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2007 LSU Preview

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 30, 2007


Loaded and ready for a run for the national title, LSU has everything in place on both sides of the ball to once again be one of the nation's best teams. Tyson Jackson is just one of the defensive stars, while the offense will be fine even without a certain big-armed quarterback.


LSU Tigers

Preview 2007

By Pete Fiutak

- 2007 LSU Offense Preview | 2007 LSU Defense Preview
-
2007 LSU Depth Chart | 2006 CFN LSU Preview 

Nick Saban might have gotten the ball rolling, but it’s time to officially acknowledge that Les Miles has nudged LSU into one of the consistent elite of the elite programs, and more importantly, one with staying power.    

It’s easy to forget that while Saban had one mega-year in Baton Rouge, he also had a lot of merely above-average ones, with only one double-digit win season. Miles has won 11 games in each of the last two years, weathered the storm of concern over his hiring and the storm of Katrina, and has recruited well enough to keep the momentum going.

Head coach: Les Miles
2nd year: 11-2
6th year overall: 39-23
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 24, Def. 20, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 21
Ten Best Tiger Players
1. DT Glenn Dorsey, Sr.
2.
DE Tyler Jackson, Jr.
3.
CB Chevis Jackson, Sr.
4. LB Ali Highsmith, Sr. 
5. OT Ciron Black, Soph.
6. WR Early Doucet, Sr.
7. RB Keiland Williams, Soph.
8. QB Matt Flynn, Sr.
9. G Will Arnold, Sr.
10. WR Brandon LaFell, Soph.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
11-1

Aug. 30

at Mississippi St

Sept. 8

Virginia Tech

Sept. 15

Middle Tennessee

Sept. 22

South Carolina

Sept. 29

at Tulane

Oct. 6

Florida

Oct. 13

at Kentucky

Oct. 20

Auburn

Nov. 3

at Alabama

Nov. 10

Louisiana Tech

Nov. 17

at Ole Miss

Nov. 24

Arkansas

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
10-2
2006 Record:
11-2
Preview 2006 predicted wins

9/2 UL Lafayette W 45-3
9/9 Arizona W 45-3
9/16 at Auburn L 7-3
9/23 Tulane W 49-7
9/30 Miss State W 48-17
10/7 at Florida L 23-10
10/14 Kentucky W 49-0
10/21 Fresno State W 38-6
11/4 at Tennessee W 28-24
11/11 Alabama W 28-14
11/18 Ole Miss W 23-20 OT
11/25 at Arkansas W 31-26
1/3 Sugar Bowl
Notre Dame W 41-14

LSU has done it with speed, speed, athleticism, and more speed, with backups that have more raw talent than the starters for about 100 other teams. This year’s version is no exception, and with a schedule that’s far more manageable than last year’s (only two road games against a 2006 bowl team, Kentucky and Alabama), an SEC title is a demand, and a national championship is certainly possible. 

How loaded is LSU? It lost
JaMarcus Russell, and likely will replace him with Matt Flynn, who has starter’s experience, or eventually Ryan Perrilloux, the super-recruit of a few years ago with next-level skills and more running ability than Russell. The track team of NFL receivers that left is being replaced by another track team of NFL receivers, and veterans are waiting in the wings to replace the starting safeties … who are also off to play in the big league.

Can LSU win the really big game? It proved it could at the end of last year. Is LSU able to reload rather than rebuild? 11-2 and a Sugar Bowl win gave the answer. Can LSU win the national title under Miles? This year, anything less will be a disappointment.


What to watch for on offense: Don’t expect much of a change in the offensive production with Gary Crowton, who replaces Jimbo Fisher (who left for Florida State), but that doesn’t mean things won’t be different. Crowton’s spread offense bogged down at times at Oregon, but he’s fantastic at developing quarterbacks and should use backs Keiland Williams, Jacob Hester and Alley Broussard to give the offense more balance. Expect more option use and more running from the quarterbacks than Tiger fans are used to.

What to watch for on defense: More of the same. With eight starters returning, including future NFL millionaire tackle Glenn Dorsey, the nation’s number three defense of last year should be every bit as dominant. Defensive coordinator Bo Pelini will keep the D aggressive, the sacks will come in bunches, and the front seven will be a brick wall to run on.

The team will be far better if … the penalties are reduced. The Tigers weren’t killed by the errors, but there were just enough, 83 on the season, to be annoying. They were mostly the ticky-tack, five-yard variety, but it is one of the few areas that could use improvement.

The Schedule: The schedule last year had four brutal road games and eight manageable home dates. This season, the scheduling gods are much kinder, with the five away games at Mississippi State, Kentucky, Tulane, Alabama and Ole Miss. Any team that thinks it can win the national title should be able to get through those five without much of a problem. The early home game with Virginia Tech should be as good as any BCS match-up in January, while the showdown with Florida will be as good as whatever the national title game turns out to be. Missing Georgia and Tennessee from the East is a plus.

Best Offensive Player: Sophomore OT Ciron Black. A 314-pound rock on the left side, he turned in a great freshman season and a top pro prospect from day one. With potentially four returning starters up front, the line should be a strength in time as long as Black plays as expected.

Best Defensive Player: Senior DT Glenn Dorsey. An almost-certain first-round pick had he left early, and a possible top-15 selection, the 300-pound All-American will be the anchor of one of the best lines in America. He missed spring ball with a leg injury but is expected to be more than fine by the time the season starts. As long as he keeps his weight in check, he’ll be a sure-fire All-American.

Key player to a successful season: Senior WR Early Doucet. Is this the year he puts it all together and becomes the superstar, All-America-caliber target everyone’s been waiting for? The speed is peerless and he has decent size; now he has to be consistent as a number one, instead of as a second or third option behind Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis.

The season will be a success if ... LSU plays for the national title. The defense will be among the five best in the nation, the offense will be more than fine no matter who’s at quarterback, and the schedule is tailor-made for a title. Of course, if all goes well there will be an SEC championship game first, and the Tigers will be more than happy to worry about that when the time comes.

Key game: Oct. 20 vs. Auburn. LSU can afford a loss to someone like Florida or even Virginia Tech (but not both) and can still get to the national championship (since those two games are relatively early on the slate). However, winning the West might be tough if Auburn wins in Death Valley for the first time since 1999.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- First half scoring: LSU 240; Opponents 87
- Fourth down conversions: LSU 13-17 (76%); Opponents 8-20 (40%)
- Fumbles: LSU 22 (lost 12); Opponents 21 (lost 5)

 
 

Related Stories
2007 LSU Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 29, 2007
2007 LSU Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 29, 2007
2007 LSU Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 29, 2007








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