Tag Archives: LSU football

Keys to the Game

So, Jeff has given you a couple of key matchups leading into the big game tonight and the two matchups that he highlighted are definitely two of the biggest storylines to watch tonight.  What I’m going to try and do, however, is give you some Keys to the Game to watch for, some specific examples of things that I think could swing the score one way or the other.  I’m not Gary Danielson and these aren’t sponsored by Home Depot but my guess is that at least one of these things is going to completely decide the outcome.

Turnovers

Alabama and LSU both are known for their ability to hold onto the football and not make the crucial mistakes.  Alabama’s runningbacks have gone something like 295 carries without a fumble and LSU is +15 in turnover margin on the season.  One turnover could take one of these teams from a win to a loss.

Field Position

It’s pretty inevitable that in a game with as much defensive hype as this game, you’re going to hear how the field position battle is crucial.   Alabama’s special teams have been a weakness for the team from a coverage perspective but they also have one of the best return men in the SEC in Marquis Maze.  Watch for Alabama to give up big yards on kickoffs but also watch for Maze to potentially switch field position back with a big punt return or two.

The Return of “Pick Six”

Jarrett Lee has been spectacular this year in relief of Jordan Jefferson following his controversy in the offseason.  Lee has been efficient to the tune of 13 touchdowns and only 1 interception on the season.  He hasn’t played a defensive backfield like Bama’s yet, though.  In case you’ve forgotten, Jarrett Lee is the same person who was notorious for doing a lot of this:

Trent Richardson’s Heisman Moment

People talk about this being Trent’s Heisman moment:

While an amazing highlight like that is definitely something that will look spectacular if Richardson wins the Heisman, a big game against lowly Ole Miss is not going to win it for him.  A big game against the #1 team in the country?  That will.

Rueben Randle

My guess is that this is going to be the biggest Key to the Game.  While Alabama has some talented receivers in Marquis Maze, Darius Hanks and DeAndrew White, they don’t have a guy with the ability of Randle.  Randle caught two huge touchdown passes in the blowout against Auburn and he is the most talented receiver on the field tonight.

The truth of the matter, like I said here, is that this game is going to be broken down continuously leading up to the kickoff but in all reality, nobody really knows what is going to happen.  Whatever ends up happening, something is going to go incredibly right or incredibly wrong for one team in one of the key phases of the game.

-Sadler

3 Days of Hype

We here at the Dweller are not oblivious to what is going on this weekend.  That’s right, it’s Kentucky vs. Ole Miss Week!  Ok, ok. . . . it’s Tennessee-Martin at Mississippi State Week!?  Fine, I’ll get serious. . . the only game that anyone cares about this weekend and a game with more hype than many in recent memory (outside of possibly the Florida/Alabama SEC Championships of ’08 and ’09), is this weekends #1 vs. #2 matchup in Tuscaloosa.  In anticipation of the matchup, we’re going to give you what we’re calling 3 Days of Hype.

LSU and Alabama come into this weekend being two of the most dominant SEC teams that I can remember in my lifetime.  Fans of other teams can get mad at that statement all they want but it’s the truth.  Alabama, for example, has won every matchup this season by at least 16 points, while LSU has won all of their matchups by no less than 13 points.  LSU beat defending National Champion Auburn 45-10 two weeks ago while Alabama beat the current #7 team in the nation Arkansas by 24 points.

Tyrann Mathieu and the LSU secondary will look to swing momentum

While some will argue that the league is in a down year (and they are right, to a point), there is no denying the dominance that both of these teams have shown through the season’s first eight games.  Both teams feature defenses with multiple players who will start in the NFL next year and offenses that are efficient and meticulous.  While LSU may have the edge at wide receiver, Alabama has the edge at runningback and while LSU may have the most talented secondary in the country, Alabama puts possibly the nation’s most talented linebacker group on the field each week.

One of the game's big questions is whether LSU can slow down Heisman contender Trent Richardson

People can try all they want to break down this matchup (and we will also over the next couple of days) but the fact of the matter is that no one really knows which way this game is going to go.  If Trent Richardson ran for 2 touchdowns and the Tide won by 10 points, no one would really be all that surprised.  If Tyrann Mathieu and the LSU secondary returned two pick-sixes and won by 10 points, no one would be surprised, either.  What I can say for certain, though, is that this game has the makings of one of the most epic games the SEC has ever seen, so get your mind right.

When it Rains it Pours, LSU edition

"What now?"

The news coming out of Baton Rouge keeps getting worse for the Tigers.  Starting QB Jordan Jefferson and reserve LB Josh Johns have turned themselves into authorities after warrants were issued for their arrests for their part in the brawl outside a local bar last week.  The two have posted bail but are also suspended indefinitely by LSU.  Police have interviewed witnesses that say that the LSU players were not the one’s to throw the first punch, but also have implicated Jefferson as kicking one of the victims in the head as he lay on the ground.

In place of Jefferson, Sr. Jarret Lee will most likely get the start against the Ducks.  Like I said, when it rains it pours.  Lee has a career stat line that has more interceptions than TDs and a completion percentage close to 50.

Shepard, practicing for his part in the Oregon game

But it is still raining.  Jr. receiver Russell Shepard has also been suspended for the season opener and could miss more than that while LSU seeks to get him reinstated.  Shepard is tied for the lead in receptions amongst returning receivers from last season and even rushed 32 times last season for 226 yds and 2 TDs.  His presence will be missed.  Shepard is not suspended in connection with the bar fight, but for breaking NCAA rules by discussing an interview he had with NCAA investigators with a teammate who was also scheduled to talk to the NCAA.

I have no doubt that Les Miles will have the reserves coached up, and prepared for Oregon, but at some point you have to wonder just how much of a distraction all this negative publicity will be.  Very quickly LSU has gone from preseason top 5 team and favorite to win the SEC West in some circles to being considered a 4 or more loss team before this season is over.  Best of luck to the Tigers this season, but keep your umbrella handy, just in case.

-Jeff

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SEC Key Games: September 15–LSU at Mississippi State

Miles hopes to ride the magic carpet again in 2011.

A couple of years ago, coming into Starkville on a Thursday night may have been a walk in the park for an LSU team of this caliber.  Since Dan Mullen donned the maroon and white colors of the Bulldogs, that opinion has been changed entirely.  LSU has one of the tougher early-season schedules in the SEC.  Opening up in Dallas against the defending Pac 10 champion and BCS runner-up Oregon Ducks can and will show the nation what we can expect out of the Tigers in the coming months.  However, the LSU team that shows up in Starkville on September 15th will be even more important.  The Tigers return virtually every impact player on their team, with the exception of losing Patrick Peterson and Stevan Ridley to the NFL.  Les Miles will once again field one of the most athletically talented teams in the country, but just like every year, the question is whether or not they can perform to the high expectations that linger over Baton Rouge every summer leading up to opening kickoff.  Jordan Jefferson will once again be at the helm of an LSU offense that failed to have the “wow” factor last season, but managed to make just enough plays to win some of the bigger games on their schedule.  As a fan of SEC football, however, one cannot mention the LSU Tiger football team without having noted that Les Miles has been behind some of the worst play-calling decisions in the history of major college football.  As history has proved, the grass-chewing “Mad Hatter” has been on the better end of most of these decisions, but one can’t help but ponder every season that is THIS the season that the river of luck that runs through Baton Rouge will go dry.

Mullen hopes to keep opposing defenses confused.

The Bulldogs of Mississippi State will once again be enjoying the roll of underdog this season.  The element of surprise is something that has worked to their advantage over the past few seasons, including last year, as the Bulldogs defeated both Georgia and Florida, as well as a 52-14 thrashing of the Michigan Wolverines in the Gator Bowl.  Dan Mullen’s offense has been anything but flashy in Starkville.  However, he has shown that he wants to play hard-nosed, smash-mouth football instead of the run-around-you offense he constructed at Florida.  This style of football has worked well with the hand he was dealt at State, with Chris Relf taking firm control of the offense last season as a solid dual-threat quarterback.  Relf ended the season with 1,800 yards through the air, as well as 880 on the ground—and that was in spite of the fact that he was splitting time early in the season.  Relf will once again be joined in the backfield by Vick Ballard, who also ran for nearly 1,000 yards while splitting carries for most of the 2010 campaign.  One thing is for certain—if there is a mismatch on the field, you can bet that Dan Mullen will find it and attempt to take advantage of it all night.  The State defense looks to return to its 2010 form as well, however losing every starting linebacker could weaken the front seven, and lose some of the sting of last year’s vaunted pass rush.  Three of the four starters on the defensive line will be returning, and Mullen has some solid talent coming in that should keep the Bulldog front four fresh throughout the season, and some of the pressure off of the new linebacker corps.  They also return their entire secondary, which is not afraid to play a very physical man to man coverage on the outside.  The Bulldogs open up the year against a JV team in Memphis.  They will be coming off another very winnable game the previous weekend in Auburn against the defending BCS Champions*.

This is Mississippi State’s chance to shock the country on primetime national television.  You can believe that Davis Wade Stadium will be at capacity, and everyone in maroon will have a cow bell in hand.  Will the “Mad Hatter” need his late-game magic to come out of Starkville with a victory?  If you’re a fan of the LSU Tigers, you better hope not.

-Chris

Check out the other SEC Key Games:
September 10–South Carolina at Georgia

Everybody Hates LSU

You can read each article in our “Hate” series:  Intro (HERE); Kentucky (HERE)

LSU fans aka "Coonasses" are known to fall for simple traps such as these on gamedays

It’s not hard to hate on this next team.  Their success in the last decade is enough to provoke all kinds of hate, but it’s the reasons we will discuss below that will make you want to punch a baby.

“EAUX”
Adding “eaux” to end of a word was clever at first.  Now, 100 million references later, it’s just annoying.

“Death Valley”
We know your night games get loud, but Death Valley is an actual place in California. Calling your stadium Death Valley is just stupid.

Originality                                                                                                                                     Not only did LSU name their stadium after an already-named place in California, they picked the Tigers as their mascot, and guess what they named him……Mike. They are just oozing with originality. It could only get worse if they hired John Smith as their next football coach.

The Coach
Let’s start with the hat.  Who wears a hat like that?  And how does it stay on his head? The whole hat thing is so absurd that LSU fans actually call Les Miles “The Hat”…creative, right?
As lucky as Miles has been the last few years with his play-calling/guessing, LSU fans actually think he’s a genius!  That Tennessee game last year was all Les, remember?!  My last comment will be in the form of this video, which speaks for itself…

Yard Markers
Most all stadiums paint the yardage markers every 10 yards…..except LSU.  LSU finds it necessary to paint the lines every 5 yards.  Probably because most LSU fans/players can only count to 5.

What is that Smell?
Ask anyone who lives outside of Baton Rouge…..it smells like corn dogs.

Baton Rouge
Speaking of Baton Rouge….it isn’t New Orleans, but it’s still in Louisiana.  It’s like the worst of both worlds.

Alumni
LSU is responsible for Shaquille O’Neal (annoying), Jamarcus Russell (failure), Will Wright (created the Sims game–lame), and James Carville (ugly).

LSU alumni, James Carville, has been called "circus ugly".

So there you go.  My favorite reasons to hate the LSU Tigers.  I know there has to be more, so feel free to submit your favorite reasons or stories of why you hate this French-Canadian backwoods excuse for a university.

– Darrin

UPDATE: Jameis Winston Chooses Florida State

Jameis Winston (Michelle Williams/Birmingham News)

There were no real surprises today when Jameis Winston chose Florida State over Alabama, LSU, and Oklahoma.  Winston’s main angle in recruiting was the fact that he wants to continue to play baseball–something that Alabama head coach Nick Saban does not want his players to do.  Winston is a very promising baseball prospect, and will likely be drafted after his senior season at Hueytown (Al.).  Time will tell if this decision will work out for Winston, but one thing is for certain–today the Seminoles landed a huge recruit for their 2012 class.

Public Service Announcement: Everyone in the SEC Hates You

Tennessee fans are just like every other SEC fan, they don't realize how much everyone hates them.

Here in SEC country we love our teams with unbridled passion. The kind that could get you arrested in most states. If you are reading this, chances are you are one of the proud and loyal fans of one of the conference’s esteemed universities. You probably attend as many games as your wallet and schedule will allow, decked out in your loves colors and singing her fight song with others, also proclaiming their love.

But there are other teams out there, they have plans of  blemishing your love with an ugly tally added to the loss column. These other programs have their own fans who profess to love these other schools as much as you love your own. They wear other colors, sing other songs, and have all manner of strange traditions before, during, and after games. These other schools and their fans bring about a whole different emotion.  Hate. Pure, unadulterated hate. “Don’t these other fans know how ugly those uniforms are?”, you might think.  “How can they not see how stupid they look with that cheer?”

But then it comes to your attention that the other fans hate you as well.  But why?  What could anyone possibly have against you and your fellow fans, and how could you not have known?

The good news is that it is not your fault. The reason you cannot see is because your love has made you blind. Your blindness keeps you from seeing your love as she truly is. The basement dwellers feel your pain and want to help you understand. That is why we have taken the time to let you know EXACTLY why your team and fellow fans suck.

In the following weeks we will go through every team to let their fanbase know what it is about them that makes the rest of the conference hate them. This should be fun and enlightening for everyone, but don’t get pissy or defensive when it is your teams turn. Just know that the dwellers do this not out of hate, but out of love. Love for our fans, and love for the greatest conference in the land.

Today we are going to start out by telling everyone from the Commonwealth of Kentucky just why it is that the rest of us hate you.  So stay tuned.