2011 Schedule: There will be 6 road games with 6 home games. Oddities include a Thursday game (at Mississippi State) and a Friday game (home vs. Arkansas). The 2 rent-a-wins are Northwestern State from the Southland Conference and Western Kentucky from the Sunbelt Conference.
The â€œoddâ€ calendar year schedule means the Tigers face Florida and Auburn in Baton Rouge (2003 and 2007 were odd years that brought national titles).
Visits to Tennessee (the Vols will be mad after the way the game ended last year) and Bama (need I say more) will test LSU, but the Tigers do have an open date prior to game in Tuscaloose to have more preparation time. Early call on the over/under for wins is 9. We will make more definitive projections in August.
Tiger fans can look forward to an exciting fall. Many stories will be told before the season is said-and-done
Other Thoughts & Observations:
- I think Nikki Caldwell is a good hire by AD Joe Alleva.
- LSU baseball is now in jeopardy of missing the SEC tourney. Host a regional? Better worry about weekend series vs. Auburn at home.
- Two players leave menâ€™s basketball team (Populist and Dotson). No problem; neither can play at the SEC level. All due respect to Daron Populist from Salmen in Slidell, but he can and will find a suitable place to play. He is a good person.
Tip of the Hat:
- Congrats to Delgado head baseball coach Joe Scheuermann on reaching 700 career wins (all at Delgado)
- Congrats to Tulane head baseball coach Rick Jones on reaching 1,000 career wins.
Tommy Krysan is the host of â€œTigers Roarâ€ a live TV show each Wednesday night on Pelican Sports TV. He also hosts Pelican Sports Radio, Monday â€“ Friday, 3:00-4:00 pm in Baton Rouge on The Score 1210 AM.
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