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Former LSU TE Peterson Still Upset Over BCS Play-Calling

There might not have been a pregame row as so many emails and messageboard posts have suggested, but it’s becoming more and more clear that after the BCS title game… there were plenty of postgame grumbles inside the LSU lockerroom.  And nothing’s happened in the two weeks since that game to assuage the discontent felt by the Tiger players.

Take for instance what former Tiger tight end DeAngelo Peterson has told The New Orleans Picayune:


“I just think, the offense, we didn’t have a chance to put the ball in our playmakers hands to do something.  The gameplan that we ahd, that we were working on in the weeks before the game and everything, I don’t think we used it.  So, as for going to ‘Plan B,’ that would have been ‘Plan B,’ — the gameplan that we planned for…

We might call a couple of plays that we worked on, but as fo teh whole gameplan I don’t think we used it.  I just think the playmakers on offense, they didn’t really have a chance to make no plays.  That’s the big thing that bothers me.  I feel like I could have done more to help the team move the ball.  Russell Shepard feels the same way.  Rueben Randle feels the same way.  Our other receivers feel the same way.  That’s the main thing, that we didn’t have the opportunity.”


Why LSU decided not to follow its script and pass the ball more the game — perhaps even utilizing little used Jarrett Lee — remains anyone’s guess.

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Miles Shoots Down Rumored Brouhaha At LSU

You can add another name to the list of LSU folks denying that a pre-BCS title game fuss led to an uninspired performance in the biggest game of the year.  The new name?  Les Miles, who was asked if there was any truth to the rumor of player dissension:


“Not at all.  We took the field just like we always have.  There’s never been any issue prior to a game.  There has never been a player-coach interaction before or after a game that was negative.”


Most of the rumors and messageboard posts claim that part of the team wanted Jarrett Lee at quarterback and part wanted Jordan Jefferson.  Miles never did go to Lee during the game, but his explanation at a presser yesterday was the same one he delivered after the contest last Monday night.

“I do think about the ability to change quarterbacks,” Miles said.  “That was a question that I had.  I brought it to my staff. … I can tell you that Jarrett Lee did come to mind, we do have confidence in Jarrett.”

But, LSU crossed the 50 or the first time all night early in the fourth quarter.  Down 15-0, Miles felt Jefferson still gave his team the best chance to come back.

“Jordan Jefferson had put us in that position (at Bama’s 32 thanks to an 18-yard quarterback scramble), and the way the pass rush was going in that game we just felt like we needed a mobile quarterback to make a play like that and then understand that if you finish just one drive and score seven, it’s a completely different game.  We just felt like we needed that guy who might be able to get loose with his feet.”

Since the title game, LSU has lost out on star quarterback prospect Gunner Kiel and seen three underclassmen declare for the NFL draft.  What was bright and cheery on the Bayou last Sunday has turned dark and dreary in the minds of many over the last 10 days.

But Miles isn’t stressing.  “We return a team that in my mind will have just as much talent and be just as capable as any that we’ve had… The fundamental of this program is to win championships and this team is a championship team.  We won the West.  We won the conference and certainly in our view the conference is the best in the country.  We spent 11 weeks as the number one team int he country and repelled all comers.  We played eight nationally ranked teams, beat the national champs in the regular season and played in the last game where only two teams get to play.  I cannot bemoan this team’s success, and by any measure this is a great year.”

True enough.  But what about the quarterback spot next year?

“We’ll throw the football more,” said Miles.  “I think there will be a fun approach, a different view of our quarterback position now, and I think it will allow us to throw the football more effectively and to approach a gameplan that can feature some receivers and some balls being thrown down the field maybe a little bit more efficiently.”

Perhaps there would be a lot less griping in the LSU camp today if Miles and company had just tried that approach a time or two against Alabama in New Orleans.

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BCS Title Game Observation 5: LSU’s Option Wasn’t

“And I’ll get on my knees and pray… We don’t get fooled again.”

The Who may have penned that line back in 1971, but obviously Nick Saban sent that same message to his team throughout bowl practice.  LSU’s option attack surprised Alabama in the team’s first matchup.  It was not going to surprise them again.

Back in November, Les Miles adjusted his offense mid-game.  Out went Jarrett Lee after tossing two picks and in came Jordan Jefferson.  With Jefferson came the option game.  The Tigers’ goal was to force the Tide’s linebackers to run from one side of the field to the other, wearing them out in the process.  It worked well enough for LSU to escape Tuscaloosa with a 9-6 overtime win.

Last night?  Not so much.  And while Jefferson didn’t do the best of jobs running said option, the Bama defense was ready for it when the Tigers called it.

On the night, Greg Studrawa called option plays on seven occasions.  The results:


1st Qtr:  RB ran up the middle on option for 3 yards
1st Qtr:  QB ran left on option for 2 yards
1st Qtr:  RB ran left on option for 0 yards
1st Qtr:  QB ran right on option for -1 yard
3rd Qtr:  RB ran right on option for -2 yards
4th Qtr:  RB ran up the middle on option for 3 yards
4th Qtr:  RB ran left on option for -3 yards


That’s seven option runs for a grand total of two yards.  Remarkably — as we mentioned earlier today — it appeared as though LSU had cooked up nothing new between November 5th and January 9th.  “Hey, the option worked last time,” appeared to be the thinking. 

Well, it sure didn’t work this time.

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SEC Headlines – 12/5/11 PM Edition

1.  The SEC has named its basketball Players of the Week.

2.  Don’t expect to see Urban Meyer when Florida faces Ohio State in the Gator Bowl.  (But you’ll hear his name a whole bunch.)

3.  UF’s Dominique Easley will miss the game with an ACL injury.

4.  Mark Richt and Mark Dantonio held an Outback Bowl teleconference today.

5.  James Franklin says Vandy’s seniors are “taking a lot of pride in laying the foundation for great things to come.”

6.  This Arkansas writer says Ole Miss is making “the right choice” with Hugh Freeze.

7.  This writer says the BCS got it wrong with LSU-Alabama rematch.

8.  Folks in Alabama are saying — naturally – the BCS title game winner should get the BCS crown and the AP championship.

9.  One poll says Trent Richardson will finish third in the Heisman race.

10.  LSU’s players are just fine with facing Alabama again.

11.  This writer says Jarrett Lee — who took over at the last minute and led LSU to wins against three ranked teams on the road — deserves a curtain call in Baton Rouge.  (Agreed.  He deserved better than last snap duty against Georgia on Saturday.)

12.  Folks in the SEC region are happy, but folks outside the South are not.

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LSU Not Happy With Oddsmaker Sheridan Or Talk About Player Grades

When quarterback Jarrett Lee lost his starting job to Jordan Jefferson on November 12th against Western Kentucky, rumors of academic issues popped up on The Bayou.  Les Miles said academics had nothing to do with Jefferson passing Lee on the depth chart.

In the weeks since then, more rumors have begun to circulate regarding multiple LSU players and their academic eligibility for the BCS Championship Game, should the Tigers make that game as expected.

Yesterday, both Miles and LSU AD Joe Alleva addressed the rumors.  Here’s Miles’ comment first:


“Academic issues are certainly very private in my mind.  Our guys go through a series of midterms, finals and papers.  The overview is something that each guy has and certainly I have of the team.  That is not something I am going to share.  The reality is that this time of year everybody responds and comes back.  If you have a ‘C’ or a ‘B,’ it is time to pick it up.  There is no difference with our football team.”


Okay, well that’s pretty much double-talk.  Alleva’s statement was a bit more straight-forward… and harsh:


“Despite media and messageboard speculation, no LSU student-athletes have been declared ineligible for postseason competition.  The current semester is not complete and finals are still ahead.  So it is grossly unfair to our student-athletes, and it is both premature and irresponsible to speculate on the final grades and postseason eligibility of our student-athletes.”


So what made Alleva decide to speak out about rumors?  USA Today oddsmaker Danny Sheridan tweeted the following yesterday:


“Rumors out of Baton Rouge: Quarterback Jarrett Lee will be ineligible for BCS national championship game due to grades. 

If true, LSU fans need not worry as Jordan Jefferson is the man and Zach Mettenberger is a capable backup.”


No word on whether or not Sheridan heard these rumors from Auburn’s bag man.

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Two Milestones Await The LSU Tigers This Weekend

Alex Groberman

One week after firmly establishing themselves as the unquestionable No. 1 team in the nation, the LSU Tigers will take on a slightly less threatening foe – the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Despite the fact that this LSU team cemented itself as the best squad in the country via a 9-6 victory over Alabama last week (in a ratings bonanza for CBS, no less), the team’s head  coach, Les Miles is still fretting about what this weekend holds. Acknowledging the very real risk of a letdown after such a huge, monumental effort just one week earlier, Miles made it known that his foot wasn’t going to come off the brake any time soon.

“The key is to keep fighting, to find a way,” Miles said.

“There was nothing settled in any way with victory last Saturday,” Miles said. “We still have to earn our way. It is all about whom we are about to play and what is a necessary improvement that must take place this week. With that being said, we are looking forward to the process as we go forward.”

If the Tigers can earn a win this weekend, they’ll accomplish two feats: the 100th victory of Miles’ career and their first 10-0 start to a season in over 50 years.

Fortunately for LSU, barring a collapse of epic proportions, the team should be able to hold its own against a 5-4 Hilltoppers squad that has been outscored by its ranked opponents by nearly 29 points on average since 2004. Couple that with the Tigers’ perfect mark against Sun Belt Conference programs and 36 consecutive regular season wins over non-conference opponents since 2002, and you see why things are lining up nicely for the top-ranked team in the nation.

The plan of attack for LSU, no doubt, will be continue to abuse the opposing offense with a monstrous, impenetrable defense. For the year, the Tigers rank third in the FBS in yards allowed and second in scoring.

And, of course, Western Kentucky’s offense isn’t exactly potent. It currently ranks 101st in total scoring and offense this season. The team’s only real means of attack is the run, with their senior running back Bobby Rainey boasting the 3rd most rushing yards in the FBS with 1,169. He has also racked up over 100-yards in eight games this year.

The far more interesting storyline going into Saturday isn’t how LSU will handle their vastly inferior opponent but, rather, what’s going to happen with their quarterback situation. After starting the game against Alabama last week, Jarrett Lee was pulled in favor of Jordan Jefferson – who in turn ended up playing the majority of the outing.

Miles has remained mum on who will ultimately start this weekend.

Regardless of who the starter ends up being, the squad can take solace in the fact that they’ll have running backs Michael Ford and Spencer Ware around to take some of the pressure off. The latter, of course, leads the team with 541 rushing yards total and the former has 513 yards on the season.

So, all in all – expect more of the same this weekend. The Tigers will pass the ball a bit, run it a little more than they pass, and ultimately seal the deal with their best-in-the-nation defense.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. eastern time, Saturday.

 Get more great news, recaps and analysis over at OpposingViews.com

 

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LSU – Alabama: The View From Arkansas

TJ Carpenter

I think LSU wins this game. LSU seems to take sick sadistic pleasure out of going into hostile environments and beating their opponent.

I don’t think Bryant Denny will be a factor. Alabama’s offense is great, but it may be their downfall. Say what you will about Jarrett Lee, but he and Jordan Jefferson have both been in a big situation like this one before. AJ McCarron hasn’t. If McCarron makes a mistake, say goodbye Crimson Tide. The team that makes the most mistakes in this game will lose.Say what you will about LSU’s offense. They don’t make mistakes.

Alabama will come into this game believing in their offense to a fault. LSU will win a wild one in Tuscaloosa…. or not. Who knows, I just want to see this game!

TJ Carpenter is host of The TJ Carpenter Show on The Hog Sports Radio Network from 1-4pm (listen live at www.hogsportsradio.com) TJ Carpenter contributes to mrsec.comarkansassports360.com and collegefootballnews.com.

 

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SEC Headlines – 10/25/11 Part One

1.  More than 300 athletes — some from the University of Kentucky — have sent a petition to the NCAA asking to be paid.

2.  It’s time for Auburn’s offense to take it up a notch.  (So it’s go time.)

3.  The Tiger defense wants to rebound from a horrible day at Baton Rouge.

4.  Nick Saban is finally ready to talk about Alabama’s game with LSU.

5.  The hype for the November 5th showdown continues to grow… with advertising.

6.  Arkansas players say they’re worried about Vanderbilt, not the BCS rankings.

7.  Hog tailback Dennis Johnson says “there’s more to come” after his 160-yard day last Saturday.

8.  Against Alabama, Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson will have to be at their very best.

9.  Running back Kenny Hilliard was ready when opportunity knocked last weekend.

10.  Mississippi State’s linebackers “had a chip on their shoulders going into the season.”

11.  Johnthan Banks (and that’s the correct spelling) is closing in on Walt Harris’ career interception mark of 16 at MSU.

12.  Ole Miss quarterback Randall Mackey says he loves it when his wideouts get one-on-one coverage down the sideline.

13.  Houston Nutt is beating the idea of finishing into his players’ heads following Saturday’s come-from-ahead loss to Arkansas.

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Miles Talks Up His 2-QB System (With Good Reason)

Quick.  Who’s got the top-rated passing offense in the Southeastern Conference?

If you said LSU, you’re right… and you’re probably still shocked that you said LSU.  Coming into the season, Jordan Jefferson was an unpopular starter and Jarrett Lee was an unpopular backup best known for throwing seven pick-6 interceptions as a freshman.  Zach Mettenberger was the people’s choice to quarterback the Tigers.

Good thing Les Miles didn’t listen to the people.  When Jefferson ran into legal troubles, Miles didn’t hesitate to name Lee his starter.  And then senior has responded by throwing just one interception in 132 attempts.

When the charges against Jefferson were lessened, Miles immediately reinstated him to the team and got him back onto the field.  We at MrSEC.com wondered if the return of Jefferson might negatively impact the psyche and confidence of Lee.  So far, it hasn’t.

And Miles is a happy man as a result:


“We enjoy our quarterback situation.  We’re fortunate to have two veteran quarterbacks who have both played as starters… A diversity of attack with our quarterbacks is what we want…

It’s going to give defensive coordinators issues.”


It already has.  Readers of this site know that we’re not fond of two-quarterback systems unless the two players in question are totally different types of players.  Jefferson and Lee are.  Wisely, Steve Kragthorpe and Greg Studrawa have the quarterbacks running two different types of offense.  Jefferson handles the run-heavy, option-style attack.  Lee takes care of the pro-style system which features more passing.

Defensive coordinators studying LSU don’t just have to prepare for two quarterbacks.  They have to prepare for two offenses.

Those offenses are proving to be awfully hard to stop, too.

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SEC Headlines – 10/18/11 Part Two

1.  Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley has gained maturity and perspective through the ups and downs of his career.

2.  Defensive end Corey Lemonier and Auburn’s front four are getting to the quarterback more often.

3.  Alabama players tempted to overlook Tennessee need only think back to a near upset in 2009.

4.  The Crimson Tide’s defense is probably worthy of a nickname, but how ’bout we don’t give them one?  (I would expect a nickname for a defense at a smaller program, not at a school as steeped in history as Bama.)

5.  Arkansas looks to be getting healthy just in time for old coach Houston Nutt and Ole Miss.

6.  Razorback AD Jeff Long unveiled his school’s facilities master plan today.

7.  Offensive coordinators Steve Kragthorpe and Greg Studrawa have LSU clicking on all cylinders.

8.  Jarrett Lee has been credited with another touchdown pass during last Saturday’s game with Tennessee.

9.  The Baton Rouge Police Department has now returned to Jordan Jefferson all 49 pairs of his shoes.

10.  Mississippi State’s quarterback battle might continue all season long.

11.  State’s defense has shown improvement in recent weeks.

12.  Suspensions, injuries, a dismissal… Ole Miss needs its remaining players to step up.

13.  Rebel coaches are still trying to figure out how to replace two defensive starters who were lost for the season last Saturday.

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