It was easy to be impressed by LSU. They have a veteran offensive line, two hammerheads running backs, a stable full of receivers and a quarterback that played very McElroy-like.
Defensively, they are loaded. Their defensive backs are athletic and impressive and their defensive line is strong, mean and aggressive. They recorded an incredible 15 tackles for loss last night.
Overall, their performance reminded me very much of Alabama circa 2008. Their game plan was to run the ball and play smash mouth defense, or “LSU defense,” as Les Miles told ESPN last night, and that’s exactly what they did. If LSU doesn’t out-smart itself, and you never know with a Les Miles team, it’s tough to see this team being beaten.
A few other thoughts:
** I am a bit envious of LSU’s ground attack. They knew what they wanted to do and Mississippi State knew what was coming, but could do nothing to stop it. That was Alabama of 2008 and 2009. We strayed a bit from that last year. Perhaps it was offensive line troubles, other teams loading the box or an attempt to open things up, but our mentality has changed a bit.
** Jarrett Lee played well statistically – 21 of 27 for 213 yards, one touchdown and one interception. I didn’t like the play call that led to the interception. You’re up by 10 with 10 minutes left in the game. Run the ball. The interception gave MSU life when the game really should have been over.
** I was puzzled by Dan Mullen’s decision to pull Chris Relf immediately following the Lee interception. Relf didn’t have his best game, but he wasn’t horrible either. The call to replace Relf seemed a knee jerk and since the decision didn’t work out, it may create confidence problems for Relf.
** I’m not a big fan of head coaches waving their arms trying to pump up the crowd. I would rather my guy be thinking ahead about the next big decision rather than worried about the crowd. That seemed a little desperate to me.
** State’s season is basically over. Yes, there is still a lot of ball left, but these two games were supposed to be a spring board to great things this year and State swung and missed on both. It will be interesting to see how the Dogs respond.