The LSU Tigers have the look and feel of a team which is in trouble. LSU has looked very uninspired through its first few games of the young season.
By Matt Zemek
Maybe this is simply a product of the pandemic, with players being unsure of themselves and having lacked chemistry last year. Maybe this is a product of changes on the defensive staff. Maybe this is a product of the players who opted out of the 2020 season. Whatever the reason, though, LSU looks slow on defense and unimposing on offense. The program looks a lot like the pre-Joe Burrow days under Ed Orgeron. There is a lot of grumbling and discomfort about the program LSU seems to be becoming. With the Tigers not having begun their SEC schedule, they really need to use this game against Central Michigan as a tuneup which shakes off the doldrums and gets this team into a proper frame of mind with sound habits when the SEC slate arrives.
1 – Offensive line
The offensive line is a real problem for LSU. This unit was outplayed by UCLA’s defensive line a few weeks ago. LSU’s offensive line could not physically dominate McNeese State’s defensive line. There are real concerns about LSU’s offensive line and its ability to command the line of scrimmage and make the various components of this attack work well. Those worries need to be quieted this week with a strong performance which creates a good mood in the locker room. Central Michigan will not tell us if LSU is ready for SEC competition. That is an apples-to-oranges comparison. However, LSU can certainly use this game as a time to establish a better identity and feel better about itself. If the O-line fires off the ball and delivers an authoritative performance, LSU will have much more reason for optimism heading into the SEC gauntlet.
2 – Linebackers
LSU’s linebackers still look slow and unprepared for what is to come. They were slow against UCLA and got feasted on. We need to see a much more forceful and dynamic brand of football from the middle layer of LSU’s defense. Covering tight ends, delivering ferocious hits, and establishing the right position are all centerpiece needs for LSU’s linebacker group.
3 – End the hangover
LSU looked like a team still thinking about the UCLA loss when it played McNeese. The hangover effect was and is perfectly understandable. Against Central Michigan, LSU’s hangover needs to end. The past needs to be left behind, and this LSU team needs to make sure its future can become everything the Tigers hope it will be.