CFN Take: LSU Gets Epic Drive To Get By Hogs
2013 LSU Tigers ... Head Coach: Les Miles
LSU tickets for all games at TicketCity
| 2013 Record: 9-3|
8/31 TCU (in Arlington) W 37-27
9/7 UAB W 56-17
9/14 Kent State W 45-13
9/21 Auburn W 35-21
9/28 at Georgia L 44-41
10/5 at Miss State W 59-26
10/12 Florida W 17-6
10/19 at Ole Miss L 27-24
10/26 Furman W 48-16
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/9 at Alabama L 38-17
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 Texas A&M W 34-10
11/30 Arkansas W 31-27
at LSU 31, Arkansas 27
Basically … Backed up to his own one-yard line, Anthony Jennings, in for an injured Zach Mettenberger, marched LSU to a game-winning touchdown with a 49-yard scoring pass to Travin Dural with just over a minute to play. Arkansas got two touchdown passes from Brandon Allen to Hunter Henry to overcome two first quarter touchdown runs from Terrence Magee and a 52-yard scoring dash from Jeremy Hill for a 27-21 lead taken late into the fourth quarter. LSU failed on a fourth down try, but later settled for a 37-yard Colby Delahoussaye field goal to get within range, and then Jennings worked his magic.
- LSU RB Jeremy Hill ran 20 times for 145 yards and a score, and Terrence Magee ran seven times for 58 yards and two scores.
- Arkansas RB Jonathan Williams ran 13 times for 58 yards, and the team finished with 182 yards on the ground with a touchdown.
- Arkansas QB Brandon Allen completed 19-of-29 passes for 178 yards and two scores with a pick.
- LSU QB Zach Mettenberger completed 14-of-22 passes for 156 yards and a pick before suffering a knee injury.
at LSU 34, Texas A&M 10
Basically … LSU shut down Johnny Manziel, keeping the reigning Heisman winner to just a 51-yard touchdown pass to Derel Walker, while the Tiger offense controlled the game throughout. Terrence Magee powered his way to a big day and a one-yard touchdown run, and Zach Mettenberger and Jarvis Landry connected on second quarter touchdown passes from ten and 40 yards out. LSU scored 13 unanswered points, all in the second half, on two Colby Delahoussaye field goals and a two-yard Kenny Hilliard touchdown run.
- Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel completed 16-of-41 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown with two picks. He ran 12 times for 54 yards.
- LSU RB Terrence Magee ran 13 times for 149 yards and a score. LSU outrushed A&M 324 yards to 75.
- LSU had the ball for over 40 minutes, but it committed 13 penalties for 111 yards.
- Texas A&M WR Derel Walker caught six passes for 130 yards and a score.
at Alabama 38, LSU 17
Basically … With the game tied at 17, the Alabama offensive line took over leading the way to 21 unanswered points over the final 20 minutes. T.J. Yeldon ran for two short scores and Jalston Fowler ran for a three-yard touchdown to put the game away. LSU was great early, but it failed on the goal line on a fumble from fullback J.C. Copeland, but a Jeremy Hill three-yard run made it 7-3. The Tide struck with a 52-yard O.J. Howard touchdown catch, blowing past the LSU secondary, and Kevin Norwood caught a nine-yard touchdown pass for a 17-7 lead. Zach Mettenberger tightened things up late in the first on a six-yard touchdown pass to Travin Dural, but the offense only managed a field goal in the second half.
- Alabama QB AJ McCarron completed 14-of-20 passes for 179 yards and three scores. T.J. Yeldon ran 25 times for 133 yards and two scores.
- Zach Mettenberger completed 16-of-23 passes for 241 yards and a score, and while he didn’t throw any picks, there were some close calls.
- LSU LB Lamin Barrow made 11 tackles, but the Tiger D couldn’t get off the field in the fourth quarter. Alabama had the ball for 11:24 in the fourth.
- Alabama LB C.J. Mosley led the way with 12 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss with two broken up passes.
at LSU 48, Furman 16
Basically … LSU went through the motions early with Furman’s Reggie Thompson picking off Zach Mettenberger early and taking it 74 yards for a pick six, but Jeremy Hill was Jeremy Hill with a 55-yard touchdown run and a four-yard scoring dash in the first. However, Furman hung around with three Ray Early field goals to be down 20-16 in the first half. The second half was all LSU with 28 unanswered points with two touchdown runs from Terrence Magee and two scoring passes from Mettenberger including a 63-yarder to Odell Beckham.
- And now LSU is on to bigger and better things with Alabama up in two weeks. The team went through the motions and still didn’t have any problems with Jeremy Hill running for 143 yards and two scores on just 14 carries and Odell Beckham catching six passes for 204 yards and two scores. Beating Alabama wouldn’t mean a spot in the SEC championship, but closing out with wins over the Tide, Texas A&M and Arkansas might bring the second SEC BCS spot.
at Ole Miss 27, LSU 24
Basically … Ole Miss kicker Andrew Ritter hit a 41-yard field goal with two seconds to play to hold off LSU and pull off the upset. The Rebels had a 17-0 lead in the third quarter helped by a three-yard Nicholas Parker catch and a two-yard Jaylen Walton touchdown run, and then LSU came back with short scoring runs from Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill, but a 26-yard Walton run at the end of the fourth quarter turned the momentum back around. The Tigers tied it up with just over three minutes to play on a four-yard Jarvis Landry touchdown catch, but the Rebels were able to march into field goal range to set up Ritter.
- Wow did Ole Miss need that. After three straight losses, and a painful last second defeat to Texas A&M, the Rebels needed a big win to pull up out of the nosedive. Battered, beaten and bruised, and with almost no defensive ends left on the roster, they slowed down a powerhouse just enough to come away with the biggest win in the young Hugh Freeze era. Now it’s fun time with Idaho, Arkansas and Troy before hosting Missouri.
- What’s with the sleepy performance by the LSU offense? As Missouri showed, Florida’s defense is beatable, but LSU struggled last week, and now it didn’t show up against Ole Miss until it was almost too late. Zach Mettenberger was under way too much pressure considering the Rebels don’t have any playmakers on the outside at the moment, and the running game finished with an inexcusable 114 yards.
- It’s a long, long time before the Tigers get to face Alabama. With Furman up next and two weeks to prepare for the Tide, the team gets a long time to heal up and get ready to roll. After a lackluster last few weeks, the team is looking and playing like it needs the rest.
- Bo Wallace had a terrific game. The key? 0 – that’s how many interceptions he threw. He completed 30-of-39 passes for 346 yards, and with no Jeff Scott to rely on for the running game, he carried the offense. LSU’s defense might be mediocre and inconsistent, but 522 yards by the Rebels is still an impressive day.
at LSU 17, Florida 6
Basically … LSU got one-yard touchdown runs from J.C. Copeland and Anthony Jennings in the second, and a 31-yard field goal from Colby Delahoussaye in a tough fight. Jeremy Hill carried the Tigers with 121 yards, but it was the defense that got the job done allowing just two Francisco Velez field goals. LSU outgained Florida 327 yards to 240.
- Every once in a while, an SEC team really does have to get into a defensive slugfest. Zach Mettenberger only completed 9-of-17 passes for 152 yards, but he was helped by Jeremy Hill’s big day on the ground to help pace the attack. The defense never let the game get close – Florida didn’t ever have control.
- Tyler Murphy wasn’t able to break free running the ball, and while he came up with some nice passes, his 115 yards through the air weren’t nearly enough. Mack Brown and Matt Jones never, ever broke free. Brown ran for 56 yards and Jones was held to just 17.
- How is Florida going to get by without its NFL defensive tackle, Dominique Easley, up front? Antonio Morrison and the linebacking corps will do even more. Morrison came up with 12 stops and Michael Taylor made ten tackles, but there wasn’t any pressure whatsoever on Zach Mettenberger.
- Jamauria Rasco came up with a huge game for the Tigers, even if it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. The defensive end made four tackles, but he was providing a constant presence into the backfield. The LSU defense has had a few problems with its consistency, but this might have been its tightest game yet.
LSU 59, at Mississippi State 26
Basically … Zach Mettenberger was nearly flawless and the running game kicked in when needed as LSU overcame a 28-26 deficit with 31 unanswered points. Mississippi State came up with yards in chunks for three quarters, with Dak Prescott running for a score and Tyler Russell throwing for two scores along the way, but LSU kept up. Kenny Hilliard ran for touchdowns from three and 34 yards, and Jeremy Hill tore off a 69-yard scoring dash to keep up, and then came the explosion with Hilliard and Hill adding fourth quarter touchdowns and Alfred Blue scoring from 17 yards out along the way.
- Don’t get too caught up in LSU needing a while to take control – that’s the plan. LSU beats on teams and beats and beats and beats, and then the floodgates open up. Mississippi State loaded up against the run, and it didn’t matter – the Tiger line came through as the game went on.
- Mississippi State made it interesting with a balanced offense. Dak Prescott only completed 9-of-20 passes for 106 yards with a pick, but he ran 12 times for 103 yards and a score, while Tyler Russell added more of a passing element hitting 7-of-11 throws for 146 yards and two scores. However, the O fell flat in the fourth quarter.
- Zach Mettenberger was challenged, and he lit up the MSU secondary like a Christmas tree hitting 25-of-29 passes for 340 yards and two scores with a pick. Odell Beckham caught nine passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
- Was this MSU’s best shot? It hung around with a national title-good team for three quarters, and then it couldn’t hold up. With Bowling Green and Kentucky up next, coming up with two easy wins is a must – but it won’t be easy. The Bulldogs are good, but it’s been a long, long time since they beat someone great.
at Georgia 44, LSU 41
Basically … In a classic shootout, Aaron Murray threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game on a 25-yard play to Justin Scott-Wesley with just under two minutes to play to take the lead, and Zach Mettenberger couldn’t rally the Tigers back, misfiring on a fourth down play. Mettenberger threw three touchdown passes with two to Kadron Boone in the first quarter, while Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill each ran for fourth quarter scores in the seesaw battle. Neither team ever led by more than seven points, with the two teams trading scores back-and-fourth after a 24-yard Marshall Morgan field goal for Georgia in the second quarter.
- LSU might have lost, but it’s still alive. Remember, this is an interdivisional matchup, so if the Tigers run the SEC table, they’ll end up in the title game – probably against Georgia. Even in defeat, this was a tremendous game for Zach Mettenberger, who came back to Georgia and looked the part of a top NFL draft pick completing 23-of-37 passes for a career-high 372 yards and three scores.
- The Georgia secondary was picked clean, but the run defense was terrific. The big question mark going into the game, the line did a fantastic job of holding up after getting pounded on, giving up just 77 net yards and generating a nice pass rush. The Bulldogs came up with four sacks and seven tackles for loss.
- The big difference? Mettenberger was hit and had to operate under constant pressure, while Aaron Murray got lots and lots and lots of time to work. LSU didn’t generate a sack and came up with just two tackles for loss.
- Georgia SS Josh Harvey-Clemons might have come up with 15 tackles and a broken up pass, but the LSU receivers dominated. Jarvis Landry came up with ten catches for 156 yards and a score, and Odell Beckham caught six passes for 118 yards. They were unstoppable.
at LSU 35, Auburn 21
Basically … In the rain and the slop, LSU was surprisingly sharp with Jeremy Hill running for first quarter scores from 49 and ten yards out, and J.C. Copeland making it 21-0 for the half with a one-yard touchdown run. Auburn fought back with two, two-yard Tre Mason touchdown runs in the third quarter, but they were wrapped around a third Hill touchdown run, scoring from six yards out. Zach Mettenberger put the game out of reach with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry.
- The conditions were hardly ideal for doing anything, but LSU was able to slam away with Jeremy Hill and use the running game to control the game right away, and coast from there. The Tigers made a slew of mistakes – with ten penalties and two turnovers – but the offensive balance made up for it with 229 yards through the air and 227 on the ground.
- Auburn carried itself well under horrible conditions. Nick Marshall threw two picks, but he threw for 224 yards and kept battling. This is a national title-level good LSU team, and Auburn didn’t wilt in the second half. It got too far behind early.
- The LSU defense wasn’t a rock, especially against the run, but it held on early when it needed to help put the game away early. Linebackers D.J. Welter and Lamin Barrow each came up with 11 stops, but they had a few problems with Tiger RB Tre Mason.
- Auburn brought the pressure from the weakside linebacker. Cassanova McKinzy tied for the team lead with eight tackles, and he came up with 1.5 sacks. The Tigers needed to get more heat on Zach Metenberger, and didn’t.
at LSU 45, Kent State 13, Sept. 14
Basically … LSU came out roaring with 21 first quarter points helped by Jeremy Hill touchdown runs from 58 and 12 yards out. Kent State managed a two-yard touchdown run from quarterback Colin Reardon early in the second, but LSU answered with a field goal and the second Zach Mettenberger to Jarvis Landry touchdown hookup of the game. Mettenberger added a five-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham in the fourth.
- The LSU offensive line is firing on all cylinders, and it shows. Jeremy Hill and the running game took control early with gash after gash, and the Tigers coasted from there.
- Kent State wasn’t bad on the short-to-midrange throws. Colin Reardon held up well, and while he didn’t come up with many scoring drives. He completed 20-of-29 throws for 190 yards.
- The two teams combined for 21 penalties for 176 yards.
- Dri Archer, still banged up, wasn’t a factor for the Golden Flashes with just one catch for seven yards. There were some nice passing plays from the offense, but not enough key ones to stop the Tiger scoring run.
at LSU 56, UAB 17, Sept. 7
Basically … Zach Mettenberger became the first LSU quarterback to ever throw five touchdown passes in a game, spearheading a lopsided victory. WR Odell Beckham was on the receiving end of Mettenberger's first two scoring strikes, and he'd go on to make a third touchdown catch and score on a missed field goal return to close out the scoring.
- Beckham and fellow WR Jarvis Landry were unstoppable on the night, combining for 10 catches, 207 yards and five scores.
- After being suspended in the opener, Tiger RB Jeremy Hill made his 2013 debut. He turned his six carries into 50 yards and a touchdown.
- The ground game was the lone bright spot for the Blazers. Led by backs Darrin Reaves and Jordan Howard, UAB piled up 180 yards, when sacks are removed from the equation.
- Regardless of the opponent, LSU is thrilled whenever it can go an entire game without allowing a sack. The more comfortable Mettenberger feels in the pocket, the more likely it is that his production will continue.
LSU 37, TCU 27, Aug. 31
Basically … LSU got pushed, but it managed to get ahead from the start and stay there helped by a 52-yard Terrence Magee touchdown run in the third and a 20-yard Jarvis Landry scoring grab late in the fourth. TCU kept hanging around, converting a recovered fumble into a five-yard Waymon James touchdown run early on the fourth and pulling close with a 39-yard Jaden Oberkrom field goal. But the LSU defense stiffened and the offense held on.
- Zach Mettenberger didn’t blow up the TCU defense, but he wasn’t bad under a little bit of pressure. He only completed half of his passed, but he threw for 251 yards and a score. Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry’s days were a big, big deal for a receiving corps that has to shine. The two combined for 13 catches for 227 yards and a score.
- Both Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin played for the Horned Frogs. Boykin couldn’t get free with his running ability, and he only completed half of his passes for 70 yards. Pachall was effective, but he didn’t spark the offense enough completing 9-of-16 passes for 75 yards with a pick.
- Without Devonte Fields, TCU was still able to manufacture a pass rush with Chris Hackett coming up with a sack and Jason Verrett helping with one, too. Verrett showed his All-America corner ability with seven tackles and three broken up passes, but it was Kevin White who got picked on. He held his own with four broken up passes and a key fumble recovery.
- It’s not like LSU PK Colby Delahoussaye was tested from deep, but he hit his three makeable field goals. In place of Brad Wing, punter Jamie Keehn was fine averaging just under 40 yards per kick putting one inside the 20.
Why To Be Excited ... It’s still LSU and it’s still going to be loaded with next level talent all across the board, even with so many huge losses early to the NFL. The holes will be filled by more NFL talents – at least that’s the hope – but more than anything else, give Les Miles credit for recognizing that a few things have to be changed and tweaked to win another national championship. LSU was painfully close to winning it all two years ago, and it was this close to getting by Florida and Alabama to be in the mix again for the whole ball of wax. To take that next step forward, the passing game has to be better and more consistent – like it was in 2007 under offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher - after finishing 11th in the SEC averaging 201 yards per game even with all the speed at receiver and a future NFL quarterback – even if he might be a backup – in Zach Mettenberger. In comes quarterback whisperer Cam Cameron, who knows how to get a passing game moving with the ability to change around the attack just enough to be the difference. If Mettenberger could do that against Alabama, he should be able to rock against anyone.
Why To Be Grouchy ... LSU has become a superpower on the lines, and with a brand new defensive front and massive changes on the offensive side, it’s going to be an interesting offseason. Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo, Bennie Logan, Josh Downs, Kevin Minter, Eric Reid, Tharold Simon, Brad Wing, Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Chris Faulk. All of them will be earning NFL paychecks in various degrees in a few months, and losing center P.J. Lonergan, tackle Josh Dworaczyk, kicker Drew Alleman, tight end Chase Clement and receiver Russell Shepard – as disappointing as he was – takes away several other key parts. Even so, this is still an amazing team full of talents and players, but TCU is going to be a fight to start the season.
What Needs Working On ... The Tigers have to come up with a cohesive and consistent starting five as soon as humanly possible. Mettenberger can’t produce if he’s getting popped on a regular basis, and while the offensive line wasn’t miserable last season, it was never healthy and it never seemed able to gel. La’el Collins is a talent at guard but he could kick outside to tackle, and guard Trai Turner and tackle Vadal Alexander took their lumps in their redshirt freshmen seasons, but now the talent has to turn into production. The pass protection has to be better and the line has to go back to 2011 form when it crushed and killed everything in its path. That starts this spring.
Non-Conference Games: TCU, UAB, Kent State, Furman
Games Against The East: at Georgia, Florida
Realistic Best Case Record: 12-0
Worst Case Record: 8-4
Likely Finish: 10-2
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: TCU, UAB, Kent State, Auburn, at Georgia, at Mississippi State, Florida, Furman, Texas A&M, Arkansas
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Ole Miss, at Alabama
Schedule Analysis: The Tigers play UAB in the second game of the season and get Furman in late October. That’s it for the breaks and breathers considering TCU is going to be stronger this season in the opener in Arlington, and Kent State is still going to be decent after coming achingly close to getting into the BCS. Even so, 4-0 is more than likely with Auburn to kick off the SEC season after the date with the Golden Flashes, and then comes the problem.
With all due respect to South Carolina, the two teams no one wants to face from the East are Georgia and Florida, and LSU gets them both with the date with the Dawgs starting out a run of three road games in four weeks. After going between the hedges, it’s more cowbell time at Mississippi State before hosting Florida and going to Ole Miss. The Tigers should be the better team, but what kind of a state will they be in against the Rebels? Fortunately, Furman and a week off should recharge the batteries before the showdown at Alabama, and another bye week is a godsend before hosting Texas A&M and Arkansas.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Tigers have to be more consistent throwing the ball. There hasn't been a more talented team in college football over the last few seasons, but Alabama has turned into a tremendously efficient passing team, while LSU has sputtered and coughed. Zach Mettenberger has to be better, but the offense will turn out to be fine with a strong offensive line and a good bevy of backs; now the receiving corps has to do more. Part of the problem was an O line that allowed too many sacks, but the passing game simply has to be crisper.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... The passing game. Enough is enough - LSU is going to have a passing game again soon. While there might not be a slew of superstar receiver recruits coming in, Rickey Jefferson and JUCO transfer Quantavius Leslie are eventual starters. Hayden Rettig is a strong-armed quarterback prospect out of California who got away from the Pac-12, and Anthony Jennings is an Elite 11 bomber who had his pick of SEC schools, West Virginia, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
Of course, LSU always gets its share of star defensive prospects, this year led by defensive tackle Greg Gilmore out of North Carolina, corner Tre'Davious White and end Christian Lacouture out of Lincoln, Nebraska.
End Tashawn Bower was the team's lone Signing Day pickup, but he's a
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
8. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterback. Zach Mettenberger was the key pickup last year after transferring from Georgia, but the Tigers need more talents in the stable for depth and more options. However, that doesn’t appear to be coming. Upgrading the defensive front seven is a bit of a must, and Les Miles is bringing in a solid group of linebackers that should shine in a few years. This is a good looking class, but it might not be a special one.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 12. That Class Was Heavy On ... the passing game. The Tigers came up with a quietly sensational class with the most noise coming well before February 2nd. QB Zach Mettenberger, the one-time promising Georgia Bulldog, could challenge for the starting job right away, and he or Jordan Jefferson will get instant help from Jarvis Landry, a phenomenal five-star talent, and speedy Odell Beckham. Protecting the passer will soon by La’el Collins, the next great LSU offensive tackle. Defensively, end Jermauria Rasco was the big get on Signing Day, while Anthony Johnson might be the nation’s best tackle.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 8. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Defensive
lineman. The secondary got an infusion of talent
with Eric Reid and Tharold Simon giving the Tigers
two very big, very NFL-looking safeties, and Tyrann
Mathieu has good skills and could be a strong corner
in time. RB Spencer Ware could be the star of the
running game in the near future and Kadron Boone was
a great get to be the team's No. 1 WR soon. The
biggest stars are at linebacker, led by Justin
Maclin, but the biggest part of the class is on the
line with Ego Ferguson one of the nation's top
tackle prospects and Jordan Allen and Travis Dickson
a dangerous end pair.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 4. That Class Was
Heavy On ... the defensive front seven. Russell Shepard has star potential in some way, shape or form either at quarterback or receiver, and WR Rueben Randle and S Craig Loston will make a ton of money someday, but the stars are on the lines with Chris Davenport, Joshua Downs, and Sam Montgomery for the defensive front, with JUCO transfer Akiem Hicks ready to come in right away and play, while Chris Faulk and Stavion Lowe will be starting on the offensive front sooner than later.
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