We have reached the halfway mark of the season. Well, the new season under Ed Orgeron and company. The Tigers have gone 3-0 since Orgeron took over has the head coach for LSU. He has won two SEC conference games as well as beating Southern Miss handily. With LSU’s scheduled bye week upon us, its time to hand out some grades for the team’s past three games.
The new offense under offensive coordinator Steve Esminger has looked fantastic, a complete turnaround from what we all saw in the first four weeks under Cam Cameron. Coming into the game against Ole Miss this past Saturday, the offense under Esminger had an A in my book. But 3 turnovers against Ole Miss, 2 fumbles and 1 interception, downgraded them. With their upcoming opponent being Alabama, their will be no room for turnovers. If anybody in the nation will make you pay for your mistakes it’s the Crimson Tide.
In the past three games LSU has only allowed four touchdowns. In those three games, the team has only allowed seven second half points total. Defensive end Arden Key still holds the top spot in the SEC for sacks going into the bye week with 8. Linebackers Kendell Beckwith and Duke Riley are both in the top 5 in the SEC in total tackles, ranking second and fourth respectively. The A- grade here comes from the secondary. A few blown coverages that have led touchdowns and big plays. All-in-all, this LSU defense has been operating at a high tempo all year and have proven they are one of the best units in the league.
Special Teams: C
The return teams on kickoffs and punt returns have yet to find their stride. The kickoff return team is ranked 13th in the SEC only averaging 17.9 yards a return. Kicker Colby Delahoussaye has had his troubles as well, missing 2 field goals and 2 extra points. The return teams will need to help out with field position as much as possible going forward.
We are finally seeing something from this LSU coaching staff that we haven’t seen a while, halftime adjustments. The LSU offense has outscored opposing teams in the second half of the last three games by a total of 73-7. Against both Southern Miss and Ole Miss, the Tigers found themselves tied at halftime. After defensive adjustments from Dave Aranda, LSU’s defensive coordinator, the Tigers have only allowed 7 points in the second half.
The Tigers have looked great under the new coaching staff. Going forward, however, LSU will be playing the toughest remaining schedule in college football, per football power index (FPI). With a few tweaks to an already well performing system, the Tigers can be looking at a great season.