I said before the game that I didn't know why LSU fans were so optimistic about our chances against Washington. Sure, they were 0-12 last year, but that was last year. A new coaching staff and a team hungry for a win in their home stadium can spell difficulty for an opponent. Meanwhile, LSU had yet to prove that our defense would bounce back from a dismal 2008 campaign, and we still had big question marks at the quarterback position.

Frankly, I was just happy for our team to get the win. As a Husky fan posted on the Tiger Rant, we might be appreciating this win more as the season progresses. Perhaps Washington will turn out to be a strong team this year. It is always difficult to predict after just one game.

That being said, LSU did not look like a Top 10 team last night. The offense, which was supposed to be the strength of the team, ran one of the most vanilla game plans I have ever seen from an LSU team. If my memory serves me right, we threw no more than two passes that were caught beyond 15 yards from the line of scrimmage.

We often forget that Jordan Jefferson is not a seasoned quarterback. Most of his action last year came when LSU's major goals were no longer attainable. The coaches knew that this would be his first high-pressure game, and probably sought to minimize his chances for mistakes. That's fine. Jefferson managed the game effectively and didn't throw any interceptions.

But with players like Trindon Holiday, Brandon Lafell, Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, Richard Dickson and even the often-talked about Russell Shepard, you would think that Gary Crowton could have spread the ball out more than he did. Let's hope that things get opened up next week against a serviceable Vanderbilt team. Lafell can't be happy with his opportunities last night.

On the defensive side of the ball, it appears that we still have our work cut out for us. Linebacker play seemed much improved (Cutrera had a good game), and the defensive backfield made some good plays (Peterson seemed to be all over the place), but the defensive line struggled, especially on the ends. We had no pash rush from our front four, and we were often burnt on the ends.

Washington converted 11 of 19 3rd downs, and amassed 478 yards of total offense. Without Jacob Cutrera returning a Locker interception for a touchdown, and Washington fumbling the ball inside our 10 yard line, the outcome of this game would have been much different.

On the special teams front, the kickoff coverage was a bright spot. Punting? Not so much. Helton averaged a mere 32 yards per punt, and that included a long of only 38 yards. This has to be an area of concern.

With all that in mind, a win is a win is a win. LSU is now 1-0, with another victory over a Pac-10 team (LSU is now 12-2 against that conference). While some LSU fans may have had higher expectations for the team in this game, our ultimate goal is to win, and we did. We learn from our mistakes, correct them on the practice field, and hopefully play better in our home opener next weekend against Vanderbilt.

Notes:
- ESPN's broadcast was terrible. We will chalk it up to first game jitters for them, but has anyone seen Toliver's first TD reception yet?

- I like how Washington painted their endzones gold. Not sure if they do that for every game, but it looked cool on TV. I wish LSU would try that out in the future.

- If we ever play on the West coast again, can we ask that the kickoff be earlier than 9:30pm CT?

- Home Page Poll: Who was the MVP of LSU's 31-23 victory over Washington?
Terrance Toliver 43.8%
Patrick Peterson 32.3%
Jacob Cutrera 7.6%
Jordan Jefferson 16.3%

That's all I have...I am sure I will think of more.
Filed Under: LSU Sports

Comments

83 Comments
In a weird way I'm glad the game ended the way it did.
# 1 to walk all over a team like washington.
( Would it have surprised anyone?) However, since they got punched in the mouth it will open the eyes of players and coaches,

# 2 Traveling to the west coast is a factor no matter what you may want to believe. it is in any sport.

# 3 I thought that alot of plays worked for them that I wouldn't count on for the rest of the season. E.G. 2006 Tenn. game with Clausen, he had career game against us and nothing after. I do think Locker is better then Clausen but the way execution was clicking it was amazing to me.

# 4 Bottom Line the last 2 years our defense hasn't played well against these types of offenses which can pose a problem since most teams in Sec run that style of the Spread.

# 5 on a good note we could be in OU's shoes with a freshman QB and lose our tightend! and be 0-1
Reply146 months
quote:

We learn from our mistakes, correct them on the practice field, and hopefully play better in our home opener next weekend against Vanderbilt.


I agree with Crowton's management of J.J. Image Link and the Offense, a lot was (really) untested until Saturday. He did IMO show the poise necessary to execute effectively, Crowton's direction and as Season 2009 progresses I'm sure The Hat will let Gary pull some tricks and release their full potential.

John Chavis though will probably doing alot of this Image Link this weak preparing the Defense for Vandy.

___________________________________
“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” ~ Napolean Hill
Reply146 months
Everyone who keeps saying how bad the defense was against Washington, take this into consideration. This is the "Visor Douche's" first year as head coach at Washington. Chavis and the rest of the coaching staff were not sure how he was gonna run the offense. They had to watch film on USC & Washington and pretty much guess visor's strategy. Plus, Washington didn't have that QB or RB all last year. That's a big reason why they were 0-12. This was a hungry, winless team with a new coach, fired up crowd and nothing to lose! That was the best they have played in at least two years. Also, did yall notice that all the coaches had on jackets? It was cold (compared to Louisiana anyway)! It was midnight in all the players and coaches minds! That's a big deal too! So let's recap:

1. Not 100% sure how Washington was gonna run their offense.

2. First game of the year.

3. First game as LSU coach for Defensive Coordinator, Secondary Caoch & "D" Line Coach.

4. It was "Cold!"

5. It was "Midnight" to their bodies.

6. This was an (o-12) team with a new coch and fired up crowd had nothing to lose and played their best game in two years.

And we still won by 8 points! I know that none of these are an excuse and we definitely need to improve before we play teams in the SEC, but it's something to think about and appreciate! They'll do better! Always do! Geaux Tigers!
146 months
quote:

- I like how Washington painted their endzones gold. Not sure if they do that for every game, but it looked cool on TV. I wish LSU would try that out in the future.

Tiger stripes in the end zones!
Reply146 months
This game as far as defense reminds me of Bo Pelini's first game as a tiger DC, The Chief will make the adjustments and we will be OK
Reply146 months
quote:

I like how Washington painted their endzones gold. Not sure if they do that for every game, but it looked cool on TV. I wish LSU would try that out in the future
LSU already paints one of its endzones gold. Are you saying you wish we would paint our endzones the same shade of gold as UW?
Reply146 months
quote:

LSU already paints one of its endzones gold. Are you saying you wish we would paint our endzones the same shade of gold as UW?
Yes...I think that shade of gold really stood out against the dark green turf...
146 months
quote:

Sure, they were 0-12 last year, but that was last year. A new coaching staff and a team hungry for a win in their home stadium can spell difficulty for an opponent.


And a team without 2 or 3 of their main players due to injury. With Locker all season W could have prolly been a 6-6 team at the minimum IMO.

quote:

The offense, which was supposed to be the strength of the team, ran one of the most vanilla game plans I have ever seen from an LSU team. If my memory serves me right, we threw no more than two passes that were caught beyond 15 yards from the line of scrimmage.


First game of the season with a sophomore QB on the road will do that. Let JJ manage the game effectively (which is he did IMO) and help him minimize his mistakes.

quote:

But with players like Trindon Holiday, Brandon Lafell, Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, Richard Dickson and even the often-talked about Russell Shepard, you would think that Gary Crowton could have spread the ball out more than he did. Let's hope that things get opened up next week against a serviceable Vanderbilt team. Lafell can't be happy with his opportunities last night.


I agree, and honestly I believe it will. Probably see RR this week too. The main thing for the first game, especially with a decent opponent is to just get the first win out of the way and go from there. Which we did and hopefully continue to do.

quote:

On the defensive side of the ball, it appears that we still have our work cut out for us. Linebacker play seemed much improved (Cutrera had a good game), and the defensive backfield made some good plays (Peterson seemed to be all over the place), but the defensive line struggled, especially on the ends. We had no pash rush from our front four, and we were often burnt on the ends.


I agree with most of that, except the line play. Our D-Line was getting some penetration, however Locker is a lot better than most people think. He has great feet and used them effectively when we pressured him. Had that been a less mobile QB in the pocket, we leave W with 5 or 6 sacks.


quote:

Washington converted 11 of 19 3rd downs, and amassed 478 yards of total offense. Without Jacob Cutrera returning a Locker interception for a touchdown, and Washington fumbling the ball inside our 10 yard line, the outcome of this game would have been much different.


Many of their 3rd down conversions were Locker scrambles, I'd say at least half, see my above response. And I'll also add that for a good portion of the game if not all of it our guys were playing when they normally would have been in bed. I know thats not an excuse people want to hear or readily accept, but it is a valid point. And if CS doesnt fumble then we're up by 2 scores at the end.

quote:

On the special teams front, the kickoff coverage was a bright spot. Punting? Not so much. Helton averaged a mere 32 yards per punt, and that included a long of only 38 yards. This has to be an area of concern.


AGREE 100%...our punting is a huge question mark at this point, and IMO quite pathetic. You can't tell me we couldn't get a decent punter to come to LSU. A good punter can go a long way and hopefully ours, like the rest of the team was suffering from jet lag.

quote:

With all that in mind, a win is a win is a win. LSU is now 1-0, with another victory over a Pac-10 team (LSU is now 12-2 against that conference). While some LSU fans may have had higher expectations for the team in this game, our ultimate goal is to win, and we did. We learn from our mistakes, correct them on the practice field, and hopefully play better in our home opener next weekend against Vanderbilt.





:thup:
Reply146 months
I could not believe that we could not stop the run!! our defense looked real cupcake. I was praying for a three and out.The D could not hold for shit
Reply146 months
quote:

- If we ever play on the West coast again, can we ask that the kickoff be earlier than 9:30pm CT?


I agree I fell asleep before the game was over
Reply146 months
quote:

has anyone seen Toliver's first TD reception yet?



I'm at least hoping I'll catch it on the CST replay tonight. I nearly threw my beer at my 52" flat screen I was so PO'd
Reply146 months
Miles said he was pleased with the defense. Said they just missed some tackles. Its going to be 2008 all over again.
146 months
S
00
quote:

ESPN's broadcast was terrible.


was it just the old school tv i was watching on or did anyone else notice that all the games on espn you could barely hear the bands in the background?

i put it on fox sports south to see florida and heard the band loud and clear, same on abc with bama/vt. espn and espn2 i couldnt hear shit, kinda pissed me off cuz you want to hear the band playing and shite. :lol:
Reply146 months
quote:

was it just the old school tv i was watching on or did anyone else notice that all the games on espn you could barely hear the bands in the background?
It was the worst excuse for a national broadcast I've ever seen on any network. ESPN owes LSU and Washington fans a big apology. IMO.
146 months
quote:

- ESPN's broadcast was terrible. We will chalk it up to first game jitters for them, but has anyone seen Toliver's first TD reception yet?


THAT And Did anyone else get sick and tired of Washingtons DC being showed every other play?

Some camera man def had a crush on him...

That and it felt like i was watching an NCAA10 game. The camera kept shaking and shaking and shaking.....and shaking. That or Muhammad Ali was working a camera.
Reply146 months
quote:

I said before the game that I didn't know why LSU fans were so optimistic about our chances against Washington.
Brilliant assessment, Chicken. I'm not talking about just this quote, but the whole piece you posted at the top of this thread. LSU has lots of work to do and lots of questions to answer, and that goes for coaching staff and players. Who is LSU this year, and what does LSU really want to accomplish?

Us, we can rant but that's about all. Them, they gotta live with their choices.

Me, I want to see more effort put into offensive schemes that really utilize the talent we've got at hand in an effective, creative way, and that should happen each and every week. Plus I want to see a defense that seems to be smart about what it's doing, a DL that isn't like the Keystone Kops, running into each other in a big clump and falling down while a fast QB or RB runs right past them. Last night I saw neither. I'm hoping that isn't going to be the regular pattern.
Reply146 months
Good analysis Chicken! The defense has a long way to go. Chad Jones missed multiple tackles - just couldn't wrap guys up and that was disappointing as I'm looking for him to have a breakout year. Defensive line generated little pressure on the pass rush as you stated and that was disappointing as well. They gouged our line with the run - maybe their plays were new to us, but we looked bad against the run. We started getting more pressure on Locker toward the end of the game and that was a positive. Washington outdid us in nearly every statistic except for the score, thank goodness. Nevis played best on the line in my opinion.

We were also gouged against the pass. Peterson did an amazing job but our coverage as a whole was severely lacking. Every time they had a 3rd and long and didn't throw it Peterson's way, they were able to convert. That's really, really worrisome!

LaFell got very little thrown his way and that was disappointing but on the flip side, Tolliver did a hell of a job and definitely has the moves to be a big time receiver. I was very happy to see his play!! LaFell did make a hell of a catch on that TD while on the ground! Great job on that!

Keiland Williams was the best back last night! Charles Scott appeared to not have the downhill running ability of last year and that might be a concern. Keiland impressed and looks bigger this year. I'm looking forward to seeing him really step up and make some big plays for us as we move into the season. Trindon didn't look so great. He had one decent return but not much else. To his credit, he didn't get much thrown/pitched his way during the game. Offensive line didn't play very well. They opened a few nice holes for some run plays but the Washington defense was in JJ's face all night and that's not a good sign. Scott's runs up the middle were fruitless all night long and that's not good.

Where the hell was Russell Shepard? Did they just decide not to play him last night? Anyone know? I'm interested to hear.

Saved Jordan Jefferson for last. Can't say enough positive things about this kid!! Half of his incompletions were throwing balls away because he had no choice as the Washington defense got near him a bunch of times last night. His ability to evade them was a marvel to watch and the kid's first step is just unbelievably quick!! He had plenty of zip on the ball and his passes were extremely accurate. This kid is a gamer, a competitor and he's light years ahead of the others in my opinion. He's poised, he keeps it going, he moves better than most have given him credit for and he showed that last night. If the O-line can step up and give him some protection, this young man is going to have a hell of a year. I think he was definitely the MVP of the game last night for multiple reasons.

I also think there's going to be some butt busting in practice this week of the o-line, defensive line and a couple guys in the secondary. Cutrera and Peterson played very well and they are exempted. Linebackers played pretty well but I don't think the safeties played well, especially Chad Jones did not look good in this game which was surprising and disappointing.

As you said, a win is a win, is a win. We'll take it and be happy for it. I hope, as you said, we saw a very vanilla offense last night because I think you're correct. Hopefully we're saving our best for our toughest opponents. O-line play must improve to get our offense going though. We all know the new defense is a work in progress and hopefully we'll see dramatic improvement in the weeks to come leading up to Georgia and Florida. Washington was playing with a lot of intensity, emotion and pride last night and it showed in their performance. Locker is a player and a better runner than Tebow. He was also more accurate than I'd anticipated. Without him, that team might lose a lot of games, so he had a tremendous impact on the game and I believe Washington will win a lot of games this year because of him, their new coaching staff who had a hell of a gameplan last night and because of the emotion of their players. Sure would make us look better if they did.

First game is done, we didn't look great but there are some positives to take away - Jefferson, Tolliver and Keiland. Looking forward to Vandy! Geaux Tigahs!!
Reply146 months
quote:

Where the hell was Russell Shepard? Did they just decide not to play him last night? Anyone know? I'm interested to hear.


hey buddy you answered your question in the post. Jordan Jefferson is a gzmer and is light yrs ahead of the rest. His progression is more important for our season then getting shep and rueban touches.
146 months
quote:

but has anyone seen Toliver's first TD reception yet?
They showed it when they came back from the commercial break. But unless you have Supermans eyes it looked like ants on a beach the camera was so far away.
Toliver was wide arse open..no one 10 yards near him..he just waited for the ball and made his moves....I'd like to see him get a lot of touches this year.
He runs good in space reminds me of Bowe.

I will say it.....
WE WANT RUEBEN!!!!!!! lol
Love to see this guy get some catches, unfortunately the team looked like they were playing to hang on (except the last scoring drive)...
Hard to play freshman when you are playing like that...a few mistake could have cost LSU that game, just ask Washington.
Reply146 months
I live in Tenn. and have seen this defense here at U of Tenn many times. I am die hard LSU but this is the same 3rd down defense that has given up first down after first down for years at U of Tenn. Chavis is a play it safe coach and does on 3rd downs dropping the defensive backs 20 yrds deep in a zone. This is NOT LSU defense. Where are the chinese bandits? :banghead: :angry:
Reply146 months
Hey Chicken, with the exception of the DiNardo years, LSU has been painting one endzone gold since the 60's. How can you miss that? The current LSU version looks like shite though, what with the minature high school logos and the white border. Those little endzone logos better be gone this week and replaced by something that covers the entire EZ.........
Reply146 months
quote:

LSU has been painting one endzone gold since the 60's.




You misspelled "yellow"
146 months
quote:

LSU has been painting one endzone gold since the 60's.
wow...you are right...just looked at some old photos. Did they paint them gold last year? Seems like I remember them being green with colored lettering.
146 months
Chicken, you are right that a win is a win and we have to be happy with that, but we damn near lost that game. Trying to be vanilla and not show our hand too early in the season is one thing, but I think that it is ridiculous to put the season at risk by allowing our team to be in a position where a couple bad plays could lose the game.

I have some players that I want to recognize for there solid play and I have some other players in mind that I have concerns about.

Props:

Props to Jordan Jefferson for his ability to escape the rush and make things happen. Jefferson did a few things very well. First of all, he found open men and made some really nice throws. When receivers were covered he got out of the pocket and threw the ball away several times. He ran the option and designed QB runs very well, but he took too many big hits. Overall, great job of controlling the offense and protecting the football.

Props to Keiland Williams on some great runs. His feet were quick and he did a great job of finding a seam and exploding through it. Also nice to see him protect the ball.

Props to Terrance Toliver. Toliver looked like the Randy Moss type receiver that we have all hoped that he can be. Great game for T.T. I'm sorry that he got robbed of his airtime by ESPN. Hopefully he'll be on all the highlight shows.

Props to Brandon Lafell. Lafell showed great hands and ability to beat his man one on one when catching the ball close to the line of scrimmage. His touchdown catch was spectacular and I can't wait to see what he'll do when he gets more chances. He's going to move a lot of chains for us this year.

Props to Josh Jasper for making his feild goal and for the high, relatively deep kickoffs.

Props to Patrick Peterson for 9 strong solo tackles. I would like to see him get into position where he can make a play on the ball more often, but one thing is for sure with P.P.: he's not giving up many yards after the catch.

Props to Harry Coleman. He looks to be comfortable at the linebacker spot evidenced by 6 nice tackles.

Last but not least, props to Perry Riley for his 5.5 tackles and a forced fumble. He looked fast, strong, and ready.


Concerns:

I'm concerned that our freshman studs (Reuben Randle, Russell Shepard, and Craig Loston) weren't given opportunities in the game. They could have have made the game much more exciting, and could have gotten some much needed experience. Maybe next week won't be so vanilla.

3rd and Chavis concerns me. I hope this is not a concern throughout the season and that we can just blame vanilla playcalling for this, but Washington going 7 for 9 on third downs in the first half is completely unacceptable, especially when they had more than five yards to go most of the time.

I'm concerned that Charles Alexander can't seem to play one game without getting hurt. Nevis played well in his place but was not really a dominating force.

I'm concerned about Chad Jone's lack of impact on defense. Most importantly, he missed at least two tackles that he clearly should have made. Jones is a fan favorite but has yet to prove himself capable of consistantly making plays on the ball.

I'm concerned that Derek Helton punted 4 times for an avg. of 32 yards per punt with a long of 38 and damn near had a punt blocked. This will not get it done against more formidable foes.

I'm concerned that Chuck Scott got stuffed for three yards or less way too many times against Washington. I'm sure the fumble was a fluke but not happy about it. Even with vanilla runs up the middle, I expect our offensive line to push the d-line back and create larger holes for "the truck."

I'm concerned that our offensive line didn't give JJ more time to work in the pocket and the run blocking was not impressive either. Ciron and Barksdale are suppossed to be our strengths on o-line but they got beat and pushed around too many times. If Lee plays that game at QB, he likely gets sacked 4 or 5 times.


I needed to get some things off of my chest, but we won and at least we did it in slightly better style than Ohio State did in their win yesterday (which is not really saying much). If we play the same way against Vanderbilt next week, we are likely to have another game that is really too close for comfort.

:geauxtigers: Keep improving!
Reply146 months
quote:

cubsgrace


What he said.

Except for the Vandy bit: LSU wakes up and kicks butt next Saturday night IMO.
146 months
Best analysis I've read yet, Chicken. And, no I haven't seen that Tolliver TD yet. But I do know more than I need to know about Jake Locker's injury and about how great the USC coaching staff is/was.
Reply146 months
"ESPN's broadcast was terrible."

Never seen so much face time on camera for the commentators - keep the camera on the field while the commentators are talking. We can hear them without having to see them!
Reply146 months
quote:

"ESPN's broadcast was terrible."


They used " peephole " technology on the first Terrance Tolliver touchdown replay.
146 months
We didnt look all that great but not too many other teams look all that great either last night.... i think for the first game and given the factors, we didnt do too bad

:geauxtigers: :geauxtigers: :geauxtigers:
Reply146 months
I've never paid much attention to Chavis while at Tenn. Is it his habit of sullenly standing around the sideline during games with little interaction with players? Every time he was shown last night that seemed to be what he was doing. How does he get his players fired up that way?
146 months
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