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|Crowton needs one 'last' look|
Here's hoping LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton takes a good look at the LSU-Arkansas video and takes a good hard look at the start of the second quarter.
Here's also hoping it's Crowton's last duty as LSU play-caller.
LSU had the ball on its own 25-yard line at the start of the second quarter and the drive starts off with Stevan Ridley rushing for no gain.
That was only one of about a dozen times LSU faced second and nine or more.
Then came another short run followed by a 13-yard run for a first down by Jefferson to the LSU 39.
Then the light seemed to come on in Crowton's head (although short-lived).
On first down, Jefferson passed 32 yards to a wide open Terrance Tolliver at the Arkansas 29. That was followed by a first down pass to Kadon Boone to the Hog 5-yard line.
Ridley scored on the next play.
Replays of Tolliver's catch (yes, there were a few replays from this horrible CBS coverage which seemed to have one camera at the top of the stadium) showed Tolliver running his route by four Arkansas defenders who were just waiting on the run.
Smart defensive strategy on Arkansas' part because Crowton does not throw the ball down the field more than four times a game.
You kind of figured it was going to be a long day after Arkansas' Joe Adams fumbled a punt at his own 29 and two LSU guys knock it out of bounds at the Hog 4 in attempted to jump on it.
But credit Arkansas because they came in with a more aggressive gameplan. I know Jordan Jefferson is no Ryan Mallet, but after Mallet got sacked or threw an interception you did not see the Razorbacks going all conservative.
Just before halftime, when LSU called time out with Arkansas facing third-and-eight from its own 26-yard line I cringed knowing what Mallet was capable of.
But that worked out when LSU got the ball on its own 30 with 1:18 remaining.
After Jefferson rushes for no gain (surprise, surprise, surprise), the Tigers fumble the ball away at their 30-yard line with 50 seconds remaining.
Fortunately, Morris Claiborne intercepted the Mallet pass in the end zone.
So now let's just run it out and go into the dressing room tied 14-14 getting the ball first in the second half.
But Ridley picks up 20 yards to the LSU 40.
OK, if you want to go for it now, fine.
Michael Ford then carries to the Tiger 44 (huh?).
Then LSU calls time out with 25 seconds remaining.
Two incompletions lead to a punt and then we all know what happens with six seconds remaining.
Karnell Hatcher nails Mo Claiborne and Arkansas gets the unlikely TD before the half.
LSU is unable to finish two drives to start the second half from being too conservative and manages two field goals in the red zone.
Thank goodness for Patrick Peterson's kickoff returns, otherwise this game would not have been as close.
As disappointing as the loss was, it still should not take away from an exciting season (too exciting in most cases).
But LSU loses only nine scholarship seniors and returns a team that saw a number of freshman contribute in a big way.
Obviously, the quarterback position is going to be critical again.
The good news is that highly-touted and current JUCO quarterback and LSU recruit Zach Mettenberger was not a real good baseball player and hopefully he will be enrolling on Baton Rouge soon.
Les Miles needs to win his bowl game. It's almost paramount now as far as recruiting is concerned.
You won't see LSU picked to finish No. 18 in preseason polls next year as you did this season.
Most preseason predictions should have them in the top 10.
Take Crowton out of the process, I will gladly put them in the top five.
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