To Brandon Ellis!: LSU-North Texas Review!

Posted: September 3, 2012 in LSU
Tags: , ,

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You ready for some LSU football, son?

LSU/college football stuff finally?! Alright, Curtísimo’s finally not blabbing on about that “gay-ass soccer,” amirite?!  Now, this game review will be a little all over the place since I’ll be trying to recall from memory & as it was the season opener, I was a bit buzzed by the second quarter.  Also, as many of you who know me know, I tend to write stream-of-unconsciousness anyway & as aforementioned that consciousness may be a bit hazy…

LSU defeats North Texas, 41-14.

Obviously, with an opponent such as North Texas it was always to be a bit of Christians-to-the-lions stuff, but I’ll be honest- offensively, I was a bit disappointed in the passing game & particularly in pass protection.  We racked up just over 500 yards of total offense, but at times we didn’t look good to me.  I am hoping it’s just first game rust, but the pass protection was definitely noticeable to me that there was some confusion.  Without being in the huddle or on the field, I can only guess as whether it was the OLine or Mettenberger missing protection calls (he was sacked twice & got his bell rung a bit on another).

I’m one of the biggest proponents of the mantra of  “you don’t have to be the best team in the country, you just have to be the best team on the field,” and against North Texas, we obviously were but I would’ve liked us to look a bit crisper.

Be advised, this is only a minor complaint but I also hope Zach Mettenberger’s performance at QB will remind people that it’s not simply a question of having talent, stepping in & zinging the ball all over the place like in a video game.  He looked hesitant on a few occasions, and like many of us know, it’s one thing to look good in a spring game or in a scrimmage, it’s another to do it against a live opponent.  His stat line wasn’t bad (19 of 26, 192 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks) but his hesitation on occasion, led to him nearly getting injured right off the bat.  I don’t need to tell you all that needs to get better for SEC play or even next week against Washington.

Player Grades
Quarterbacks (C+):   see comments above about Mettenberger but on Saturday I was personally underwhelmed & I thought he was more Mettenswaggert on Saturday than Mettenchrist.  Expectations are high for Mettenberger after the “two-headed dumpster fire” era that was Jordan Jefferson & Jarrett Lee but I admittedly was a bit disappointed in #8 on Saturday night.  He did throw a nice TD pass to Kadron Boone, but there’s plenty of stuff to improve on.  Luckily, there’s plenty of time to do it.  I wasn’t too pleased with the seemingly shorter range passing game we insisted on too.  You’re playing North Texas.  Challenge them deep a few times.  Use it as some deep-passing drills.

Running Backs (A):   Kenny Hilliard & Alfred Blue were both outstanding & Blue showed why he was given the starting nod over Michael Ford & Hilliard, the latter whom was the go to back in short yardage by the end of the last season.  Hilliard went off for 141 & Blue went for 123 & the running game totalled 316 yards in all.  I’d also like to highlight fullback, J.C. Copeland.  His stats for a big bruiser & blocker (listed at 272) were fantastic (4 carries, 33 yards & a TD), and he had a terrific run in the first half where he broke tackle & rumbled to 16-yard gain.  Keep an eye out for JC to maybe get some key 3rd & short carries later on in the year after that performance.  No complaints at all with the horses.

Wide Receivers (B):   I can’t really recall anything great about the WRs.  Nothing bad, though either,  I don’t recall any glaring drops, something that’s plagued us over the years, even when we were loaded.  Jarvis Landry led this group with 8 carries for 82 yards & Kadron Boone nabbed a 34-yard TD pass from Mettenberger

Offensive Line (B-):  Run blocking- pretty darn good.  Pass blocking- pretty damn sketchy, especially considering the level of opponent.  Two sacks were given up, one of which could’ve easily had been a “kill shot” on Mettenberger.  It was a real concern by the second half & against a more quality opponent could’ve been a game-changer.  As I stated above, without being in the huddle or on the field, not sure who was at fault, the OLine or the QB, but it was a bit obvious to me, some protection assignments were getting missed.  Especially since North Texas was getting pressure through the middle too.  Unacceptable against an opponent like North Texas.

Placekickers (A):  Drew Alleman kicked well, though he did miss one field goal attempt.  I don’t recall kickoffs so I’ll leave that be.

Defensive Line (A-):   No sacks, but tons of pressure all night long.  That should be standard considering we can go literally 10-deep on the line if we want now.

Linebacker (B/I):  I don’t really remember anything about the linebackers other than someone played wearing #52.  Hopefully that isn’t Thomas effin’ Dunson (it’s not, it’s Luke Muncie).

Defensive Backs (B-):  Reid came up with a nice pick but was beaten for the long TD pass which was exacerbated by Craig Loston having way too tight of an attack angle as the 1-deep safety.  THose combined for a play where North Texas popped an 80-yard TD pass.  Against North Texas, that’s forgivable.  Against a quality opponent, again this can be a game-changer.

Punters (B):   No Punterswag, Brad Wing, but Les Miles being Les Miles just replaced one Aussie punter with another- Jamie Keehn.  I seem to recall he shanked one punt a bit, but had a 51-yarder on another.

Returners (A):   Honey Badger who?  ODB had one punt return call back due to a flag, so instead he just returned the next one for a TD, this time the play stood.  No concerns here at all.

Summary
Overall, it was a good game.  Fun to have LSU football back.  The team had first game rust (pass protection issues, too many pre-snap penalties) but opponents like North Texas are supposed to be glorified scrimmages for the level of our program is these days.  We definitely played a bit of the second half with the “handbrake” on, to borrow a phrase from Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, & we will certainly need better execution in the pass protection as we play a decent BCS opponent in Washington next week.

For some extra fun & learnin’, ATVS’ excellent writer, Billy Gomila’s 2-parter (Part 1, Part 2) on passing game concepts we’re likely to see some more of now that LSU has a real QB.  Here’s his recap of Saturday night’s game as well.

 Geaux Tigers!

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