T-Bob: 2014 LSU squad has many questions, but much to hope for
by T-Bob Hebert,posted Aug 4 2014 10:45AM
Can you feel it comin' in the air tonight? That’s right, Phil Collins, I too am super excited for the opening of LSU camp later tonight, as it marks the beginning of what should be one of the more unpredictable seasons in recent memory.
The 2014 LSU squad is a team full of talent, but also a team full of questions. In 2013 the LSU offensive attack reached record-breaking heights, as they became the first-ever SEC team to have a 3000-yard passer, two 1000-yard receivers, and a 1,000-yard rusher. That is awesome!
What's not awesome for Tiger fans is the fact that every single one of those players are now in the NFL. QB Zach Mettenberger is with the Titans, Jeremy Hill is in Cincy, Jarvis Landry is kickin it in South Beach, and ODBIII is takin' a bite outta the Big Apple. So who will replace these former Tiger greats?
Running back seems the most stable by far, as you have senior Terrence Magee returning after an under-appreciated year that saw him average an incredible 7.3 yards per carry and score 8 TDs. What’s that? There’s another running back as well? LSU managed to snag the number one recruit in the entire nation when Leonard Fournette chose to make the hour drive from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and take his talents to Tiger stadium. Fournette is being hailed as pretty much everything but the messiah, and if early reports are to be believed, he lives up to the hype. Only time will tell.
Although Hill is gone, the backfield seems set. Replacing Landry and Beckham may be a bit tougher, but once again, a big name recruit may be the key to the Tiger’s success. While Fournette was the number one recruit in the nation, incoming freshman Malachi Dupre was the number one receiver in the nation. Dupre will be joined by fellow highly-touted recruit Trey Quinn, and these two will be joining Travin Dural, Quantavis Leslie, and John Diarse as they try to compete to be the signal caller’s number one option.
Who is that signal caller? That’s probably the biggest question mark on this entire team, as the job for starting quarterback is a dead heat between sophomore Anthony Jennings and incoming freshman Brandon Harris (noticing a trend here?) LSU fans got to see Jennings in limited action last season against Arkansas and Iowa in the Bowl game, while the only opportunity to get eyes on Harris was during this year’s spring game. Harris did look better in intersquad scrimmage.
The saving grace to all these question marks is the fact that you have 4 of 5 returning starters on the offensive line, and two veterans competing for the last opening at RG. A talented offensive line can go a long way towards masking deficiencies, and that is going to be critical, especially at the beginning of the season when these freshmen are first getting their feet wet.
Even with all these questions, the first Coaches Poll released last week had LSU ranked 13th in the nation. I am of the opinion that this may be a bit generous, but it is a testament to the program and the ability of strength coach Tommy Moffitt to get guys ready to play at a young age. The next few weeks are going to be critical as the Tigers are to be tested immediately when they square off against 14th-ranked Wisconsin in the Advocare Texas Kickoff at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Perhaps you are nervous going into such a big game without knowing who the quarterback is? Here is LSU’s Head Coach Les Miles take on the situation: “It’s going to be that time in the game where you have the opportunity to extend a play, and make a play, and therein itself - interpretation at one point in time will be, in my opinion, the criteria by which you’ll pick the starter.”
Perhaps if you can decipher the clues and channel your inner Nicolas Cage you can glean some valuable information from this odd quote about who will be LSU’s national treasure (am I trying too hard? I might be) but needless to say, I cannot wait for the college football season to get underway. I’m sure it will be filled with enough peaks and valleys to put every Tiger fan in the hospital.