College Football News Preview 2020: LSU Tigers Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The LSU Tigers Offense
Get the running game going right away. The call has already gone out that nothing stops.
Forgetting all the personnel losses along with the tweaks in the coaching staff, the downfield passing game that was so unstoppable is being asked to keep on rolling. That’s fine – and LSU has the weapons to do that – but the offense will still have to rely on the pounding ground attack despite losing Clyde Edwards-Helaire and with a rebuilt line.
Joe Burrow was always brilliant, but in the tight battles with Florida, Auburn and Alabama, the ground game helped take control when the offense needed to settle things down a bit.
Again, Burrow was amazing and always came through when needed, but the Tigers averaged over nine yards per carry against Florida, and they hammered away at Auburn when they needed to – running 46 times – in the 23-20 fight.
The backs are going to be really, really good, and if they can all combine to give LSU a ground game that’s better than 60th in the nation, look out.
Biggest Key To The LSU Tigers Defense
Find pass rushing defensive ends. There weren’t many real complaints about the defense in the dream season – even though the offense was the star of the show – but the 37 sacks were a wee bit light over 15 games considering all the talent on the field.
The D swarmed all over Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond and Sam Ehlinger of Texas, but those were the only two games with more than three sacks.
Again, this is nitpicking just a wee bit – the pass rush was hardly an issue – but if you’re willing to accept that K’Lavon Chiasson was really more of an outside linebacker than a hybrid end, the top five sackers came from the back seven. Neil Farrell was the top sacking lineman, and he only came up with three.
Defensive coordinator Bo Pelini will change things up to a 4-3 alignment, but the Tigers don’t have a slew of sure-thing pass rushing defensive ends who fit the normal mold. They’re there, but they’ll have to emerge.
Key LSU Tigers Player To A Successful Season
QB Myles Brennan, Jr.
It’s not like they’re just dragging the guy out of geology class and asking him to do something miraculous. No, he’s a former superstar recruit who could’ve gone anywhere … and he’s being asked to do something miraculous.
For all the talk that no one can replace Joe Burrow and that the passing game will obviously take a step back, maybe he can step right in and keep it all going.
Oklahoma showed that a great system with a great quarterback can work, with Jalen Hurts taking over for Kyler Murray, who took over for Baker Mayfield. So why can’t an LSU team with this much superstar receiver talent and with the right system keep the high-level production going, too?
Brennan has NFL size, accuracy, and he’s got an even stronger arm than Burrow. Now he’ll get a chance to show it all off.
Key Game To The LSU Tigers Season
Alabama, Nov. 7
It’s not just that this might determine the SEC West championship, it’s that if LSU loses, just assume that there’s no possible shot at winning the division. With road games at Florida, Auburn and Texas A&M, there can’t be any misfires at home.
The Tigers have to own Death Valley, and that includes winning the early game against Texas, and that definitely means beating the Crimson Tide for the second year in a row after dropping eight straight in the series.
– LSU Tigers Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 LSU Fun Stats
– 1st Quarter Scoring: LSU 166 – Opponents 54
– Average Passing Yards Per Game: LSU 401.6 – Opponents 222.73
– 3rd Down Conversions: LSU 91-of-183 (49.7%) – Opponents 63-of-213 (29.6%)