LS-Who?

LSU fans were shocked as their team struggled against Mississippi State, whom they beat last season.

LSU+always+wears+white+jerseys+for+both+home+and+away+games%2C+differing+from+every+other+NCAA+football+team.+%0A%0A

LSU always wears white jerseys for both home and away games, differing from every other NCAA football team.

Mya Mooney, Staff Writer

LSU was riding on a wave of confidence after winning the National Championship game last season, but this wave would soon turn to panic. In the 2019 season, Coach O led his team to win a Natty, on a perfect season, even beating previously National Champion Clemson in the championship game and blowing them out of the water at that. It was the best season the Tigers had it quite some time, Joe Burrows being one of the main reasons the team got where they were with his outstanding performances game after game. Although Burrows did declare for the draft, and went first pick overall to the Cincinnati Bengals, where he is facing a similar fate to the start of Clemson’s season. Even with Burrow gone, the team had confidence built up from the last season and were ready to play hard on their first game. Fans couldn’t wait to see their team play, most likely yelling “Geaux Tigers!” at their TVs , except that wouldn’t last, by the end of the game they were probably saying “no, Tigers.” Mississippi State did not hold back, they were ready to make a statement the minute they stepped onto the field, especially after losing 36-13 in the previous stadium. Unbeknownst to all the LSU players, this game would be keeping them on their feet, trying to gain the upper hand in this game. This game would be neck and neck throughout all 4 quarters, each team putting up a fight, MS state would pull through as the underdog, beating LSU 44-34. Shocked, everyone was shocked, fans, coaches, players, MS State who had lost terribly last year had just caused a massive upset in the first game of the season. LSU has since dropped down to 20 and MS State has moved up to 16 in the national rankings. LSU did not live up to their high expectations this year, whether or not they will recover from this or continue down a slippery slope is something many people will be watching.

 

The 2019 season was a big year for LSU, coming off seasons that they were wishing to improve upon, they built their way up to a perfect season. Not a single loss, not to Alabama, and not to the 2018 National Champions, Clemson, who they had beat in the National Championship game, making their season as good as it gets. At the time, starting quarterback Joe Burrow, was their driving force on the offensive side of things. He had a breakthrough senior season, with 5,671 yards, an incredible 76.28% pass completion rate, 60 passing touchdowns, 368 rushing yards, and 5 rushing touchdowns. Burrow’s impressive skills on the field, combined with receivers and running backs who ran consistently productive routes and verticals. Now that LSU no longer has Burrows among other key players who were drafted, the heart of their offense is still adjusting to the role he needs to fill. Having a younger offense or a less experienced offense can make a huge difference in what appears to be an easy game to win. With a quarterback who is newer, the team just needs to play together more until they find their rhythm, which is completely normal.

 

Myles Brennan is the man who will be filling the shoes of Joe Burrows. Brennan is currently a junior at LSU, and in his whole career has only seen playing time in 18 games thus far, many not being the full game. He has been next in line behind Burrow from quite some time and was officially named starting quarterback prior to the season starting. Standing at 6’4 and 210 pounds, he is very similar in stature to Burrow, and has a solid size for being a quarterback. Unlike Burrow, Brennan does not have a strong rushing game, as of this season he has -37 rushing yards with zero rushing touchdowns. Although it is the beginning of the season, if his rushing game does not improve, this could be detrimental to LSU in the long term; as some teams’ defense ties up the receivers and the only option is to run the ball in hopes to make a first down. The -37 rushing yards are telling that Brennan may not have the confidence to run the ball yet, sometimes quarterbacks panic and are chased way back.  Brennan’s 58.7% pass completion is not overly bad; it’s comparable to some other quarterbacks, and he has a lot of room to increase it and find receivers he makes a connection with almost every time. In the Mississippi State game, he did a total of 345 passing yards with 3 passing touchdowns, which is a good starting basis for his first game as a starter, this also will most likely increase as the season goes on. Brennan is not the only one trying to find his place on the field, offense also has quite a few new receivers, tight ends and running backs including freshman Arik Gilbert. Gilbert started his first game as a true freshman, with 37 yards and 1 touchdown, his height (6’5) has a massive advantage as a tight end, and fans will probably be seeing much more of him this season. Terrace Marshall Jr., a junior wide receiver, made a statement against Mississippi, 122 reception yards and two receiving touchdowns. Even though Marshall Jr. is not a fresh face on the field, Brennan and other offense players will greatly benefit from having an experienced player who is also a playmaker on the field with them.

 

LSU is a young team this year; Burrow is gone amongst another thirteen other LSU players. This will be a growing season for the team, the beginning might be slightly rocky, but improvement should be seen as the season continues and the team matures. Offensively there is a lot that needs to be fixed, but it is mostly players getting more comfortable not only on the field but with each other since some of them had never played a game together. Coach O has probably evaluated the game, pushed players to work on their weakness this whole week, and maybe LSU will have a different outcome against Vanderbilt on October 3rd. The first game of the season does not determine a team’s ability if they make an effort to change it in the following games. There is a lot that can happen between the first and final game of the season, with much room to grow as a team. While LSU had a rough start, there is also a good chance that this team will become a strong team by the end of this season.

*All stats found at LSU sports under football roster

Photo credits: The Advocate