What You Need To Know About The LSU Offense
– There’s no star power, but that could change in a hurry. Offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger loses QB Danny Etling, RBs Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams, and top receiver DJ Chark and Russell Gage from an attack that averaged a pedestrian – but efficient – 411 yards and 27 points per game.
The quarterback isn’t exactly a mess, but it’s muddled. No one took over the job in spring ball between last year’s No. 2 man, Myles Brennan, and options Justin McMillan and Lowell Narcisse.
All three fit the mold of what the Tigers need, and all three have the upside to start and keep the passing game going. But it’s all about to change when Ohio State grad transfer Joe Burrow comes in. The 6-3, 214-pounder didn’t choose LSU to sit on the bench.
– The receiving corps needs an instant jolt from Texas Tech transfer Jonathan Giles, and the hope is for Justin Jefferson to use his 6-2 size and deep speed to try being another DJ Chark. Five-star recruit Terrace Marshall is a 6-4 future No. 1 target, and Ja’Marr Chase should be a factor early on in his career.
But going into fall camp, it’s all about finding the right guys – including at tight end – to work around Giles. Foster Moreau is a 6-6, 255-pound veteran who finished second on the team with 24 grabs and three scores. He’ll be the safety valve.
– How do you go on from Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice at running back? Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a 5-8, 208-pound scooter who got in a little bit of work last season and stepped it up in spring ball, but 6-0, 218-pound Nick Brossette will bring the power in the rotation. The job will still be wide open come fall camp, with freshmen Tae Provens and Chris Curry getting every shot at early playing time.
The skill guys might be a question mark, but the line should be better with almost everyone returning. Overall, the pass protection needs to be stronger, but this is a great-sized line that can batter away.
Saahdiq Charles has the upside to be the team’s best blocker at left tackle, and Garrett Brumfield is a good one next to him at guard. The one big replacement is at center with Will Clapp leaving early and last year’s backup – 6-4, 316-pound Lloyd Cushenberry – about to step up.
Biggest Key To The LSU Offense
Score whenever there’s a chance. Outside of DJ Chark and a few big Derrius Guice runs, this was more of a grinding attack than an explosive one. Control the clock, rely on the defense, and be in charge from the start. For the most part, that worked. However, the offense was the worst in the SEC in the Red Zone, coming away with points a pathetic 77% of the time.
There were two missed opportunities in the bowl loss to Notre Dame, two in the loss to Troy, and with touchdowns coming just 59% of the time when the team had a chance. Missed field goals were a big part of the issue, with the two Tiger kickers hitting just 16-of-27 tries.