June 26, 2019

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LSU SPRING GAME SHOWS SLIGHT OFFENSIVE CHANGES

photo by Buddy Delahoussaye

Annual spring games are used as a measuring sticks to see where coaches are with their teams, where they stand depth wise, and what can be improved on upon. For diehard fans, it’s the start of a new season, to get a peek at what the team has been doing between the end of the season and the spring months.

Today, we got just a small, sliver of a peek at what LSU has been working on. For years fans have been screaming for a step into the “modern age” of football with a downfield passing attack that actually involved more than a three receiver set, and not a blocking tight end. We were treated to just that. Joe Burrow, and Myles Brennan combined for over 300 yards passing in the first half alone. Burrows’ first half number were a bit pedestrian 15 of 25 for 159 yards with one touchdown and one interception compared to Brennans’ 11 of 14  for 158 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

In the second half, Brennan would get the start for both squads White and Purple. Chris Curry had a beautiful eight yard run that was capped off with him running through the would be tackle of safety Kenan Jones, which resulted in both sidelines getting hyped on the shot.

The game seemed to speed up in the second half, as coaches opted to run the ball more often and have a running clock in the fourth quarter. The passing game that fans have been clamoring for, for the past five years. When asked about what he thought of the way the new offense looked Ed Orgeron said he was “very pleased with the development of the all the receivers. I think the guys have had an excellent spring, I was disappointed with some of the drops today. Maybe they were a little nervous being under the lights, I don’t know.” He later would go on and praise senior receiver Stephen Sullivan calling him “a force.”

Sophomore receiver Ja’Marr Chase has had an excellent spring and it showed today having two big receptions for thirty yards. Junior wide out Justin Jefferson seems to have picked up right where he left off last season, having four receptions for 35 yards and a huge touchdown in the back of the end zone at the end of the first quarter that tied the game up.

Some of the things that Coach O would like to have seen more of during this spring game were pass protection, and the pass rush. “At the end I thought there was too many sacks, we need to go back and look at that. Pass rush at the beginning, I thought the defense looked flat. The offense came out and I didn’t like the energy of the defense. We’re getting K’Lavon (Chaisson) back, Christian (Fulton) back, Rashard (Lawrence) back, we need to start better.”

On a positive note, Coach Orgeron does feel that this Tigers team is further ahead than the team was last year at this time. “We’re further ahead because of Joe Burrow, I think we’re further ahead with the offensive line. I think that Saahdiq Charles has made the most improvement, I think we’re further ahead with the scheme we want to put our players in. The addition of Joe Brady has been phenomenal for us. On defense we’re better at our pass rush, our edge rush, Michael Divinity had a good spring, Ray Thorton did as well. When we get back K’Lavon (Chaisson) we should have four or five good edge rushers.

The spring game ended with the Purple team taking a narrow victory over the White 17-14