Ed Daniels' Blog @ SportsNOLA.com
Ed Daniels at SportsNOLA.com

Miles faces justified questioning for LSU offense's woes

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LSU head coach Les Miles said Monday that junior running back Spencer Ware (#11) needs to see the ball more for the Tigers to be more successful on offense.LSU head coach Les Miles said Monday that junior running back Spencer Ware (#11) needs to see the ball more for the Tigers to be more successful on offense.

It is one of the most misleading statistics in all of college football: LSU is averaging 33 points a game.

Here is the more accurate and alarming number. LSU is averaging a paltry nine points a game in two SEC games.

Are the Tigers predictable? Yes, says head coach Les Miles. "We are predicatable," said the LSU head coach. "We are either going to run it or throw it."

A very nice tongue-in-cheek comment by Miles skirts the obvious truth. The LSU Tigers have no identity on offense.

At his Monday press briefing Miles was asked who was calling the plays. That is a very legitimate question, considering his reputation for micromanaging the offensive side of the ball. Les said that offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa was calling the plays but that he would like to have back some calls in a goal line series in the second quarter at Gainesville.

With 2:02 to play in the quarter, Bennie Logan forced a fumble from Florida quarterback Jeff Driskell. The ball was recovered by Barkevious Mingo at the Gators seven-yard line.

A touchdown would have given LSU a 10-0 lead. The Tigers settled for a field goal.

On third and goal from the Florida four, seldom-used sophomore Terrence Magee was inserted into the game at tailback. Magee was supposed to take a handoff and then throw to the tight end in the end zone. But Florida had the play covered. Magee was forced to run into the line of scrimmage for no gain.

Do you think Florida sensed something was up when Magee came into the game? It was the first rushing attempt of the season for Magee, who had been converted to wide receiver before the had caught one pass for seven yards.

I know one former LSU employee who probably got a chuckle watching that ill–timed play. That would be former offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.

To be fair, Miles has issues.

The learning curve for quarterback Zach Mettenberger has been much larger than previously thought. The 6-foot-5 first-year starter has very slow fee and has done a poor job of protecting the football at times.

Miles is paranoid squared when it comes to protecting the football. But, even with a patchwork offensive line, at some point Miles has to trust Mettenberger to do what he does best: throw the deep ball.

The offensive line has never recovered from the loss of tackle Chris Faulk, the solid Northshore High product whose season ended via injury in practice before the Washington game. Right tackle Alex Hurst has moved over to play left tackle, but it is clear Hurst doesn't have the quickness possessed by Faulk.

Miles did say that running back Spencer Ware needs more touches.

Is anyone but me amazed that running back Jeremy Hill got his first significant touches as a Tiger in the 4th quarter of an SEC road game when his team was trailing by just one score?

Hill acquitted himself well but that was the time to put the ball in hands of Ware, who had 139 yards from scrimmage against Auburn. But inthe past two weeks, he has virtually disappeared.

In the meantime, I am still waiting for the LSU offense that was advertised in the preseason. The one where power running sets up Mettenberger to look downfield for big plays.

Linebacker Kevin Minter said that this freshman class at LSU will be one of the greatest in school history and that it is gaining valuable experience.

But this wasn't supposed to be the year LSU rebuilds.

It was supposed to be BCS or bust for the defending SEC champions. Right now, it isn't bust. But four bad quarters against a very good South Carolina team could certainly move the needle that way.

In a hurry.

 
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