Ouch

In past LSU losses, fans often pointed to the team’s moribund offensive scheme. The Miles’ offense was so bad that LSU’s superior talent could not overcome it.

This is why despite having so many future NFL players, LSU still struggled against top quality SEC West opponents. The offensive philosophy was like an anchor that dragged the team’s chances down with it.

Against Mississippi State, though, LSU lost because it had inferior personnel.

This was similar to the 2014 loss to Mississippi State when a superior quarterback, Dak Prescott, and an experienced defense crushed a young LSU team.

Last night, Fitzgerald was the exceptional quarterback. Additionally, Mississippi State’s experienced offensive and defensive lines had their way with LSU’s thin and less than impressive units.

This line of scrimmage domination made LSU’s secondary and wide-receiver talent useless, though those units contributed plenty to their failure with blown coverages and dropped balls.

In total, the 2017 LSU team resembles that 2014 team—young and talented, but thin, especially in the trenches.

Both teams lost a great deal to the NFL draft, from Landry, Beckham, Hill, and Mettenberger in 2014 to Fournette, Adams, White, and Beckwith in 2017 (not to mention Pocic, Riley, Boutte, Godchaux, Dural, and others).

The quarterback play is better now, as are the general offensive and defensive schemes.

But, this team has a fairly low ceiling, I think.

For the 2014 it was 8 wins and a 4-4 SEC record. Hopefully this squad can put something more formidable together, maybe 9 or even 10 wins.

But beating any one of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee is going to be tough. The fact that 3 of those 4 games are on the road makes the sledding even tougher.

LSU hasn’t lost fewer than 8 games since 1999, when the team only won 3 contests in DiNardo’s last season.

It’s very possible that this team will win more than 8 games, as the talent and coaching is there. But, it’s not going to be easy, and it looks like the early Orgeron Era is going to be far less successful than the early Saban and Miles Eras.

Random Thoughts

  • This game had to remind Aranda of the time his Wisconsin team lost 59 to 0 against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Then, a large, mobile, strong armed quarterback named Caradale Jones destroyed the Badgers defense.

 

  • Before the game, one advanced metric forecasting model had LSU as a 20% chance to make the playoff. That number is now almost certainly 0%.

 

  • Thus far, LSU has had 271 total penalty yards in 2017. Over the past 5 or 6 years, LSU has usually had about 700 penalty yards. Some years it’s been less, like last year when the Tigers only had 492 penalty yards. Generally speaking, though, something in the 700s is a reasonable amount of penalty yardage. They are currently on pace for about 900 penalty yards (including the bowl game).

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