Dig Baton Rouge

The Sports Troll: Camp is closed … so now we wait

LSU football coach Ed Orgeron announced on Friday that preseason camp will be completely closed to media.

The move isn’t entirely surprising.

LSU has a new offensive coordinator and a ton of new players at new positions.

Keeping the element of surprise is beneficial to the team and, ultimately, is more important than giving nerds like us a chance to peek at what’s going on.

But now, the already-long offseason just got much, much longer as we impatiently wait for the start of the season on Sept. 2 against BYU.

Man, these next 30 or so days will be brutal.

But spare me as I talk a little bit now about LSU’s first opponent, BYU.

You know, I spent 80 percent of the offseason thinking that the BYU game would be a walk in the park for LSU – a game the Tigers would almost assuredly win.

But as we’ve gotten closer to the season, my optimism has shrunken to pessimism and this game now worries the ever-living daylights out of me.

It’s just a bad, bad matchup for a young team.

BYU isn’t as good as LSU.

The Tigers are better than the Cougars at almost every position.

So why the sudden pessimism?

The circle of life.

BYU is a Mormon university.

As per culture and tradition, a lot of the school’s players put their athletic careers on hold to complete a multi-year Mormon mission.

This, of course, means that a lot of the guys on their team aren’t the average age of a college student-athlete, but are sometimes somewhere around 23-25-years-old.

That’s tough on any team – much less an LSU team which will have a lot of 19 and 20-year-old players in key positions.
I think the Tigers will have a lot more speed than the Cougars and they’ll be far superior at all of the skill positions.

But the matchups at the line of scrimmage worry me a little bit and I think LSU may struggle a little to run the football – especially early in the game.

That, of course, will put pressure on Danny Etling and new-coordinator Matt Canada to find some opportunities down the field to stretch that defense a little bit.

Can they do it? Sure.

But in the first game of the season while unveiling a new scheme that’s a 180-degree change from the old one?

I’m a little bit nervous.


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