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LSU Scouting Report Part 2

  • Here is everything the average fan needs to know about the LSU Tigers on defense. The strength of the ball club is the 4-3 defense, led by defensive coordinator John Chavis. When you go up against a John Chavis defense, you pretty much know you are going to see a few things: quick defensive linemen who make plays behind the line, linebackers who can run, safeties who aren't afraid to play near the line and are strong in run support, and cornerbacks that are capable of playing man when those safeties do walk up. This year is different only in the level of talent. The unit is 3rd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 11.5 points per game. They are also 3rd in rushing defense, allowing only 76 yards per game and 10th against the pass, averaging giving up 173 yards per game.

    Defensive Line: Defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo aren't the biggest guys in the world (They weigh in at 245 and 240 respectively) but they are amazingly quick off the ball. The two sophomore sensations create havoc in opposing backfields due the penetration they are able to get. Both are fast and relentless and will be a challenge for our tackes. Big DJ Fluker will be especially tested to get off the ball in a hurry. The beef in the defensive line is provided by Tackle Michael Brockers, who is over 300 lbs. LSU will sub liberally on their defensive line, and may rotate as many as seven or eight on the line during the game. Keep an eye on freshman Anthony Johnson. The guy is going to be a hoss one day.

    Linebackers: Kevin Minter has taken over the Middle Linebacker spot and been solid. The sophomore is reliable and doesn't miss tackles. Senior Stefoin Francois is more of the big play guy on the outside. Senior Ryan Baker has been adequate at the weak side backer. Interestingly enough, none of the linebackers is in the top three on he team in tackles for the season.

    Secondary: The secondary is absolutely loaded for the Bayou Bengals. Junior Corner Morris's Claiborne is a shut down style cover guy and is currently battling Bama's Dre Kirkpatrick to see who the first cornerback taken in the draft will be next year. He's big, fast and physical. Claiborne has been overshadowed in the media by his playing mate Tyrann Mathieu. Earning the nickname, "the honeybadger", Mathieu has been the focus of a media blitz this season. His specialty is stripping the football and he is very good at it. Bama receivers will have to be sure and tuck the ball away to avoid turnovers. Chavis also likes to blitz Mathieu off the corner and he has been effective at it. Mathieu is currently third on the team in tackles. The thing about the honey badger, is he's a little guy and I think Bama may be able to throw the ball on him. This is where we could really use a big receiver like Duron Carter. When LSU goes to the nickel package, Sophomore Tharold Simon comes in as the third corner. He would start for most SEC schools. Safety Eric Reid beat out Craig Loston for the starting safety job and leads the team in tackles. Eric Reid is the other safety and is second in tackles. Don't read any weakness into the secondary making so many tackles. The scheme LSU uses allows the safeties to make a lot of plays.

    What to look for: 1) Can Alabama stop the penetration? Alabama Center William Vlachos may still be having nightmares about LSU defensice tackle Nevis Drake from last year's game. Drake spent as much time in Alabama's backfield as Bama's backs did and it made for a long day. Nevis is gone now but their is still quickness and talent all around for LSU. I feel like Alabama's line can get some movement on LSUs defensive front if we can maintain contact, but LSU's front seven is going to be shooting gaps all day. Alabama's line must keep the battle line on the LSU side of the ball. Richardson will have to juke any leakers.
    2) Can Bama's receivers beat LSU in man? They will get their shot as LSU commits to stopping the run. Maze and company must make a few plays to keep the defense honest. Also, look for Smelley and Williams to have an opportunity to make plays going up against linebackers. Several national analysts have given LSU a big edge here. It will be up to Bama to make at least a few plays in the receiving game to prove them wrong.
    3) Turnovers- LSU is averaging almost two turnovers a game. Alabama must continue to do a good job protecting the football and avoid giving the Tigers a short field.

    Other considerations: I haven't discussed special teams, but LSU leads the conference in net punting at over 41 yards per punt. That is an almost 5 yard per punt advantage to LSU if it turns into a field position game.

    The Line: Yesterday I said I thought LSU would have one nice drive and two big plays from offense, defense, or special teams and score 17 points. Alabama is also going to find it slow going when they are on offense. I think Bama is good for two to three good drives and two big plays in the game. My final pick is Bama wins a dogfight and covers the 4.5 spread with a final score of 23-17.

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  • bama764

    Good stuff again Ghost +1 .....rolltideroll

    "Character" is doing the right thing when nobody is looking.

  • I'm predicting 23-16 so we are basicaly going with the same scores. We are going to win this game with a good running game, safe passes, and great defense. LSU hasn't went against or scene a team with talented on both sides of the ball. I think LSU is going to be the ones shellshocked from our talent and the noise we are going to make.
    Also, I will say this is probably the BIGGEST recruiting weekend ever due to the fact that we will have so many recruits we can make an impact on for this year and the future.

  • Ghost of Bryant said... (original post)

    What to look for: 1) Can Alabama stop the penetration? Alabama Center William Vlachos may still be having nightmares about LSU defensice tackle Nevis Drake from last year's game. Drake spent as much time in Alabama's backfield as Bama's backs did and it made for a long day. Nevis is gone now but their is still quickness and talent all around for LSU. I feel like Alabama's line can get some movement on LSUs defensive front if we can maintain contact, but LSU's front seven is going to be shooting gaps all day. Alabama's line must keep the battle line on the LSU side of the ball. Richardson will have to juke any leakers.

    Great post....the above is what I'm wondering about.

    Who wears down first? The quick under-sized DEs who are running AROUND the big uglies on the OL all day, or the big uglies on the OL having to chase the under-sized DEs all day?

    I think its the former...which (combined with a combo of Trent/Lacy/Fowler) is also why I think we pull away in the 4th quarter.

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  • good read thanks

  • dbamafan

    +1. Another excellent post.

    With these two teams so closely matched unit to unit I see two factors making the difference: mistakes and conditioning.

    Both teams will force mistakes but the team which has the fewer and which limits the impact of those mistakes will have the advantage and the win.

    If we limit the damage from the mistakes we inevitably make then conditioning becomes the deciding factor. Both teams are loaded with superior talent in both size and speed. Which team is the strongest in the final five minutes may mean the difference in winning and losing. Here we get a chance to see just how much impact CNS's 4th Quarter program really has.

    Unless we get sloppy and give this one away I think Bama's physicality and conditioning wins this one late and can see a 27-17 or so type final score.

    It's time to play like champions! Bring it!! Roll Damn Tide !!

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    "Quit trying to make a play and do your job!"

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  • Ghost of Bryant said... (original post)

    The thing about the honey badger, is he's a little guy and I think Bama may be able to throw the ball on him. This is where we could really use a big receiver like Duron Carter. When LSU goes to the nickel package, Sophomore Tharold Simon comes in as the third corner. He would start for most SEC schools.

    LSU fans seem to think Simon will play on the outside more than Matthieu in this game.