LSU closing in on offensive coordinator hire

BY Bruce Feldman • December 14, 2016

LSU had a productive day of meetings with Pitt's Matt Canada and is closing in on a deal to make him the Tigers' new offensive coordinator, a source told FOX Sports Tuesday. Word is LSU was impressed with how innovative Canada is and also came away feeling like he'd be a good fit for the staff.

Canada was the only offensive coordinator to make the finalists cut this year for the Broyles Award honoring the nation's top assistant coach. The Panthers have compiled the highest season point total in school history (508). With a bowl game to go, the Panthers are averaging 42.3 points per game (10th in FBS), which would eclipse the all-time Pitt record of 40.7 set in 1904. The Panthers also improved their scoring output by more than 14 points per game from last year. Pitt is the only Power 5 team in the nation to score at least 28 points in every game this season.

Under Canada, the Panthers led the nation in red-zone touchdown percentage (82.7%). His QB Nathan Peterman has a 26-6 TD-INT ratio and led the ACC in QB rating, topping Heisman winner Lamar Jackson as well as touted NFL prospects Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson and Brad Kaaya.

Initially, new LSU head coach Ed Orgeron had been targeting his old USC colleague Lane Kiffin for the Tigers' OC role, but Kiffin landed the FAU head coaching job Monday.

Canada's offenses — if you include his work at NC State last year — have scored 11 TDs in the past two meetings against talented Clemson defenses.

"He does a nice job and is very creative," Pitt coach Narduzzi said of Canada last month. "He did it when he was at Wisconsin and ran for 500 yards (539 actually) on Bo Pelini's defense (in a 70-31 win) in the (2012) Big Ten title game. I like what he does. I think it puts defenses in a bind."