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Old 01-11-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXCell View Post
Yeah, but even when you try to run the ball, you take shots down the field every now and then. LSU ran into a hole and cowered (Well, they didnt run anywhere last night).

Not trying ti take anything from Bama, but there was a whole middle of the field that was never attacked, and that is inexcusable--I dont care if they were facing the 2000 Ravens.
I don't think LSU as a team cowered. I think that, owing to Alabama's flawless preparation and execution of their defensive game plan and their superior athletes on the lines, the LSU offense wanted the coaches on the sidelines to give them some different options on offense. But they got nothing. Jordan Jefferson in particular looked confused, and I think he began to hit the panic button.

The first half of that game was neither surprising nor alarming, except for the fact that Shelley was a little bit more effective at making field goals this time around. What *was* surprising is that LSU was unable to make adjustments in the 3rd quarter, which was something they had done all year long.

Even had they made a few more plays, though, I don't think it would have made a difference in the end. It might have been 15-7 or 18-10, or something like that, but Alabama was going to win that game. They were the better team, and they probably have been all season long. It's just that because of the way college football scheduling works, they weren't able to play in a conference title game. But if there had been a better conference title format, perhaps Alabama and LSU could have had their rematch in the conference title game and spared the nation all the despair that we've seen over the last few weeks.
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenfriedbananas View Post
The first half of that game was neither surprising nor alarming, except for the fact that Shelley was a little bit more effective at making field goals this time around.
I agree with everything you said, but I would change the bolded part. It WAS alarming. Alabama passed more and was effective. They didn't bother trying to run Trent up the middle with 9 guys in the box on first down when they knew that wouldn't work. So they were able to get Shelley a bit closer and he hit. Getting down 6-0 to Alabama is like 14-0 to anybody else. LSU was playing not to lose instead of playing to win, and they paniced.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourian View Post
I agree with everything you said, but I would change the bolded part. It WAS alarming. Alabama passed more and was effective. They didn't bother trying to run Trent up the middle with 9 guys in the box on first down when they knew that wouldn't work. So they were able to get Shelley a bit closer and he hit. Getting down 6-0 to Alabama is like 14-0 to anybody else. LSU was playing not to lose instead of playing to win, and they paniced.
I respectfully disagree, I guess, but considering the outcome of the game, I guess the burden of proof is on me.

I won't say I wasn't concerned, but even during half-time, I was thinking, 'Okay, the third quarter is usually when LSU makes their adjustments'. What concerned me wasn't being down 9-0 at the half; what really concerned me was that right out of the gate, Alabama began moving down the field. I was beginning to think that might be where LSU's defense begins to crack, because they looked like they were caught in the headlights. And on offense it was just more of the same. As I said somewhere else earlier, Miles and the coaching staff seemed pretty determined to make the option work, even when it was beyond obvious that it wasn't gonna happen. Yes, they went down field but that effort seemed almost half-hearted, almost as if to set up the option again. It was like they hadn't really practiced going vertical with the passing game in the weeks leading up to the title game, which is difficult to explain. Jefferson is no Luck, RG3, or Weeden, but he has had the ability to throw the deep ball accurately at times, even if is inconsistent. He typically overthrows rather than under-throws so the fears of INT's were probably misplaced.

LSU's coaching staff had been really good at making in-game adjustments. In almost any big game they played this year, that's been the case. Slightly behind Oregon at the half, and leading 30-13 a quarter later. Tight with Alabama at the half, and sent it into OT and winning it. Only a score ahead of Tennessee at the half, and blasting them in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Very tight with Arkansas, and winning 41-17. Trailing and not even getting a first down in the first half against Georgia, and blowing outscoring them 35-0 in the second half. LSU's performances had followed the exact same pattern in game after game. This time, though, Alabama wasn't going anywhere. They closed it out right.

You could tell LSU was looking for that one big play that would turn it around. That's how they won their ball games all year long. On offense, other teams moved the ball better, and on defense, other teams were comparable in terms of yards allowed. But LSU had big play makers and LSU's team identity lived for the big play. There simply no big plays on Monday night. Alabama made them all and gave no quarter. They stomped LSU's @sses right into the Superdome turf. It was tough to watch, but as a fan of football, I can also stand back and appreciate greatness when I see it, and while people can talk all they want about what their teams would have done with their Tecmo bowl offenses, I remain unconvinced. I have no doubt and agree completely with skeptics who point out other offenses would have done better against Bama - I don't question that. But I doubt seriously the end result would have been any different. Most likely, instead of being shut out 21-0 in a field goal fest, they would have lost 42-17 or 38-10. Maybe they get lucky and burn Alabama for another TD and end up losing 38-24. I still think this was Alabama's year. I *do* agree that there should be a playoff system, and most people even in SEC country have felt that way for a long time -- ask Auburn (2004) and Georgia (2007) fans. That way, we wouldn't be left to arguing on C-D sports forums.

But for real, Alabama is the best defensive team I can remember. Maybe not the most balanced or best overall team I've seen, but their defense would make a game of it with any of the previous champions in the BCS era, without a doubt. They're that good - at least on that side of the football. And their offense isn't too shabby either. I 'get' that it's probably more exciting to watch a 75-yard leaping pass play, but a Trent Richardson carry for 35 yards scores 6 points just as easily, and it carries fewer risks of turning the ball over too. Last time I checked, rushing the ball effectively is still an effective style of offense.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:24 PM
 
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The outcome of the game was not that surprising if you've been watching LSU over the last couple years.

Jefferson: He's strong, he's quick. Given some space he can make some plays and break some big plays. Not a terrible QB by any stretch. However, against top SEC opposition was THE vulnerability for this team. He was capable of looking just awful at times. He knows his limitations and will not press and try to make something happen. And at cruch time that can be a problem...when stretching the field is the only possible way out of a jam.

LSU coaches called pass plays. Jefferson promptly dropped back, took a quick glance downfield (pretty much for show) and then got happy feet.

LSU coaches have done a masterful job of masking this and overachieved big time. The other-worldly defense and a brutal power running game were enough for 13 games. But the QB issue came home to roost in a big way in the title game. Bama negated those other two advantages and that was all she wrote.

Again, watch tape of JJ over the last couple years. He can do some things. But there is a lot of God awful play in there too.

Jarret Lee: Lot of upside? No. Running ability? No. Is he better than JJ? Maybe. Could he have played better than JJ against Bama? Absolutely yes (especially in hindsight). We needed a passer in there to get the ball to the wideouts.

Les Miles. Outstanding. Doing a great job. 13-1. I love it. However I do wonder about how he handled the QB situation. I do not think pullling JJ in the title game was ever in the cards and in this respect Les did the right thing. In a game like this you don't start pulling people out. You prepared for weeks. Go with the gameplan. Go with the starters. Let the chips fall. If we lose, everyone goes down with the ship. If you pull him, you devastate this kid; you humiliate him. You humiliate his family. Les has a soul.

The seed for this was planted back on Nov 5th, when Les decided that a couple Jarret Lee interceptions was enough reason to re-insert JJ as the starter. Now, that decision I definitely do question. Can't see inside his head on that, but Jarret had the team at what...9-0? Seems like BS.

All in all, the last few days have proven some people take college football a little too seriously. So LSU lost 21-0. I don't see the difference between that and 21-20. What does it matter? We got beat, but we handed out a whole lot of our own beatings this year. Let's move on.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouzon View Post
TJefferson: He's strong, he's quick. Given some space he can make some plays and break some big plays. Not a terrible QB by any stretch. However, against top SEC opposition was THE vulnerability for this team. He was capable of looking just awful at times. He knows his limitations and will not press and try to make something happen. And at cruch time that can be a problem...when stretching the field is the only possible way out of a jam.
This is pretty much spot on. Jefferson was, at times, when he had some time, a guy who could occasionally complete the big pass play -- or take off with the ball. But against stingy defenses, he was less successful. But that said, I think it was the QB position as a whole that was the looming weakness of the team -- not just Jefferson, but Lee as well. Jarrett Lee had plenty of time to prove himself to be an effective pocket passer and he could never complete more than 50 percent against good teams. The coaching staff got to the point where they accepted this and just tried to keep him from making the big mistakes. This approach worked against Oregon almost to perfection. With the exception of a botched shotgun snap that was recovered by the Ducks, Lee didn't commit a turnover in the game, despite only going 10 for 22 in passing completions (less than 50 percent against a strong opponent). Against Alabama, though, he was an unmitigated disaster: two picks and less than two quarters and he never seemed like he was comfortable stretching the field anymore than Jefferson was. But the problem again was as much the offensive game plan as it was the individual players themselves. Maybe if Lee had been allowed to go deep early and often and test the DBs, they could have forced Alabama to play more on its heels. I still think Alabama would have won but it would have been one thing different from what we've seen so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mouzon View Post
LSU coaches called pass plays. Jefferson promptly dropped back, took a quick glance downfield (pretty much for show) and then got happy feet.
The coaches insisted on trying to open up the short field. I get that -- in the first 1 1/2 quarters. I think they should have had an option to shift down the field more in the second half, though. I guess I could see the rationale, though. Maybe they're thinking, 'We hung around and somehow won in the first game, and if we can just hang around and not turn it over, we can do it again.' We have the benefit of hindsight, and now going into next season, so do they. It will be interesting to see how the offense changes now that they have a different type of QB coming in. The thing that worries me though is that it generally takes a QB a good two seasons before he can become a 'world beater' type winning player. College football scouting is pretty good these days. Opposing defenses will figure out what this transfer (forget his long name) and Kiel like and don't like.

Quote:
LSU coaches have done a masterful job of masking this and overachieved big time. The other-worldly defense and a brutal power running game were enough for 13 games. But the QB issue came home to roost in a big way in the title game. Bama negated those other two advantages and that was all she wrote.
On the whole, I agree that they've done a decent job, but it has a lot to do with the personnel. I think that the coaches and players have all done a good job of playing within the game. They know their strengths, that they're primarily a big-play defensive team and a power running team. I'd like to see them become a better passing team. The QBs seem to address that need. I'd also like to see them go out and get another big bad-boy receiver or two. But I'd also really, really like to see them get one or two more big boys on the line and also shore up LB a little. The secondary's set, I think. I think teams are going to have a hard time passing against LSU next year. But I'd still like to see us be able to do what Bama can do against the short field. Bama is still tops in that regard.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Jarrett doesn't feel as bad as JJ. But I'm sure Les does.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Here or There
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I agree with most of the points above. I just think that you are supposed to give your team the best chance to win, and after it was fairly obvious that JJ wasnt that guy, Lee deserved a shot. As someone mentioned, Lee was pulled in the Bama game, and over the years, Miles has had no problem pulling a QB--even rotating them. Thus, you have to wonder, if Lee was pulled in the Bama game for JJ after playing relatively well earlier in the season, what would Jefferson have had to do in order for Miles to pull him for Lee in the NC?
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:11 PM
 
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Over the years there has been a lot of suspicion that Les wasn't the best in-game manager. Now we are even more sure of that. Les I think he has the long view. He's out to build a program, then let it loose on the field to do its thing.

It's funny, but LSU fans are caught in this alternate universe where the more boring the QB is, the great the chance we win it all. See Matt Mauk ('03) and Matt Flynn ('07). Give us another bland, non-descript pocket passer, please!!!!
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,154 posts, read 19,789,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXCell View Post
I agree with most of the points above. I just think that you are supposed to give your team the best chance to win, and after it was fairly obvious that JJ wasnt that guy, Lee deserved a shot. As someone mentioned, Lee was pulled in the Bama game, and over the years, Miles has had no problem pulling a QB--even rotating them. Thus, you have to wonder, if Lee was pulled in the Bama game for JJ after playing relatively well earlier in the season, what would Jefferson have had to do in order for Miles to pull him for Lee in the NC?
He would have had to die for Les to pull him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mouzon View Post
Over the years there has been a lot of suspicion that Les wasn't the best in-game manager. Now we are even more sure of that. Les I think he has the long view. He's out to build a program, then let it loose on the field to do its thing.

It's funny, but LSU fans are caught in this alternate universe where the more boring the QB is, the great the chance we win it all. See Matt Mauk ('03) and Matt Flynn ('07). Give us another bland, non-descript pocket passer, please!!!!
I actually like Flynn and wish him the best under Rodgers.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Prairieville, LA
71 posts, read 164,066 times
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This game felt exactly like the Florida game in '09. The coaches were playing it safe and not letting Jefferson throw downfield at all.
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