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
Bum phillips

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Reply147 months
i think we can all agree that peterson is MAN! Tolliver WOW! Kdub much improved. RUn blocking meh. Chad jones might lose his starting job. Downs needs to be in the mix. Would not hurt to get montgomery some snaps.

The home opener should paint a clearer picture.
147 months
Bum Phillips :lol:

Thanks for some level-headed perspective.

Agreed, much improvement is needed (and possible) before we enter (non-Vandy) SEC play.

A win is a win.
147 months
quote:

Bum phillips



:lol: :lol:
147 months
We're going to be in a lot of trouble with a defense that looks like it will be as bad as last years.

ETA: and with less talent than we had on D last year
Reply147 months
quote:

and with less talent than we had on D last year


not so fast.
147 months
Very good analysis...You put into words pretty much all my feelings about what I saw last night. The whole game I kept asking "why aren't we at least taking a shot down field?". On Defense the big question will be creating pressure with a 4 man pass rush and the 3rd down conversion percentage was very concerning.
147 months
quote:

and with less talent than we had on D last year


You are so wrong.
147 months
Good breakdown Chicken.

All that said, I have to say the defense concerns me the most. A number of UT fans have mentioned the tendency of Chavis' defenses giving up big plays on 3rd down and that certainly showed itself last night. I'd hate for LSU to be forced into scoring contests this year, but that may be what happens unless some of those holes in the "D" are addressed. I do know that if we face a team with a mobile QB, we will be seeing a lot of bootlegs (Locker killed with that last night).
Reply147 months
quote:

Good breakdown Chicken.
I agree, pretty much sums up my feelings. I am going to re-watch the game today, but last night I went to sleep very disappointed in the way we played. Sure, it was our first game, but the point is, it was Washington's 1st game also, & they had a complete new coaching staff to boot, they just looked better prepared.
147 months
chicken im with you.i thought all along that washington would be in the game.we will be a great team this year and this game was good for our team. :cheers: :geauxtigers:
147 months
quote:

We will chalk it up to first game jitters for them, but has anyone seen Toliver's first TD reception yet?


it's inexcusable to me that they didn't recognize that viewers didn't see the TD and they didn't run a replay either immediately after or right out of the commercial. instead we got some weird the cataract view blurry replay.
Reply147 months
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.



LSU had the Football exactly 48 Offensive plays.
Not a lot of plays to "Spread it around" is it?
Reply147 months
quote:

LSU had the Football exactly 48 Offensive plays.
If you spread it around some more, maybe you get more plays...
147 months
quote:
-------------------------
LSU had the Football exactly 48 Offensive plays.
Not a lot of plays to "Spread it around" is it?
-------------------------

there may have been more if we had....
147 months
Thanks Chicken. Great rundown.

I had to go by internet play-by-play. I may never get to watch a replay of this one or Vandy, because I won't get home until late next week.

The subjective assessment that I drew from all of the reporting, the stats, and the play-by-play is that we started off slow and sloppy. The offense appeared to make steady improvement and finished really strong. The defense ranged from "pretty bad" to inconsistent, then really turned things around in the second. I can certainly draw positives from it - it's better to have improved than collapsed, from most perspectives.

Reply147 months
quote:

I had to go by internet play-by-play. I may never get to watch a replay of this one or Vandy, because I won't get home until late next week.


Chicken, can you PM this guy, and tell him I'll be GLAD to burn both games to DVD for him, and send them to him when he gets home next week?

:usa:
147 months
quote:

I may never get to watch a replay of this one or Vandy, because I won't get home until late next week


You can watch it for free on LSUsports.net. It will be available in a day or so.
147 months
quote:

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

good call. if memory serves, the games at arizona (2003) and arizona state (2005) both started at 8:15 CT.
Reply147 months
quote:

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



I had said this for weeks prior to the game. Hence PJ picking a 23-17 score. AND got TOTALLY BASHED!!!!
Reply147 months
ESPN sucks. Instead of showing the game in progress they show announcers talking about another game that ended 2 hours ago. a-holeS. The chronically repeat over & over that Bradford got a frickin bobo. Who gives a shit?
147 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?



To say the least...I had to take Dramamine just the get through the second half without throwing up. Either the cameraman was drunk or it was very windy or I was too drunk because the broadcast was shaking like a dog $hitting razor blades. Either way it was totally unacceptable except for me being drunk.
Reply147 months
quote:

To say the least...I had to take Dramamine just the get through the second half without throwing up.


No shite. I took a Pepcid because my stomach was feeling queasy. I think it was a combination of the terrible camera work with us not putting the game away!
147 months
I thought about bringing the prediction thread back since there was a whole bunch of tards seeing this game as a total blowout yet didn't mind to see that UW does actually have talent.

They(UW) quit on those coaches last year.

They(UW) were sure as hell fired in fall camp.

Locker is good. Polk is good.

Our defense w/ so-called talent should not be giving up 296 yds in a half.

Glad we won. Actually glad we were tested.

Hope we improve.
Reply147 months
quote:

ESPN's broadcast was terrible.


quote:

Patrick Peterson 32.3%
Jacob Cutrera 7.6%


According to Mark Jones it's Patrick Patterson and Jacob Cutera.


quote:

Terrance Toliver


"Remember, you can't spell Touchdown or Toliver without the T" - Mark Jones

I thought we looked good and I thought the D-line got great push, especially in the second half....and Peterson is a MONSTER.
I did have my beer goggles on though so, you know.
Any LSU "fan" that was frustrated after a victory, on the road, in a fired-up stadium, after the longest wait for kickoff ever, against a team that looked damn strong with a quality QB, on opening night, needs to find something else to bitch about.



eta.
In regards to the vanilla offense.
Did ya'll really expect anything different from Lesticles on opening night? Do you really think he's gonna let everyone see all his toys? Expect more of the same next week.
"Bad boys move in silence and violence"
Reply147 months
I couldn't have said it better myself. :geauxtigers:


I too think this UW team will be better than advertised, and the difficulty of traveling across the country and playing until after midnight your local time is tough for any team. Not an impressive victory, but a good win for the team.
Reply147 months
Any win is a good win.

The offense when they ran an open attack seemed to move it almost at will.
We had the pick 6.
The defense did seem to play better after halftime.
JJ to TT for TD will be a common occyrance this season.
We beat a BCS opponent on the road
147 months
Right on the mark. The lack of creativity on offense last night was disappointing. It seems we have quite a bit of work to do on all 3 phases of the game.
Reply147 months
Did you notice that Les had a play card in his hand early in the game? When we HAVE to produce offensively, the plays seem to get more creative and work a whole lot better. Seems like we should be practicing all of our plays in a game rather than "saving" them for the big games...then we would have more confidence in using them. Les needs to keep his hands off the offensive play calling. And how many times do you have to get burned around the defensive ends before you make an adjustment?
Reply147 months
"We had no pash rush from our front four, and we were often burnt on the ends."

Exactly my problem with the D. After getting burned on one or two blitzes, we ran the same defense every third down: Rush four against their 5 (or 6), and give Locker ALL DAY to find someone running open. You can't cover the whole field with 7 guys. If we don't start rushing at least 5 (maybe 6) and getting some pressure, it's going to be a long year. I still think a two-loss SEC season and a Cotton Bowl are attainable goals.

Cal and maybe BYU will jump us in the polls. We should jump Va Tech. I predict #12 on Tuesday.
147 months
quote:

Les needs to keep his hands off the offensive play calling.


Les calls the offensive plays? What does Crowton do then, approve Les' calls?
147 months
Ok next day and I am more rational than last night. First, our defense played too much of a soft zone. I realize that the Washington quarterback was a serious run threat, and that a zone tends to be the better way to contain someone like that, but our drops seemed very deep, our corners seemed to play too far off the line for a short passing offense. Some of our stars forgot how to tackle. Why did our defense seem to wait for contact rather than move toward the contact? You concede that extra yard or two when you do that and are more likely to get hurt, although the trade is you tend to miss less tackles. Second half had a few different looks and that seemed to work better. Second, if this is the best our offense can do, we are in trouble. Jefferson looked to run first, pass second. Too many failures between the tackles. If we want a quarterback who the staff thinks can't pass, play Shepard more. If Jefferson can pass the ball, give him a chance to do it. I don't know about the no huddle but it seemed pretty easy to plan for our play calling. Scott into the line and then try to convert second and then third and long. The time outs at the end of the half were dumb - when you had not stopped them all night you can't expect your defense to suddenly give you the ball. Coaching staff had a bad game, in my opinion, but I think our expectations may have been a little high.
Reply147 months
quote:

- 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%

I'd like to give KW some major kudos for his runs on our last drive. We wouldn't have scored that final—and very necessary—TD without the yards he rang up on that drive.
Reply147 months
Three things stood out to me:

- Cutrera played a fantastic game IMO. Wrapping up on tackles, taking great angles on running plays, and obviously the INT. I thought the LBs as a whole played well

-Chad Jones played a very poor game. He missed a lot of tackles, took a lot of bad angles on runs, and was non-existent on over the top coverage. IMO, it looks like his baseball career at LSU is definitely not over

-OL wasn't creating very many running lanes and was avg at best pass protecting. We kept hearing all week how poor UW was up front, but they were holding their own against one of our supposed strengths.

Bright Spots for me:

-Cutrera looked very good as did Riley and Shepard
-Nevis I thought played well and got some good penetration
-PP played very well making tackles in space and just overall making plays on defense
-KO coverage was good. Glad we are starting to get our KOs near the end zone
-Josh Downs really got penetration when he was in there. Really liked his potential
-KW looked really good running the ball in the fourth quarter
-TT played very well

Weak Points:
-CJ (see above)
-Very little pass rush especially on 3rd and long. 4 guys just won't cut it against the SEC.
-OL. Not sure if this is a weak point but more of a disappointment. I was expecting a lot better
-Punting. Helton had a very poor avg and Punt Ugly almost almost had a blocked kick

All in all, I was expecting better, but I'm not ready to concede another 8-5 season. I think UW was better than most give credit. Locker is good and their RB was good. I'm still optimistic bc usually team have a tremendous improvement between games 1 and 2. I think JJ will be a good SEC QB. Bring on Vandy!!

:geauxtigers:
Reply147 months
"-Very little pass rush especially on 3rd and long. 4 guys just won't cut it against the SEC."

Amen. Where was the "aggressive defense" we've been hearing about?
147 months
You didn't see Tolliver's first touchdown after the commercial break? I couldn't tell if I was watching ESPN or using google maps.
Reply147 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?


ESPN.com's highlights are strictly LSU. Also, is it possible that ESPN's crew is as bad as JP Sports? I mean damn, the production values are better, but it took 3-4 times of Patrick Patterson before Davies stepped in and said Peterson...
Reply147 months
quote:

but has anyone seen Toliver's first TD reception yet?


My buddy actually saw it happening on the studio TV to the right of the ESPN guy before they switched back. He started cheering immediately. :lol:

An unsteady camera position was what bothered me the MOST. Felt like I was getting sea sick while I was watching the game.
Reply147 months
quote:

it happening on the studio TV to the right of the ESPN guy before they switched back. He started cheering immediately.


Yeah, I saw it and was cheerig the Tigers and cursing ESPN at the same time. Mrs Lith when to watch the rest of the game in the Bedroom after that :lol:
147 months
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