Dig Baton Rouge

The good, the bad and the ugly: Spring Game Weekend

I’m not the kind of guy to tell you, ‘I told you so.’


The LSU spring game was a slop fest – a game dominated by defense and which left Tiger fans wanting for more.

The new-look offense that LSU fans craved mostly fell flat, and it’s not necessarily a sign of things to come, but is more a sign of how much further along the defense is in its second season in defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s scheme.

But being all the way gloomy is no fun, and quite frankly, I am running out of room in my inbox for negative messages, so let’s go with some good, bad and ugly from the spring game weekend.

The Good
-The defensive backfield – With Jamal Adams, Rickey Jefferson and Tre’Davious White off to the NFL, there are starting positions up for grabs in the LSU secondary. But in the two quarters played before the rains came, the Tigers looked good on the back-end of their defense. Whether it’s Grant Delpit, Kevin Toliver, Donte Jackson, Savion Smith, JaCoby Stevens, Kristian Fulton or someone else, the Tigers seem to be very, very deep. That, folks, is good news for the fall.

-Lanard Fournette – Make no mistake about it, Derrius Guice is Plan A, B and C for the Tigers this fall at the halfback position. But Baby Fournette looked pretty good, too, and he just may be able to get a carry or two in the fall. Fournette scored the only touchdown we saw in the portion of the scrimmage played in Tiger Stadium. He seemed noticeably bigger than last season, and he’s a shifty runner, too. Not bad.
-Formations – After years of clamoring for a wide-open offense, LSU fans got their wish. The multiple formations and shifts in Canada’s offense are a nice look, and should the team execute, it ought to be tough to stop.

The Bad
-Quarterback Play – Between Danny Etling and Justin McMillan, the LSU quarterbacks combined to go 5-of-14 with 63 yards and an interception on Saturday night. That’s not good. Even worse is that the Tigers’ passers got sacked five times in the shortened game. Goodness, isn’t that a nauseating feeling?

-Offensive line play – I know a couple starters missed the game with injury, but the Tigers’ offensive line play was atrocious in the spring game. We will write this one in pencil, because there was a lot working against this group. But it sure wasn’t pretty to see.

-Punting – LSU’s punters were not very good in 2016, and the duo competing for the job in the fall were terrible on Saturday night – even without a defense on the field. The Tigers averaged just more than 35 yards a kick, which simply isn’t going to cut it. That’s got to get better before the fall.

The Ugly
-No red jersey – Umm, Coach O, I love you brah, but not having a red jersey on your quarterbacks and letting them absorb punishment is a terrible, terrible look – especially when your senior gets hurt and needs back surgery after the game. That’s Busch League. Please fix that next spring.

-The weather – It stinks that Mother Nature wasn’t an LSU fan on Saturday night. The Tigers had a decent turnout for the spring game, and it’s just unfortunate that the people who invested their time in the weekend couldn’t get more of a show than they did.

-LSU pitching – OK, this isn’t football-related, but I was just twitching to get at least one snippet of baseball into this column. The Tigers were AWFUL this weekend at Kentucky, and if this team doesn’t start to pitch better, they’ll have NO SHOT once the NCAA Tournament begins. Jared Poche is missing. Last I saw him, he was on the back of a milk carton. The Tigers need their senior pitcher to be better than what he has been lately. He can’t possibly be worse.


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