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Story Archives: Season flying by
|Season flying by|
Wow, it seems like only yesterday that LSU was preparing for Oregon and all the talking heads were saying the Tigers were going down because they lost their top receiver and their starting quarterback.
Jordan Jefferson and Russell Shepard are both back, but guess what - they really haven't been that missed, although it is nice to have them back on the field.
All you have to do is look around the league and look at players going down and realize you better have some good depth on the team.
As good as LSU was without Jefferson and Shepard, they are much better with them.
My goodness, when was the last time you could relax after the first quarter of an LSU-Florida contest.
The play-calling this year has been outstanding. The play-action pass on the first series to Rueben Randle (the real top receiver) was a great call.
Spencer Ware has stepped up in the absence of Stevan Ridley and performed like a workhorse. I really hate Michael Ford landed in the doghouse because of a fumble and hope he is given the opportunity to atone for that.
The offensive line has really improved each week and if they can stay healthy, I see LSU losing no more than one game this season.
Tight end Mitch Joseph is very unsung as a blocker on the Tiger line and I was glad to see him get six points against Florida.
"I do think the Tigers cannot rely on wearing Auburn or Alabama down and will have to go more to the air in the next two weeks.
Alfred Blue is coming into his own, which isn't helping Ford's status, but gives the Tigers even more worries for the defense.
The defensive line has been dominating.
My concern (yes, you knew I would have one) is with the linebacking position.
Kevin Minter is improving, but the linebackers need to step up on crossing patterns. Up until Saturday, Stefoin Francois was the go-to strongside linebacker when the Tigers went 4-3. Against the Vols, Jones started and played the entire game. That has to be a good sign to get Miles' blessing there.
Hopefully the linebacker play will continue to improve. I guarantee you Nick Saban will test it.
The defensive backs are amazing. Tyrann Mathieu is a beast. I worry about him keeping his emotions under control in some upcoming huge games.
Special teams have been exceptional with James Hairston kicking into the end zone and Brad Wing nailing punts inside the 20, Drew Allemend is very dependable.
I worry a bit about special teams coverage, especially with Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas coming up with some game-breaking return guys.
The climb to the top is still tough and so many variables can come into play, such as injuries, weather or just coming out entirely flat for a ballgame.
I still say the LSU-Alabama game will be better than the BCS championship game. And after hearing the ESPN Gameday crew already breaking it down on Saturday ("we have 509 hours until the LSU-Alabama game"), the build-up will match any championship contest in any sport.
It will be interesting to see the time spot CBS chooses for this contest. The ratings will surely be out of the roof. Thank goodness for an open date next weekend. Let the build-up begin. Oh, it already has.
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