No. 11 LSU approaching Southeastern tilt with urgency
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was not inclined to downplay inefficiencies in the passing game that, fortunately for the Tigers, were otherwise inconsequential in a lopsided, season-opening victory.
“I made some bad throws. There were some drops,” Burrow said this week after reviewing a 33-17 rout of Miami that shot LSU up the AP Poll from 25th to 11th.
“We’ll get that fixed,” Burrow continued. “I was happy with how the offense played. The defense was playing so well, I was just trying not to screw it up.
“It was good enough to win that game.”
It might also be good enough to win LSU’s next game Saturday night against Southeastern Louisiana of the second-tier Football Championship Subdivision. But if the Tigers (1-0) do not demonstrate improvement in the passing game, it probably won’t bode well for LSU’s Southeastern Conference opener at Auburn the following weekend.
“We struggled in protection. We were not as solid as a unit as we should be. Joe was under duress,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said. “Joe didn’t have enough time. We had some busted routes. We had some dropped balls. Some throws were behind the receiver and not on the money.”
The Lions (0-1) might turn out to be one of the better teams in the FCS. They were competitive in their opener at Louisiana-Monroe of the Football Bowl Subdivision, losing 34-31.
“Some adversity took place and we overcame it. We didn’t go in the tank, which you always wonder how that’s going to go,” Southeastern coach Frank Scelfo said. “So, I think we’re trending in the right direction from that standpoint.”
They hope to remain competitive — and continue to respond well to adversity — as they play up in competition again at LSU.
“You really see how well they played and how they dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football” against Miami, Scelfo said. “They’ve really got a good football team up front. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Some story lines surrounding LSU’s home opener against SLU:
LSU was dealt a potentially major blow this week, learning that K’Lavon Chaisson, who was expected to be their top pass-rusher, has a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He won’t be able to play again this season, rich raises the urgency this week for Tigers defensive coaches to evaluate how Chaisson’s potential replacements perform. LSU is expected to take close looks at 6-foot-4, 238-pound Andre Anthony; 6-4, 226-pound Ray Thornton; 6-4, 253-pound Travez Moore; and 6-3, 235-pound freshman Jarell Cherry.
“We are going to see this week who is the best guy to put at that position,” Orgeron said
LSU entered the season with unproven running backs. Now they know senior Nick Brossette, a third-stringer last season, is ready for his opportunity to lead the ground game. He had 125 yards and two TDs vs. Miami.
“I was proud of Nick,” Orgeron said. “Nick has waited his turn here. I thought he did an excellent job.”
Burrow, a transfer from Ohio State, beat out sophomore Myles Brennan for the starting job, but Orgeron has said he has a lot of confidence in Brennan’s ability. If LSU builds a big lead, Brennan might make his season debut — unless Orgeron wants to help Brennan preserve his opportunity to take a redshirt year by limiting his playing time.
Southeastern, meanwhile, is likely to use two QBs. Chason Virgil passed for 358 yards and four touchdowns in his Lions debut in Monroe, but Scelfo said he also wants to continue to play dual-threat QB Lorenzo Nunez.
“Lorenzo is going to play for us,” Scelfo said. “He’s got the ability to be a game-breaker for us he’s got the ability to be a match-up problem.”
Orgeron and Scelfo are both Louisiana natives of the same generation and consider one another good friends.
“We’ve been knowing each other probably our whole lives,” Scelfo said. “He’s got a heavier (Cajun) accent than I do. He’s got better hair than I’ve got. … I hope they have the season they dream of — just not this week.”