This week, in an effort to better explain some things, I took some screenshots of LSU’s offense and defense. Here they are.
LSU dominated, with about 550 yards on offense and 35 minutes of total possession. One way they did this was by creating space for their running backs, something the Les Regime did so poorly.
Here is a picture of what the box looked like at times against Arkansas.
So this is a pretty good example of the kind of play Les and Cam ran all of the time. It’s an I-Formation with all lots of blockers and few receivers on the sides to spread the field. These’s nothing wrong with these kinds of plays, and it was smart to call it on this down as LSU needed 2 yards for a first down. But in the Les-Era, this play was getting called too regularly, which led to these kind of results.
This should look familiar as Alabama did this to LSU all night.
Arkansas knew what was coming, and was able to penetrated deep into the backfield, nearly tackling Leonard for a loss (he managed to turn this into a large gain).
To counteract this, the Coach-O regime has done a few things including more and more effective play action. Here’s a quick look at how open Dupre was on a play action pass, when the safeties and LBs were too busy watching Fournette.
This is Dupre waiting for the ball. He was actually a lot more open, and a deeper throw would’ve resulted in him walking into the end zone.
And another thing that the staff has done is get the RBs into space using the passing game. Before, Fournette caught some passes, but not enough.
On one play, LSU lined up 3 wides to the left, and ran them all deep. Then, Fournette ran a wheel route into the area where those 3 wides had been. When he caught the ball, this is how wide open the field was.
When the defense gets too focused on the run, there are simple ways to beat them. It is nice to see that the new staff has employed these more often and more effectively.
On several occasions, I’ve discussed Aranda’s use of multiple fronts, multiple and different blitzers, and a variety of other techniques designed to confuse the offense.
Here are some examples of what Aranda does.
Below, LSU brought 4 down-line men. The standing LB, 52, did not rush, though he faked it, probably causing the offensive line some confusion.
Now, let’s look at an occasion in which LSU did bring their LB.
This time, LSU did bring a LB, who got the sack as the above diagram shows.
To do this, LSU used 4 down line men and an LB who lined up across from the center. All of these defenders lined up on a long horizontal distance, spreading out the line of scrimmage and Arkansas’ blocking.
I think the plan here was for the D-Line to spread out the O-Line in this way, which would create gaps in the middle. If a gap appeared, the interior LB (I believe it was Riley) had the responsibility to blitz the gap and hit whoever had the ball. If no gap appeared, the LB would stick in coverage. The plan worked out great, as it resulted in a sack.
Lots of teams try this chicanery, but few can do it as well as LSU and Aranda. A lot of this is because of LSU’s speed, which is so difficult to pick up. Aranda does a great job matching up his fast players with their slow plays, which results in sacks and general confusion in the offense’s blocking scheme. Linemen may have quick hands and feet, but they are not quick enough to adjust to a linebacker with a full head of steam.
Two Random Defense Pics
A very good win for LSU against a program that has soundly beaten LSU in the past two seasons. LSU hasn’t had this good of a win against Arkansas since 2011, when Bobby Petrino twice flipped out on Les Miles.
Here are a few more interesting bits from other sources.
The offensive line, which was demolished last week, was notably better this week.
In part because of that good blocking, Guice set an LSU record
And there was this missed call by the refs
Lastly, Derek Ponamsky, former radio host and now special assistant to Coach O tweeted out the Boots return to LSU. Perhaps the ugliest rivalry trophy there is.