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Posts Tagged ‘LSU’

Thursday Night Lights

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 15, 2011

How many times in your life have you heard this statement?  “I sure wish I was in Starkville tonight.”

Believe it or not, that’s a true statement.  Tonight’s game between LSU and Mississippi State is the first critical game of the SEC West slate.  No, critical is not an overstatement.  This is a huge game that will have season-long implications on both teams and the rest of the division.  An LSU win solidifies the Tigers as one of the teams to beat in the conference and the nation.  A Mississippi State victory puts the Bulldogs back in the SEC West race after a humbling setback last week at Auburn.  The oddsmakers list LSU as a 3-point favorite on the road, meaning Vegas thinks LSU is at least a TD better than MSU on a neutral field.  But this game is not on a neutral field.  It’s going to be in an electric atmosphere, under the lights at Davis Wade Stadium.  I sure wish I was in Starkville tonight.

Why LSU should win:  The Tigers have a defense that may be as ferocious as the one in Tuscaloosa.  They have allowed just 91 total yards rushing in two games.  The secondary is under construction, but John Chavis has plenty of talent to rotate.  Mississippi State uses the read-option to set up its play action passing attack.  If the Bulldogs cannot run, it makes Chris Relf a drop back passer – hardly his strength.  Offensively, LSU has been good enough.  Jarret Lee is your classic “game manager” quarterback, controlling the offense largely by handing the ball to LSU’s latest stud running backs, Michael Ford and Spencer Ware.  Lee simply needs to hit enough passes to keep the Bulldogs safeties honest, creating space at the second level for Ford and Ware.  A steady rushing attack coupled with the Tigers front seven should keep the cowbells quiet and the Tigers unbeaten.

Why MSU should win:  The Bulldogs fell behind early last week before correcting some mistakes and making a late push.  But for atrocious play-calling in the last 20 seconds of the game, Mississippi State may have pulled out a victory at Auburn.  The MSU defense is not as bad as it showed Saturday, and they certainly have enough talent to contain a vanilla LSU offense.  By eliminating the big plays (Auburn scored on 2 plays over 30 yards) Mississippi State will force Jarrett Lee to engineer sustained drives for LSU to score.  Offensively, Chris Relf has the ability to take over a football game.  He’s got the potential to put up 400 yards of total offense each week, especially with the emergence of Vic Ballard.  Reducing chunk plays for LSU while putting the game in Relf’s hands will have the cowbell nation clanging loudly well into Friday morning.

And the Winner Is…

My love for Dan Mullen is well known.  I want to take the Bulldogs.  All the intangibles are on their side tonight.  Road games in the SEC are brutally tough, and night games are even more difficult.  So … I’m going to take LSU.

Defying the odds, Les Miles appears to have his team focused on a run at SEC and BCS championships.  Jarrett Lee has shown maturity in the past 2 games, bolstered by the confidence that his defense can win the game.  Lee needs to not lose the game.  He will throw at least one interception tonight, but he will also make a critical third-down conversion in each half.  Ford and Ware will wear down the Bulldogs defense in the second half, and the LSU defensive line will eventually win the war of wills.  This has the markings of a slobber-knocker SEC showdown.  I think this will be a game that reminds us all why we love SEC football.  In the end, it’ll be a big road win for the Tigers.  LSU 23, Mississippi State 17

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One for the Road

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 26, 2011

As we pack up and head for the weekend, here are links to a few of our most popular stories of the week.  We appreciate the fact that you choose to spend time here.  We’d be babbling on about these topics to ourselves no matter what.  It’s gratifying to know at least a few folks find it entertaining.

The War of Aggie SECcession

One Pheauxne Call

Ray Buchanan, Jr. Picks Arkansas over Mississippi

2011 NFL Preview – The NFC

2011 NFL Preview – The AFC

2011 NFL Preview – Playoffs

This week’s One for the Road comes from Grantland.com, the now essential site for sports fans looking for more than a game story.  It comes from John Brandon, the Grantland college football writer, who takes a refreshingly honest look at former Ohio St. University football coach Jim Tressel.  Rather than touting Tressel as a “good but flawed man” as so many other have, Brandon cuts right to the core of that flawed argument.  Tressel and coaches just like him all over college football chose the path of least resistance.

Coach, you did your job and did it well (until maybe at the culmination of each year, when you ran into a team of equal recruiting prowess and were handed your ass). But here’s the thing: If you’d had any interest in doing something that transcended your job description, something that might impress — rather than your choir of Buckeye faithful, someone like St. Peter, that something you could’ve done, particularly, would’ve been taking a kid whose head was ballooning and who was in dire need of tutelage concerning what it means to be a decent person and teammate and who before he ever attended a single college two-a-day was flashing signs of assholehood by ignoring the designated signing day all the other players abide by and waiting until every last ounce of attention was focused on him alone before bestowing the promise of his presence upon Columbus — taking that kid, Coach, and guiding him away from assholehood. That’s what you could have done.

It’s a great read.

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One Pheauxne Call

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 26, 2011

Last night we told you that LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson was on the verge of arrest.  Turns out we were right.  Jefferson and teammate Joshua Johns – a linebacker for the Tigers – have been arrested and charged with second-degree battery.  This is a felony offense, despite the fact Jefferson only connected on 4 of 16 punches (ZING!).

LSU has suspended both Jefferson and Johns indefinitely.  Backup quarterback and former starter Jarret Lee will presumably start for LSU next Saturday against #3 Oregon.  As always, we are remiss to not point out there was a serious crime committed here.  One of the victims reportedly has multiple broken vertebrae and faces significant medical rehabilitation.

The man who was kicked suffered “extreme physical pain and unconsciousness,” the warrant says.

The warrant says the basis for the arrests of Jefferson and Johns includes “physical evidence of the attack and subsequent identification of the accused by an eye witness to the attack.”

Second-degree battery is a felony offense that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence upon conviction.

From a purely football perspective, this has serious implications on a team looking to compete for a BCS berth and the national title.  Jefferson has been wildly erratic throughout his career, but as a junior with several starts under his belt the expectation has been that Jefferson would emerge as a true team leader. No one expected that he’d be more likely to lead at least one teammate to the gray bar motel.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Geaux to Jail

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 25, 2011

BlogHawgs.com has a Louisiana source tonight that suggest LSU Tiger quarterback Jordan Jefferson has a real problem on his hands regarding a bar brawl last week.  This source tells us an arrest could be coming for the “star” quarterback.  (By “star” quarterback, I am of course referring to the opposing defense’s best player on the field.)  Numerous news reports place Jefferson and other LSU football players at a Baton Rouge night spot – Shady’s Bar – last Friday night when a fight broke out in the Shady’s parking lot.  The events that led to the fight remain unclear thanks to disputed accounts, but no one appears to be willing to deny that Jefferson was a part of the altercation.

Investigators reportedly have met with Jefferson in the past 36 hours collecting evidence that includes a DNA sample.  According to our source in Louisiana, things do not look good for Jefferson.  Despite all the speculation, it is important to note that Jefferson – nor anybody else – has been arrested or charged with a crime…yet.

Of particular note from ESPN.com’s story today, staff at Shady’s Bar profess that one of the victims – Andrew Lowery – “threw the first punch” in the melee outside the bar.

Two employees of the bar where LSU quarterback Jordan Jeffersonand three teammates are accused of injuring four people in a parking lot brawl said Thursday that one of the victims “threw the first punch” shortly after he had been escorted outside by staff.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Shady’s Bar general manager John Peak and door manager Jordan Neldare offer versions of the bar fight that differ from details in a police report released Thursday. Neldare said he was outside and witnessed the fight firsthand but had not yet been interviewed by police.

Neldare said he ran to (a) co-worker and corralled him away from the brawl, back toward the bar entrance, where he then noticed Jefferson, standing by himself and looking upset while the fight was still taking place.

“I’m not saying (Jefferson) wasn’t in the fight. I’m not saying he was, but I did see him standing alone while stuff was still going on,” Neldare said.

We cannot confirm nor deny at this point whether or not Neldare and his unnamed coworker have yet received LSU season football tickets.

The #4 Tigers take on the #3 Oregon Ducks next Saturday.

UPDATE I (10:04 PM): As if this weren’t bad enough, LSU must now face Oregon without multi-talented WR Russell Shepard.  The junior has been ruled ineligible for next Saturday’s tilt in Dallas thanks to an unrelated NCAA matter.

“Russell Shepard has run afoul of some NCAA regulations,” Miles said. “I can only tell you that the things that were done there were innocent. They were issues of protocol, but they’re serious enough for him to have been ruled ineligible. We’ll seek reinstatement and hope that goes well. I can tell you the issue was a nondescript interview with an NCAA person about a series of issues. It was there that he answered honestly. The violation was Russell ran afoul of protocol.”

 

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

All the Way Home

Posted by Brett Kincaid on December 1, 2010

Feel free to send to your LSWhoo friends

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Les Miles Strikes Again

Posted by Brett Kincaid on November 23, 2010

I am thrilled that LSU has been able to have some success this season.  It makes it much more likely that Les Miles will stay in the SEC, which means we get more and more of his verbal gems.  This time Smiles gets taken down a path he ought not travel: Erin Andrews.

A retired sportswriter for The Baton Rouge Advocate has stirred up a controversy by asking Les Miles what it’s like “to be interviewed by a sweet, young think like Erin Andrews.”

In case you haven’t seen, the exchange has already made national news on sites like Deadspin.com.

Here’s a little background: Ted Castillo is an 86-year-old man.  LSU allows him to still take part in media events.  According to Deadspin, “He has a reputation for asking off-the-wall questions.”

Miles did recover, but as the article notes he did so one question too late.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Les Miles Being Les Miles

Posted by Adam Butler on October 4, 2010

Two phenomenal videos of the time-management challenged LSU Coach. And just think, he gets paid MILLIONS of dollars a year to be clueless.

Oh, and I tacked on the game video, too. It has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, it picks up AFTER he managed to get a delay of game in a 2-minute drill AND THEN blow a much-needed timeout. The immediate, visceral reaction of the LSU fans (who have seen this from Les plenty of times before) after the bad snap tells me that Les may be the first undefeated coach in college football history on the hot seat. (BONUS: a veritable Pandora’s Box of Les Miles links (Pandemic’s Box in Less-speak) thanks to The New Orleans Times Picayune.)

This one is probably better because he has had time to think about it, and I think, remarkably and inexplicably, sounds worse.

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Miles of Improvement Needed

Posted by Brett Kincaid on July 29, 2010

The only job Les Miles may be less qualified to hold than his current position is that of timekeeper at any Olympic games.  That’s how bad of a head coach I believe he is.    Trigger locks were invented to keep people like Les from killing themselves.  Yet here he is, back for another run at disappointment for the fine folks in Baton Rouge.  LSU lost 3 of their last 5 games with their only wins coming over Louisiana Tech (24-16) and Arkansas (33 – 30) in Overtime.  The Tigers carried little momentum and even less optimism heading into the offseason.  The question now is this: Do you trust the head coach to pull the 2010 team together?

The fact of the matter is that the Tigers need to be ready to go right out of the gate.  North Carolina has one of the best defenses in the country this year, and LSU will be sunk immediately if they cannot figure out how to run the football this year.  Leading rusher Charles Scott only managed 542 yards last season, and he’s gone to the NFL.

The good news for LSU is that their coach is on it!  He knows his kids will be ready.  Don’t believe me?  Read this:  “When I allowed our administration to envision this game, the decision being made to take it, was only based on the fact that my team would accept the competition,” The Hat told members of the media last week.  George Bush can’t even understand this guy.

Miles has developed quarterbacks at a rate that would make the Mississippi coach blush.  Just two years ago Jarrett Lee turned heads by throwing 6 touchdown passes TO THE OTHER TEAM.  Jordan Jefferson emerged last year as a reasonably efficient signal caller, but the numbers were hardly overwhelming.

Ever since losing Jimbo Fisher the Tigers have been a team in search of an offensive identity.  This year LSU faces the daunting task of needing to vault not only Alabama but also Arkansas – and perhaps Auburn – if they have any designs of getting back to Atlanta without a travel agent.  Teams like this need good fortune, good special teams, and good coaching.  If I were an LSU fan, I’d grab some Abita and boiled crawfish, and settle down for a very disappointing season.

For the first time in recent memory, LSU has but 2 players (LB Kelvin Sheppard & CB Patrick Peterson) on the preseason All-SEC teams.  If the Bayou Bengals plan to make any noise at all this season, they will need Sheppard and Peterson to lead the charge.  Because on offense, it could get down right offensive.

The Offense

The Tigers return six starters on offense, but they lose their top options at running back or wide receiver.  Terrence Tolliver looks to be Jefferson’s primary target this year.   Many folks in Louisiana expect this to be the year Russell Shepard emerges as a big play threat.  Running back remains a spot where LSU will likely use a committee approach, much like last season.

As mentioned above, Jordan Jefferson appears to have emerged as the leader under center.  Jefferson produced solid numbers last year, especially in the second half of the season.  While most of us willremember the Meltdown at Mississippi, he still managed to throw for more than 2,000 yards and 17 TDs.  Miles believes Jefferson has a real chance to build on those numbers, largely because he has now been through the SEC wars.  “I think our quarterback position will play extremely well.  This will be the first time in two years we’ve had a quarterback start the season that has a complete season’s experience,” says the Mad Hatter.

A lot of that will be based on how the big uglies fare up front for the Tigers.  Line play has not been a serious concern in the Bayou State for some time now.  That all came to a stunning end last year, though, when the Tigers could not routinely open running lanes or protect their quarterback.  Ciron Black and Lyle Hitt are long gone, and T Bob Hebert is still recovering from off-season surgery.  He is also rehabilitating his image after a DWI arrest in May.  If his suspension is lifted, Hebert is expected to anchor the line as the team’s new starting center.  Will Blackwell is the unit’s lone senior – although based on last year new blood may not be such a bad thing.

The Defense

Statistically speaking, the LSU defense in 2009 was a shadow of its former self.  When you look at the stat that matters, though, the Tigers kept opposing offenses out of the endzone as well as anyone.  This bend-but-don’t-break mentality does not reflect the typical attitude in Baton Rouge or that of defensive coordinator John Chavis.  Chavis and the rest of the Tiger faithful need Drake Nevis to become the latest NFL prototype defensive tackle to come from LSU.  He was a force last year and will be relied upon to draw double-teams while the rest of the new faces get adjusted to life in the SEC regularly.

LSU also needs to fill holes at the linebacking corp.  Kelvin Sheppard returns, and he’s a great one to feature as the leader.  Stefoin Francois moves up from the safety spot to try and fill one of the starting roles.  Special team superstar Ryan Baker will get first crack at the other side in LSU’s 4-3 defense.

The secondary should be a strength, if only because Patrick Peterson will be lurking about.  If Morris Claiborne lives up to the hype, LSU could have the best tandem of cornerbacks in the country.  Jai Eugene will also return, but he’s moved to safety thanks to the emergence of Claiborne.

Special Teams

The kicking game will certainly be critical this year – as it is every year in the SEC with so many close games.  Josh Jasper was perfect on PATs last year and connected on 17 of 20 FG attempts, including the game winner against Arkansas.  Derek Helton is the returning punter and looks to improve on his 39.9 yard average from last year.  As usual LSU has a plethora of options in the return game.  The coaches want to put the ball in the hands of Russell Shepard as much as possible, so look for him to get a shot early in the spring at being the primary returner for both punts and kicks.

The Schedule

Jeff's Snarky Comment From the Casual Fans' Peanut Gallery: Les Miles looks like he’ll follow Spurrier as a one-hit wonder. The Yogi Berra of the SEC shoulda taken the Michigan job while he was hot.

If LSU was looking for a more difficult opponent to begin the season, it would be hard to do.  While North Carolina has to answer plenty of questions on offense, their defense is as good as anyone’s right now – including most of the NFC West.  LSU follows up the neutral site opener with a trip to Nashville before three straight home games.  Then comes the trip to Gainesville and trip to Auburn with McNeese St. thankfully sandwiched in between those two.  Alabama and Mississippi come to Red Stick this year before the Tigers meet Arkansas in their traditional Battle for the Golden Boot.

Aside from the start the schedule sets up nicely for LSU if – and that’s a big IF – the offensive and defensive lines can come together.  Oh yeah… and their coach somehow learns how to manage a game, too.

What Will Happen

LSU is going to lose the opener.  But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not the end of the world.  That comes later with losses on the road to Florida, Auburn and Arkansas.  Toss in a home loss to Alabama, and the Les Miles Era will be near its end right after the Tigers are selected for a non-January 1st bowl game.

LSU Offense

Returning Starters:  6

Key Players:  Jordan Jefferson, Terrence Tolliver

Needs to Emerge:  Russell Shepard

LSU Defense

Returning Starters:  4

Key Players:  Patrick Peterson, Kelvin Sheppard, Drake Nevis

Needs to Emerge:  Stefoin Francois

Key Games:  North Carolina, at Florida, at Auburn, Mississippi

Schedule/Predicted Finish: (7 – 5, 4 – 4)

Sept. 4 North Carolina * – L
Sept. 9 at Vanderbilt – W
Sept. 18 Mississippi State – W
Sept. 25 West Virginia – W
Oct. 2 Tennessee – W
Oct. 9 at Florida – L
Oct. 16 McNeese State – W
Oct. 23 at Auburn – L
Oct. 30 OPEN DATE
Nov. 6 Alabama – L
Nov. 13 ULM – W
Nov. 20 Mississippi – W
Nov. 26 at Arkansas – L

* Game played in Atlanta

Posted in SEC Preview, Sports | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

 
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