For those who’ve observed, we attempt to do Q&As with each ‘Bama opponent website. There are two notable exceptions: Tennessee, which I refuse to have any dealings with; Auburn, which everybody else refuses to take care of; and this 12 months Ole Miss didn’t return our calls. LOL. I can’t think about why. (I even had Brent ask, since they hate me.) Thankfully, the nice of us at ATVS nonetheless like us sufficient to play good. Right here follows RBR’s Q&A with Valley Shook’s Supervisor, Billy Gomilla, who was very gracious on a brief deadline and greater than plentiful together with his time. You understand their website by now, and you may observe him on twitter at @valleyshook or @ATVS_ChefBilly
1. The primary few weeks LSU did not appear like LSU, notably up entrance. In losses to Troy and Mississippi State, the entrance seven collapsed. Nonetheless, the final three weeks it appears as if the group is taking part in a bit higher, notably within the wins towards Florida and Ole Miss. What has modified?
Getting more healthy, and getting deeper has helped. LSU had a number of gamers in the defensive entrance seven suspended for varied causes over the primary few video games, and different gamers, notably nostril sort out Ed Alexander and defensive finish Rashard Lawrence, battled accidents — Lawrence was again for the final three, and it is made an enormous distinction. On offense, I feel it is a matter of freshmen bettering. LSU has three taking part in main roles, with Ed Ingram beginning at proper guard and Saahdiq Charles beginning at left sort out. Each have been comparatively extremely recruited, however neither was anticipated to begin this early. I feel among the transition to Canada’s offense has performed a task as properly. You’ll be able to see some gamers struggling with badignments on performs the place there’s plenty of shifting and motion.
Getting Derrius Guice wholesome is huge as properly.
2. It appears just like the LSU workers is utilizing Myles Brennan the identical approach that Alabama makes use of Tua Tagovailoa: Significant reps however no actual quarterback competitors. What does Danny Etling carry to the desk that Brennan does not? And, what have you ever seen from Brennan that is encouraging if the Tigers must go to him?
Etling understands the system, the right way to handle the shifts and motions after which test performs primarily based on how the protection reacts, and so on… Brennan might be the extra proficient pbader total, however with out the previous LSU would not have the encircling solid to make up the distinction, to be trustworthy. This program has gotten locked in a relentless cycle of getting to throw younger quarterbacks on the market with savior expectations, and if that may miss Brennan, or his clbadmate Lowell Narcisse, that’d be nice. Want them to come alongside on their very own time, at the very least for this 12 months.
three. We have to speak about that offensive line…once more. Plainly when the Tigers battle in significant video games, the chief issues are attributable to the mbadive nasties. This season has notably been making an attempt at occasions. Have the final struggles in 2017 been a roster problem or a Jeff Grimes problem?
Little little bit of each. LSU had a ton of attrition up entrance his offseason, and then misplaced the one participant it actually could not afford to lose in guard/sort out swing man Maea Teuhema in coaching camp. So there’s solely about eight linemen that the workers are actually comfy taking part in proper now, one is harm in left sort out Ok.J. Malone and proper sort out Toby Weathersby has missed time as properly with damage.
As far as Grimes, opinions are blended. He is finished a extremely good job on the recruiting path and introduced in plenty of big-time prospects — and in addition crammed in properly when others have decommitted. However, the large attrition degree over the past two years is on him as properly. A few of the gamers in query weren’t able to contribute, and did not precisely transfer up when they moved out. However others could be taking part in proper now in the event that they caught round. I do know this: Orgeron had an opportunity to maneuver on from Grimes, and selected to maintain him round, so he clearly feels there’s one thing he brings to the desk. And the development we have seen from this group is one thing he will get credit score for as properly, particularly if LSU can end the 12 months sturdy. However he has to proceed to construct this group.
four. Derrius Guice we all know. However, given his damage scenario this season, who else have the Tigers turned to within the backfield?
Senior Darrel Williams has change into a pleasant participant that may fill plenty of roles. He is an enormous again that runs onerous, so he will help in between the tackles, however he can als catch the ball properly and block, too, so Matt Canada has been comfy lining him up within the slot and within the F-back function rather a lot as properly. And naturally, the jet-sweep has concerned the receivers within the working sport as properly.
5. Matt Canda’s offense incorporates plenty of movement, most likely probably the most pre-snap motion of any group within the SEC. However, so far as the scheme, what has actually modified? What does this group do higher now than beneath Cam Cameron? Are there any areas the place enchancment must happen (from a scheme perspective.)
On a primary degree, I’ve used the metaphor of a special dialect, as against a special language. Nonetheless plenty of zone, energy and counter working — and even the jet sweep was one thing that LSU used the final two years, though to not this diploma. Primarily based by myself observations and discussions with of us near this system, it is a lot simpler to digest than Cam Cameron’s playbook, particularly for youthful gamers.
As far as enchancment, getting wholesome is an enormous deal. Derrius Guice has been gimpy all 12 months, though we have seen him take a look at 90 p.c over the final two weeks or so. And from then, LSU simply must maintain getting in higher offensive linemen, and receivers as properly. Each of these positions have been somewhat restricted when it comes to numbers and gamers the present workers trusts. However for now, we’re seeing them make it work in a approach that is been encouraging, at the very least to me.
6. It appears like there are going to be a ton of jobs opening up this 12 months, together with some excessive profile ones we did not fairly anticipate. Are we listening to something about Dave Aranda being on any ADs’ up-and-comer lists a la Scott Frost and Mike Norvell?
Nothing but, however I am certain they’re on the market. Aranda has the posh to be picky, and I feel he will likely be. He could wait on a Energy 5 opening, or at the very least a prime-level G5 spot. That is definitely my hope, though I know he’ll transfer on ultimately.
7. Coach Orgeron has acquired plenty of criticism this 12 months, however, in comparability to 2016, hasn’t LSU already outperformed final 12 months? The Tigers have knocked off three of their 4 most vital rivals and can play for a sweep this Saturday. If that is not sufficient, then what are the expectations down the stretch for this season to be thought-about profitable?
I do not learn about out-performing, however I feel this group has a very good likelihood to hit the 9-10 win degree I picked for it over the summer time. I had no illusions about competing for championships, nor do I feel that is a honest expectation for what we had coming in. However after Bama the subsequent three video games are extremely winnable, and that would depart LSU at 6-2 in the SEC. Sure, Troy is an enormous stain on the file, however nearly each LSU fan would have taken that SEC file earlier than the season. An honest quantity anticipated a lot worse, though I do anticipate that crowd to maneuver the goalposts for Orgeron in the identical approach they moved them for Les Miles.
eight. Alabama has a constant kicker now. Whooo! If it comes all the way down to a subject aim sport, because it very properly could, what’s LSU’s kicking scenario like?
Connor Culp has actually emerged in current weeks, kicking the game-winners versus Auburn and going an ideal four-for-four final week at Ole Miss. After a couple of weeks of spotty work out of Culp and Jack Gonsoulin, he is actually stepped as much as seize the job, which has been sorely wanted.
9. Guice will get plenty of press, the secondary is all the time bedrock strong, and QB play is all the time closely scrutinized, however is it honest to say, in phrases of play-making and flexibility, that .DJ Chark is the one most vital participant on this group?
There’s no query it is nonetheless No. 5. I feel he could also be as near 100 p.c as he is ever going to get proper now, and I feel within the final two video games we have seen how a lot that may badist this group. Chark has been nearly as good as we have hoped, but when LSU’s offense goes to have any likelihood of getting going this week, it’ll be with Guice carrying the soccer.
10. Admit it, that is secretly the sport you stay up for all season, proper?
Actually? Not anymore, no. It is change into an albatross for LSU, and shedding it has simply change into a ridiculous weight. Les Miles’ had his issues as a head coach, however one which few LSU followers need to speak about — as a result of they’re as a lot accountable as anyone else — is that every little thing grew to become so centered round Alabama that this system misplaced monitor of the inner components and focus that it takes simply to be a top-shelf program. It reached the purpose that Alabama, basically, beat LSU a number of occasions in 2014 and 2015. It is my hope that Ed Orgeron will proceed to know that this sport is not received on Saturday, it is received the remainder of the 12 months. As soon as we begin making these strides and can get this sport again to the place it was when it comes to nationwide relevancy, then it will be sport on. However for now? If we are able to damage your season, that is superior. However we have now to maintain trying past this explicit Saturday.
Once more, our due to Billy Gomilla. Chime in under and drop them some site visitors someday. They’re good folks…I promise.