2007 BCS Champions

2007 BCS
National Champions

2003 BCS National Champions

2003 BCS
National Champions

1958 National Champions

1958
National Champions

NCAA Baseball Championships:

1991
1993
1996
1997
2000
2009

 

DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.

9/23/14 6:00 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

First of all, I’d like to thank all of you who voted in our online poll asking how you feel about the quarterback situation. I’ll keep the poll open today for those of you who haven’t had a chance to chime in. I’d also like to thank all of you who emailed me with your thoughts on the team. Due to the overwhelming volume of email I received, I probably won’t be able to answer all of them individually, but hopefully many of your questions will be answered in my reports throughout the week. Although we were pretty harsh in our analysis of last week’s game, I want to stress that I haven’t given up on this team and that most all of the problems that plagued the Tigers on Saturday are indeed fixable.

The team will get one last chance to right the ship and work out some kinks in the friendly confines of Tiger Stadium this Saturday against New Mexico State before embarking on a very difficult SEC schedule beginning with two challenging road games. The first of those two conference road games will be against Auburn on October 4th, and yesterday it was announced that that game will kick off at 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

Coach Les Miles met with the media yesterday for his weekly press luncheon and gave his thoughts on the team’s performance, which I found quite interesting. I’ve posted a full transcript of the conference (as provided by LSU), and I encourage you to read it all. But for those of you who want the quick version, below is my summary of some of its key points.

• Coach Miles said he likes the way his team fought, and that if they would have had about 30 more seconds they could have won. He added that several young guys grew up in the game, and praised Malachi Dupre and Brandon Harris for the way they came in off the bench and played hard.


• Miles said that every coach and player is accountable and that the problems weren’t specific to any particular player or group, but that improvement is needed across the board.

• As for the offensive line which has received a lot of criticism from media outlets, including this one, Miles said he saw dominant play by both tackles, and good play at guard and center. He added, “I cannot still say it's the offensive line.  It's the offensive line, it's the running backs, it's the quarterback, it's the wide receivers, it's we need to make a collective adjustment.  I believe that will certainly be done.”


• As for Brandon Harris, Miles said he entered the game in a very difficult position and provided a tremendous lift. Miles said Harris earned more playing time, without question, and made a case for “Brandon Harris at quarterback.” 


• Speaking about the defense, Miles said there were some times when a call didn't get on the field that should have, and that sometimes it was a matter of personnel while other times it was not. He added that the players and coaching staff are in this together and will make the needed adjustments.


• When asked about the defense giving up 10 plays of 20 yards or more and whether that was due to personnel or scheme, Miles said it was a little of both, and that “technique” was a big key. He added that there was a defensive call that did not get on the field for one of the key participants.


• When asked about the play Brandon Harris late in the game and the fact that MSU wasn’t rushing a lot of guys, Miles said that he is not going to temper Harris’ very positive contribution and that he did a great job and gave the team every opportunity to win. Later Miles said that Harris would have entered the game at that time even if Anthony Jennings had not ben injured. As for Jennings’ status, Miles said he is at full strength now.


• The worst news to come from the press conference was that defensive tackle Quintin Thomas will probably be out for a week or two after suffering an arm injury in Saturday’s game. That’s a major blow to a defensive line that is especially thin on experience. On a related note, Miles praised the play of Lewis Neal and said that he will see more playing time.


• At the middle linebacker position, Miles said Kendell Beckwith will see more playing time this week and that he’s on the cusp of playing a very significant role in the defense.


• When asked whether the I-formation was a good fit for the two quarterbacks who always worked out of the shotgun formation in high school, Miles said that both quarterbacks can operate under center equally efficiently, but that working out of the shotgun is part of the plan.

• When asked about MSU’s Dillon Day stomping on the players (see video) and whether the SEC would be petitioned about it, Miles answered affirmatively, saying that they sent the film to the SEC office and they will do the right thing. 


Before leaving the topic of football, I want to let you know that I’m working on a new Q&A with College and NFL Analyst Mike Detillier about last week’s game and I hope to have it ready to post tomorrow. As they say, stay tuned.

Moving on to baseball news, it was announced yesterday that LSU’s 2014 recruiting class was named the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation by Collegiate Baseball. This marks the Tigers’ fourth national recruiting title in the 32-year history of the rankings by Collegiate Baseball and the Tigers’ third title in the past eight seasons. LSU also captured the No. 1 class in 2010, 2007 and 2004. The 2014 class included 12 players, seven of which are excellent pitchers, including three draft picks, two All-Americans and a member of the 2014 NJCAA National Team.

A personal tidbit in closing: By the time most of you are reading this, I’ll be wetting a line in my favorite North Louisiana fishing hole. Growing up, my Dad and I would almost always make a fishing trip during the first cool spell of the fall, and although I’ll be fishing alone this time, I can’t wait to get out there on this gorgeous autumn day. With a little luck, I’ll have some pics to share with you tomorrow.

Reader Comments: Scott, there's a good article on nola.com about the quarterback situation and it includes a reference to your poll. LSU quarterback competition heats up with freshman Brandon Harris to take more snaps

9/22/14 6:10 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

After a 31-26 loss to Mississippi State Saturday, LSU has fallen out of the top-10 to No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 18 in the Coaches Poll. Seven SEC teams are ranked ahead of LSU in each poll, including Alabama (3/2), Auburn (4/5), Texas A&M (6/7), Ole Miss (10/11), Georgia (12/13), South Carolina (13/15), and Mississippi State (14/16). Of the Tigers seven upcoming conference games on the schedule, four are against teams currently ranked higher than LSU (@Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama, @A&M), and three will be against teams not in the Top-20 (@Florida, Kentucky, @Arkansas). Fortunately for LSU, the Tigers have one more much-needed tune-up and confidence builder next week against New Mexico State before SEC road action begins. I was a bit surprised to see that LSU has opened as a 47-point favorite in Saturday’s contest.

As you might imagine, my inbox is overflowing with messages from Tiger fans wanting to vent about Saturday’s demoralizing loss, and many of the questions and comments are about LSU’s quarterback situation. Since that’s such a hot topic right now, I decided to conduct an online poll on the matter.

Please take a moment to vote on our poll: Jennings or Harris? How do you feel about LSU’s QB situation?

Of course, a lot of the questions and comments I received yesterday were about play-calling, personnel and other topics that we’ve touched on in our weekly Monday Morning Rewind below. Again, I want to thank my friend Jake Martin for his help with this feature.

Monday Morning Rewind

There’s a lot to rant about in this morning’s addition of MMR, but let me preface the breakdown from the Mississippi State game with this – most of LSU’s struggles are fixable.

• Let’s start with defense, shall we? My biggest concern is the defense’s inability to stop the run on the inside. You can live with the plays Dak Prescott made. He’s a dark-horse Heisman contender, and he’s going to make plays as such, however, you can’t have guys whiffing at the line of scrimmage. (There were missed tackles at the line of scrimmage on the first three Mississippi State offensive series). Minus a few plays by Jermauria Rasco and Danielle Hunter, the Tigers had zero pressure on Prescott from the front four throughout the game. The combination of LSU’s defensive struggles led to Mississippi State leading 17-3 at halftime. The worst was yet to come, though.

• After Kwon Alexander stripped Prescott and the Tigers scooped and scored, MSU quickly answered with a 56-yard TD run by Prescott to regain the momentum. On that play, the Tigers defended with a 4-2-5 on a third-and-three, which I found surprising. Because of the alignment, the middle was wide open with Jalen Mills being the only player who could have made a play. Christian LaCouture pinched in, Kwon Alexander behind him was responsible for a WR, and Mills was playing deep, looking to blanket one of Mississippi State’s receivers on the outside.

• Another surprising observation from the second half was that Beckwith did not enter the game until two minutes left in the third quarter, after LSU was already down 31-10. This is surprising because of Beckwith’s stout defense in the first half.

• One of the most disturbing things I observed on the re-watch was the cheap shots by MSU’s Dillon Day. You can read more on that here. I hope the SEC takes a look at this and addresses the matter.

• Mills, Deion Jones and Ronald Martin all struggled against Mississippi State, while LaCouture, Rasco and Dwayne Thomas had strong performances. I would like to see Beckwith get a little more playing time moving forward, and would certainly like to see more of a 4-3 front against future power running teams.

• Alright Tigers fans, let’s switch over to the offense. Before getting to LSU’s personnel, I would like to address LSU’s play-calling. The lack of variety in the play-calling is just as much reason for LSU’s lackluster performance as the lack of protection and inefficiency by Anthony Jennings. Repeatedly, LSU ran the ball out of the I-formation to start drive after drive. In fact, it wasn’t until the team was down 31-10 with nine minutes left in the third quarter that the Tigers opened up a series in a spread formation and threw a pass. The drive ended on a poor snap from Elliott Porter, who eyed Preston Smith over his head. The play resulted in the second sack Porter allowed to Smith.

• Speaking of Porter, he appeared to be the weak link upfront that allowed penetration and disallowed running lanes on the inside. I’m still scratching my head as to why Ethan Pocic, who continues to impress with his ability, wasn’t moved to center to block Smith. And with the way Fehoko Fanaika blocked at right guard against Wisconsin, I would hope to see Pocic at center and Fanaika at right guard against New Mexico.

• Unfortunately for LSU, the Tigers’ vanilla play-calling cost LSU seven points. With a first-and-goal, the Tigers ran the ball four consecutive times, not utilizing Jennings’ legs and arm with a play-action pass. As you know, the Tigers lost by five, which could have been a different story had LSU punched it in or elected to kick the field goal, preventing LSU from going for two on two separate occasions.

• Following Prescott’s 56-yard touchdown run, the Tigers lined up in, you guessed it, the I-formation, and Vadal Alexander and Porter chipped the same guy on a 1-yard gain by Kenny Hilliard. Because of the way Porter missed Benardrick McKinney at the second level, it was hard to tell if the play was designed to go to the right or if Hilliard bounced it back. Regardless, it was yet another reason why Pocic should be starting at center.

• Perhaps what you’ve been waiting to hear about the most is the quarterback situation. Let me start by saying Jennings played his worst game of the season, failing to connect with Trey Quinn, John Diarse and Malachi Dupre on separate wide-open occasions. Jennings failed to progress through his reads, eying down one receiver as we’ve been pointing out for weeks. However, he did not get a whole lot of time to work in the pocket, and the Tigers did not open it up offensively for him until LSU was down by 21. Still, Jennings’ performance was underwhelming, which might lead some of you to think that Brandon Harris is the answer after Saturday night’s performance. Though Harris showcased his strong arm with amazing throws to Dupre, he did so without being under duress. The Bulldogs had only a three-man front, so Harris was gifted with time to pick and choose who he wanted to throw to. The flip-side to that is that Harris had success passing while MSU was expecting the pass. Harris also looked comfortable in the pocket and was accurate with his passes, giving LSU fans more reason to lobby for a quarterback change. Is that the best option right now? Give us your thoughts on the matter by voting in our online poll referenced above.

Before closing out for the day, I want to announce that we’ve processed all of last week’s picks in our pickem contest and our Week 3 winner is someone who goes by the username “tarver51” who correctly picked 117 of 146 games. I hope to hear from “tarver51” today so that I can introduce him to you tomorrow. Please note that it’s never too late to join our Pickem Contest as we’ll be announcing each week’s winner. Voting for this week’s games is now open and hope many of you will decide to join in the action. After three weeks of voting, the leader in the overall competition (all weeks) is Bob Register (user mmr) who won Week 2.

Lastly, I’d like to point out that I’ve updated I’ll be updating our Ticket Exchange page later this morning.

9/22/14 5:15 am CT

Good morning, Tiger Fans,

I said that last night’s game would tell a lot about this Tiger team, and it sure did as LSU was manhandled on both sides of the ball and fell to MSU, 34-29, in a game that was much worse than the score indicated. Much like in the season opener against Wisconsin, LSU started slow and was completely dominated in the first half, but in this game the second half wasn’t much better. That is, until very late in the game when Brandon Harris entered at quarterback for an injured Anthony Jennings with 3:43 left on the clock. Trailing 34-16, Harris quickly showcased not only his arm strength but his poise and leadership abilities as he orchestrated two quick touchdown scoring drives and gave LSU a fighting chance to win the game on a last second Hail Mary.

So what did we learn from last night’s game? Here are five quick things.

LSU’s offensive line isn’t nearly what we thought it would be.
Heading into the season we expected the offensive line to be the team’s strength. With four returning starters, considerable depth, and a new offensive line coach in Jeff Grimes, this was supposed to be the team’s strongest unit. Heck, it was supposed to be one of the best offensive lines in the country. Clearly, it is not. In last night’s game, MSU defenders were constantly in LSU’s backfield, and the Tigers only mustered 89 rushing yards on 36 carries (2.5 ypc). When faced with 1st and goal early in the game, LSU couldn’t punch it in on four straight running attempts, which says a lot.

Our preseason concerns for the defensive line were justified.
We knew heading into the season that LSU lacked experience in the defensive line and feared that it could be the team’s biggest problem. But then the second half of the Wisconsin game and the two contests that followed gave us hope that maybe our fear was unfounded. In last night’s game, LSU’s youth and lack of depth in the D-line could not be denied as the Tigers were mauled by MSU’s offensive line. This resulted in the Tigers giving up 302 yards rushing, which was the most they’ve allowed in four years. LSU’s D-line will get better, but it’s far from the dominating defensive front lines we’re used to seeing from Tiger teams.

Quarterback play is huge.
MSU’s Dak Prescott showed us that a confident and charismatic quarterback who can rally his team makes a world of difference. I hate to say it, but I remain unconvinced that Anthony Jennings can be such a quarterback. On the night, Jennings ended 13-of-26 for 157 yards and no TDs (100.7 RTG). By comparison, Dak Prescott ended 15-of-24 for 268 yards and two TDs (183.8 RTG). The most encouraging thing to come from last night’s performance was the play of Brandon Harris who ended 6-of-9 for 140 yards and two TDs (248.4 RTG). It will be very interesting to see how Harris’ performance is interpreted by the coaches and what it means for him moving forward.

These Tigers fight ’til the very end.
The Tigers were trailing by 24 points in the fourth quarter and had been getting dominated all night, yet they never gave up, fought hard until the very end and turned a blowout into a nail-biter. We saw this same resolve and fortitude from these young Tigers in the season opener against Wisconsin. The team’s Fighting Tigers spirit didn’t produce a win last night, but it was great to see nonetheless and will pay dividends down the road.

This might not be the year, but the future looks bright.
At this point in time, this is not a very strong LSU football team, and without significant improvement this could be a long year for the Tigers (and for us Tiger fans). But when I consider the youth of this team and its talented freshman class which has lived up to its billing, I truly believe that this team will get better as the season progresses and that good things are ahead for the Tiger football program.

Below are a few stats from last nights’s game, and here are LSU’s video highlights. We’ll have much more on the game in tomorrow’s report, so be sure to tune in.

LSU-MSU Stats

A couple of tidbits in closing:

• Here’s a good read by Jim Kleinpeter of nola.com called “LSU's offensive struggles may turn into change at quarterback.”

•  All of the scores from last night’s Louisiana high school football games have been added to our scoreboard, and later today we’ll process the results of this week’s pickem contest so that we can announce this week’s winner tomorrow.

 

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