2009 LSU Tigers Football Preview
2008 Record: (8-5, 3-5)
2008 Bowl: Chick-fil-A Bowl vs. Georgia Tech (W 38-3)
Coach: Les Miles (42-11 at LSU, 70-32 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Gary Crowton
Defensive Coordinator: John Chavis
Other Key Returnees: DT Charles Alexander, OT Ciron Black, WR Richard Dickson, CB Jai Eugene, CB Chris Hawkins, S Chad Jones, S Danny McCray, LB Perry Riley, LB Kelvin Sheppard, RB Keiland Williams
Key Losses: LB Darry Beckwith, WR Demetrius Byrd, K Colt David, DT Marlon Favorite, C Brett Helms, DT Ricky Jean-Francois, DE Tyson Jackson, G Herman Johnson, FB Quinn Johnson, DE Tremaine Johnson, DE Kirston Pittman, S Curtis Taylor
LSU had some problems on offense last year and the defense was rarely as dominating as it could have been, but that was mostly due to the fact that the offense put the defense in such awful situations. The Tigers have the potential to win the SEC West this year, but their offense better start clicking sooner or later if they want to do more than that.
The good news is that the offense has found a star in running back Charles Scott. The 5-11 senior rushed for 1,174 yards and 18 touchdowns last year and could be in for a huge senior campaign. The offensive line lost some key components, but the surprise return of tackle Ciron Black should make the Tigers line extremely dominating. The equally surprising return of wide receiver Brandon LaFell means the offense could actually be good…if the Tigers can find a quarterback. On the other side of the ball it is the back seven that will keep LSU in every game. Safety Harry Coleman will be a superstar and linebackers Perry Riley and Kelvin Sheppard can replace Darry Beckwith’s production without much of a problem.
Jarrett Lee is still around, but he threw 16 interceptions last year and every time the ball went in the air it seemed like a pick six was a feasible possibility. The answer is sophomore Jordan Jefferson. Jefferson, a 6-4, 209 pound St. Rose, Louisiana native, had some good moments late last season when he completed 36 of 73 passes for four touchdowns. More importantly, Jefferson only threw a single interception. The possibilities are there for Jefferson to have a huge year, but he is still inexperienced and he might have to do more than Lee did last season…especially if the Tigers defensive front line struggles to replace Tyson Jackson, Ricky Jean-Francois, Marlon Favorite and Kirston Pittman. And how can they not take a step back replacing those four?
The Bottom Line for the Tigers:
If the front four does have trouble getting into the backfield, the entire defense will not be as effective as they were last season. If that is the case, LSU’s offense has a little more work to do and that means Jefferson has to be effective. Last year was a rebuilding year and this season should go much better for Coach Les Miles. The offense cannot be much worse and the Tigers will be a formidable foe if they can add an offense to their always stifling defense.
By Joel Welser
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