2014 LSU TIGERS FOOTBALL PREVIEW
June 30, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
2014 LSU TIGERS FOOTBALL PREVIEW
COACH: LES MILES, 95-24 @ LSU
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: CAM CAMERON
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: JOHN CHAVIS
LAST LEAGUE TITLE: 2011
RETURNING STARTERS: 15, 6 OFFENSE, 7 DEFENSE, KICKER AND PUNTER
OFFENSE PPG: 35.8
TOTAL OFFENSE: 453.3
DEFENSE PPG: 22.0
Winning 10 games for most college football programs would be deemed an excellent season. Not at LSU! The Tigers finished 5-3 in the SEC West losing @ Georgia, @ Ole Miss and @ Alabama. There was little redemption in winning the Outback Bowl over Iowa 21-14. Les Miles should be optimistic about 2014 with so many talent players returning especially on the offensive line.
For starters return on the offensive line including All-American LT La’el Collins (6-5 315), LG Vadal Alexander, LG DJ Welter and RT Jerald Hawkins. Evan Washington (6-6 334) will step in at right guard. This group will provide protection for either quarterback Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris. Jennings saw action last year when starter Zach Mettenburger was injured in the final game of the regular season at Arkansas. Jennings also got the start in the Outback Bowl leading the Tigers to a 21-14 when over Iowa. Harris showed signs of making this a quarterback battle after throwing three touchdown passes and ran for another score in the spring game. The running attack will be left up to Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard. Magee and Hilliard will have to fill a void left when Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue left early for the NFL. Hill and Blue combined for 1,744 yards last season. Five star running back Leonard Fournette will get every opportunity to carry the football this season. Many consider Fournette the best running back in the country.
The Tigers defense will return seven starters including end Jermauria Rasco and Danielle Hunter. Both will give the Tigers defense plenty of size, athleticism and speed up front. Sophomore Christian LaCouture and Junior Quentin Thomas will get the start inside at the two defensive tackle spots. The linebacking corps could be solid with the return of DJ Welter and Kwon Alexander. Alexander has switched from the strong side to the weak side and last year had 65 tackles and 6 ½ tackles for loss. Welter is solid inside finishing second last year with 80 tackles. The secondary will return to starters and six safeties that will battle for starting positions after suffering through injuries last year. Junior Jalen Mills will be the starter at weak safety after getting the start in the Outback Bowl. CB’s Rashard Robinson and Tre’Davious White will start after gaining valuable experience last season.
LSU has plenty of talent on both sides of the football and this year’s team has depth in key areas including the offensive line and at running back. Losing two receivers, their top running back and their starting quarterback is a concern but with an experienced defense returning that finished 15th in the nation last season, LSU should have every opportunity to play for national playoff spot this season.
LSU will get tested early when they opened up against Wisconsin August 30th in Houston. The next four games are all very winnable before the Tigers had to Auburn October 4th and Florida October 11th.