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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sportaholic College Football Preview: LSU Tigers

College Football is just around the corner with the first games scheduled on September 1st. So with that in mind, we here at the figured it was about time to rev up the college football machine and review some local team in our area. With our expanded roster, we now can cover teams from all over the nation but we will start with our home teams. Each week leading up to the season we will have capsules on the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, and Tennessee State University. We will follow those teams with some of the national powers as well, just to make sure we cover all of our bases.

To start things off, we will ask just a few basic questions on each team as: Offense, Defense, what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses, who will be their impact players and what do you project as their season outlook just to name a few. We love college athletics here at the Sportaholic and this just one of many college football posts we have awaiting our viewers this season. So sit back and relax as we here at the Sportaholic preview some of your favorite teams from all over the nation.

Louisiana State University

By Taylor Cannon

Now to talk about my home state University and the school I grew up cheering for LSU TIGERS. LSU had another great year on the field and in recruiting, but was marred by recruiting violations by an ex –coordinator. In spite of it all LSU has been picked by some to win it all (personally I think it’s a little much, but hey I’ll take it) , and is picked by most pundits to win the SEC West (ahead of LSU arch nemesis Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide)

1. Offense - 8 offensive starters (The 4 most important are the returning starters on the offensive line) Jordan Jefferson returns at QB, but don’t be surprised if Zach Mettenberger (transfer from Butler Community College and former UGA commit) sees time at the spot. The Tigers will continue their tradition of having a talented run game with Spencer Ware Michael Ford and Alfred Blue and watch . out for true freshman Kenny Hilliard. The receiving group is led by junior Rueben Randle (led team with 544 yards and 3 TDs) and Russell Sheppard. To open holes for the run game and give Jefferson some protection is the O-line led by Center P.J. Lonergan,Left Guard Josh Dworaczyk, and Right Guard T-Bob Hebert ( yeah T-Bob defiantly an O-lineman)

  2. Defense - 7 defensive starters return and don’t think the loss of elite corner Patrick Peterson means SEC QBs can relax and start throwing the ball against LSU; in part because LSU returns Morris Claiborne (who actually led LSU in Ints and was 3rd in the SEC in that department) they also return Sophomore Tyrann Mathieu (he recorded 57 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, forced five fumbles, recovered three and had two Ints). The rest of its D look just as good with sophomore ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery will control the ends (If they improve on their freshman numbers RBs and QBs will be in trouble). Kelvin Sheppard will be missed no doubt, but Ryan Baker, Stefoin Francois and Karnell Hatcher will be good replacements.

3.What are the team’s strengths? The strengths of this team is the run game (Talented and deep ) the O-line 4 starters come back and The secondary looks experienced so does the LB group

4. Who are the teams impact players? QB Jordan Jefferson who was 118-209 for 1411 yards passing looks to help lead this team along with Ware, Ford Jr. and Blue. Rueben Randle and TE Deangelo Peterson looks to help Mr. Jefferson in the passing attack. Baker and Francois look to be great replacements for the departed Kelvin  Sheppard. Also look for cornerbacks Claiborne and Mathieu look to shut down opposing passing attacks this season

5. What is the team weakness? QB Jordan Jefferson he had a solid year but has to improve on the td to interception ratio (4 tds to 9 ints). Steve Kragthorpe the new offense coordinator is going to be the most watched man in the Bayou State, and which Kragthorpe will show up is the question. Will it be the one who had success at Tulsa or the one who bottomed out at Louisville? I believe for probably the first time in LSU football history a weakness is the Special Teams (LSU lost its starting FG kicker, punter, and return specialist), so LSU may want to avoid clutch situations for a few games untill they get that situation figured out.

6. Season projection and projected record - This season LSU has the roughest set of road games in September (at Arlington vs. Oregon, at Mississippi State, and at West Virginia) and on top of that they are home vs. Florida (thankfully) at Tennessee, at Alabama. If LSU can remain healthy, Jordan Jefferson improves his throwing ability, and Miles continues to have luck on his side then look for LSU to AT LEAST win the SEC West conference. LSU’s record ( 11-1 and 7-1 in the SEC).

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