College Football Preview: The 2014 LSU Tigers
2014 College Football Preview
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Overview: The LSU Tigers won double-digit games for the fourth straight season under head coach Les Miles and capped it off with a bowl victory. The Tigers lost three frustrating games against Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama, which ultimately kept them out of the running for a conference crown, but overall it was a successful season that may have been considered an overachievement to most people. LSU is a young team that looks to get back in the national championship picture for the first time in three years.
Offense: While LSU was never considered an offensive team, it’s going to be interesting how the team rebounds from losing quarterback Zach Mettenberger, running back Jeremy Hill and three key wide receivers including Odell Beckham. Replacing all of that talent in one season won’t be easy, especially with much of the replacements being baby faced players who have experienced very little playing time in their career. Anthony Jennings has great potential to lead this team assuming he wins the starting job at quarterback and running back Leonard Fournette is a freak of nature. Still, this is a young offense that is sure to face growing pains early and often.
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Defense: Nobody should worry about defense with LSU, as this program has been losing big names each season and still has ranked in the Top 3 in total defense in the SEC for four straight seasons. So while Craig Loston, Lamin Barrow and others are no longer on the team, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. A defensive end combination of Danielle Hunter and Jermauria Rasco could end up being the best in the country and Tre’Davious White and Rashard Robinson help create a solid cornerback tandem. There’s tons of talent on this side of the ball as usual and there’s no reason to think they won’t be ready by the time the season begins.
Special Teams: Jamie Keehn is a promising punter who may be even better than Brad Wing, while Colby Delahoussaye will continue to handle the place kicking duties after making 13 of 14 attempts last season.
Outlook: It’s hard to count out LSU when it comes to competing in the SEC, as the talent and the coaching staff is there to get the job done. However, experience goes a long way and this team has very little. There’s going to be games where you can make a ton of money backing the Tigers due to inflated lines, but there’s also going to be times where this team is simply in over its head. Needless to say, it’s likely going to be an up-and-down season for LSU.