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Story Archives: Second half fuels Tigers
|Second half fuels Tigers|
At halftime of LSU's game with Oregon at Jerry's Funhouse in Dallas, I was questioning the rumors of quarterback Zach Mettenberger not being able to learn the LSU playbook.
Seriously? He hasn't learned to hand the ball off to Spencer Ware. Because the first half that seemed to be the Tiger playbook.
But then came the second half and two straight passes on first down (Shazam!) and things started going the Tigers' way a little more.
It became Ware, Michael Ford and Deangelo Peterson's funhouse.
Of course, the ringmaster was Tyran Matthieu.
I believe the passes opened up the running game even more. The Tiger offensive line looked great most of the night. The key to the season will be if they can stay healthy. Even freshman La'el Collins, considered the next great Tiger offensive lineman, did not have to play.
Defensively, the Tigers swarmed to the ball and made things happen. While Jarrett Lee did appear shaky at times, Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas — the seasoned and all-everything quarterback on the field — was rattled, unsettled, confused, and most importantly — contained.
I was concerned about what Thomas would do with his feet against the Tigers, but LSU had that well planned out and keep him reined in.
I think fans will appreciate LSU's defensive effort more as the season goes along and everyone sees how really good the Duck offense is.
Say what you want about Les Miles, the team seems to circle the wagons around him when he needs it the most.
I still think the Tigers are too conservative and you cannot count on the defense bailing out the offense all year. But it was Lee's first start in a while. After the snap went flying by him in the first half, I'm thinking, here it all goes downhill for this young man who has had his share of miscues.
But credit Lee for regaining his composure and leading the Tigers to the win.
I have no idea what happened in the pile after his short run, but to see him bounce up and give Oregon players a mouthful was good to see. You can bet the players notice things like that and will get even more behind him.
It was great to see Sam Montgomery bounce back for his devastating injury last year and play so dominant.
And what can you say about Barkevious Mingo? I asked West Monroe head coach Don Shows about Mingo a couple of years ago and his excitement told me all I needed to know. The guy's motor never stops running and he's a lot stronger than someone who runs that fast should be.
It was a fun first week for Tiger fans. And, for once, they didn't have to sit on pins and needles throughout a big game involving the purple and gold. But you can bet those are just down the road. After all, it's a whole different game in the SEC.
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