2005 should've been the year.
New head coach Les Miles wasn't everyone's favorite choice to
take over for Nick Saban, but
he inherited a heater of a hand with as much next-level talent and
athleticism as anyone in the nation. While the Tigers were able to
survive Auburn, Florida, and road trips to Arizona State and
Alabama, it couldn't deal with a big hurricane.
Was it a case of being mentally and physically cashed in the overtime collapse
against Tennessee after having to move the Arizona State game to
Tempe? Maybe. After all, many of the players had to deal with the Katrina
Was the team running on empty at the end of last year in
the SEC title game after dealing with a full season of tough battles
as well as the daily world of hurricane problems? That's not giving
Georgia enough credit, but the outside factors couldn't have helped.
Now the tremendously loaded team has on-field issues to face. If the
Tigers couldn't win it all last year when it had defensive tackles
Claude Wroten and Kyle Williams, offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth,
Rudy Niswanger and Nate Livings, first-round draft pick running back
Joseph Addai, star end Melvin Oliver, and leading tackler Cameron
Vaughn, how is it going to win it all this year? Truth is, it's not.
Name anyone outside of the Pittsburgh Steelers that could survive
road trips to Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and a much, much improved
Arkansas team. LSU could be one of the three best teams in America,
split the road games, and finish the regular season 10-2 and playing
in the Cotton Bowl.
Head coach: Les Miles
2nd year: 11-2
6th year overall: 39-23
Best Tiger Players
1. FS LaRon Landry, Sr.
2. LB Ali Highsmith, Jr.
3. QB JaMarcus Russell, Jr.
4. WR Dwayne Bowe, Sr.
5. RB Alley Broussard, Jr.
6. SS Jessie Daniels, Sr.
7. OG Will Arnold, Jr.
CB Chevis Jackson, Soph.
QB Matt Flynn, Jr.
10. QB Ryan Perrilloux, RFr.
2005 Record: 11-2
L 30-27 OT
at Miss State
W 20-17 OT
Alabama W 16-13 OT
at Ole Miss
Georgia L 34-14
Miami W 40-3
Does that mean it'll be
acceptable to shoot for anything less than an SEC title and, if the
world breaks the right way, a 2003-like campaign where the Tigers lose
one game and get the benefit of the doubt from the BCS? That's not that
far-fetched, but it would likely require everyone else losing at least
once and for the team to be far more consistent.
The quarterback situation has to be settled and air-tight shut after
this fall. Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux are more than capable of
leading LSU to an SEC title, but if JaMarcus Russell has to look over
his shoulder every time he tried to throw into triple coverage, the
offense won't run smoothly.
Running back is a question mark with the top two backs coming off of
torn ACLs, the lightning fast receiving corps has to make even more big
plays and live up to all of its talent, and the offensive line has to
deal with the loss of three stars while trying to get more push for the
The defense will be amazing as long as tackles Glen Dorsey, Charles
Alexander and Marlon Favorite do a spot on impersonation of Wroten and
Williams, and as long as the starting linebackers stay healthy. LaRon
Landry and Jessie Daniels are NFL safeties spending time in the college
ranks, and corner Chevis Jackson is an All-SEC playmaker waiting to
Yes, expectations are sky-high once again in Baton Rouge and Miles'
honeymoon period is officially over. This will be a team to keep an eye
on all season long, and it'll be even more interesting next year.
Schedule: It's a relative walk in the park outside of the road
games. LSU only plays four away from the friendly confines of Baton
Rouge, but they're doozies having to go to Auburn, Florida, Tennessee
and Arkansas. Barring a mini-miracle, or a meltdown against a fired up
team like Fresno State or Arizona, the only home date to worry about is
against Alabama. The four road games are all spread out with two home
games followed up by an away game up until the end.
Offensive Player: Junior QB JaMarcus Russell. He'll make several bad
plays, won't be consistent, and won't run for any appreciable yards, but
he's fantastic in crunch time and has an arm that could throw a grape
through a brick wall. Backup quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux
are good enough to win a national title with, but it's Russell who has
the combination of experience and talent.
Senior FS LaRon Landry.
Shouldn't he be off being a multi-millionaire? The senior will be among
the nation's best defensive backs all season long and should be a first
round draft pick next year. He has the perfect combination of NFL size,
speed, and highlight reel hitting ability.
to a successful season: Junior RB Alley Broussard. LSU always has
running backs to spare, but things got dicey in a big hurry with
Broussard still trying to come back from a knee injury and Justin
Vincent tearing up his ACL in last year's Peach Bowl. Super-recruit
has all-world potential, but Broussard needs to be healthy and confident
in his mended knee for the offense to shine its brightest.
will be a success if ... LSU wins the SEC West. It's not going to be easy, but after
playing for the title last year, anything less will be a major
disappointment. This is a national title team with a solid
schedule, but 10-2 in the regular season would be a big accomplishment.
Beating Florida and Tennessee on the road would be nice, and Arkansas
will be frothing at the mouth at the regular-season finale, but LSU
can't win the West if it doesn't come out alive on ...
September 16th at Auburn. The LSU version of the Tigers won a 20-17
thriller last season and has to come out of the conference opener with a
win or face the daunting task of having to win in Gainesville and
Knoxville to have any hope of playing for the SEC title.
- Penalties: LSU 108 for 907 yards - Opponents 86 for 610 yards
- Field goals: LSU 14 of 24 - Opponents 13 of 25
- Fumbles: LSU 20, lost 13 - Opponents 21, lost 4
The Last Time LSU…
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Peach Bowl vs. Miami)
…missed a bowl game…1999
…pitched a shutout…2005 (Appalachian State)
…was shutout…2002 (Alabama)
…scored 50 points…2005 (North Texas)
…won a conference title…2003 (SEC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2001 (Rohan Davey)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2003 (Justin Vincent)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2003 (Michael Clayton)
…had a first-round draft choice…2006 (RB Joseph Addai)