This is the LSU team that all Tiger Fans have been waiting to see. Although it was not a flawlessly executed game, it was still enough to totally dominate a good Miami of Ohio team. The 33-7 final was not indicative of the dominance LSU displayed. I know one thing for sure; it was hot in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. It felt like 100% humidity but game day statistics proclaimed 61%. I don’t know about that. Quarterback – Grade – B+ This was Muack’s best game to date. His final statistics were 15-26 for 215 yards with 3tds and 0int. His timing and rhythm was much improved. One observation to note – Jimbo’s game plan was to keep Mauck in the pocket predominantly the whole night. You did not see any rollouts passes thrown or the moving of the pocket. LSU was 6 of 16 on third down conversions roughly 37%. You would have like to see a higher percentage against Miami of Ohio. This stat dictated the 4 field goals that were kicked. I was happy to see LSU throw the ball down the field. Guess what? I can’t recall LSU throwing a bubble screen. I still see room for improvement and that’s why I did not give an A. Things to look for next game: Consistency by building on the last game and a better third down conversion percentage, which directly correlates to more touchdowns and less field goals. Running Backs – Grade – B – LSU rushed the ball for 207 yards. Toefield looked great and if I had to grade entirely on Toefield the grade would be much higher. Davis is committing too many turnovers. He has had a total of 4 fumbles in 3 games. His fumble in the Miami of Ohio game was a drive killer. Not only has Davis fumble too many times, he has drop too many passes – one being a drive killer on a third down in Miami of Ohio territory. Davis is a Senior and perhaps the top return specialist in the county but these mental mistakes must stop before SEC play begins. Things to look for next game: HOLD ON TO THE BALL, they must be able to run the ball against Joe Lee Dunce’s defense. Wide Receivers – Grade B – I did see improvement however a common theme still exists – DROP PASSES. You will see drop passes in a game but usually most of them are good defensive plays like a good hit to jar the ball away. They are just dropping easy passes. One thing I do not like to see is Show Boating and Michael Clayton does his fair share of it. He almost cost LSU a touchdown. After catching the ball on a slant route, he attempted to begin Show Boating before he crossed the goal line and almost lost control of the ball. With the way the receivers played the first two weeks, there should be no reason for Show Boating or excuses for this behavior. I think Saban is not too pleased with this and will address this. Things to look for next game: I think LSU will try to utilize the tight ends more against Miss State. Edwards has been hurt. If he is healthy, look for him to have his most productive day as a Tiger. Wide Receivers need to stop dropping easy passes. They are drive killers. Offensive Line – Grade B+ The offensive line gave up zero sacks and they ran the ball for over 200 yards. Mauck was given plenty of time in the pocket. Do you think it is a coincidence that Mauck was much better throwing the ball this week when he had a lot of time to throw the ball? I was happy to see that they had some depth when John Young went down. Niswanger is very versatile. I believe he can play all 5 positions on the line. The line will have to get better in short yardage situations. They also had more plays than you want for negative and no gains in this game. They did have a lot of penalties in this game. Things to look for next game: Give Mauck time to throw the ball. Mississippi State will once again be very big up front. They will have to be fundamental sound because they will probably not overpower them on the line. Defensive Line – Grade B I did notice improvement. They had a better pass rush. Although to improve from no pass rush to any is not hard. They had three sacks. I would have like to see about 6 for the number of times that Miami of Ohio threw the ball (34 times). They did a great job stopping the run. Miami of Ohio gained 29 yards on 17 attempts averaging about 1.7 yards a carry. This stat dictates that they control the line of scrimmage and in fact they did. Things to look for next game: LSU will probably have a definite advantage on the line with quickness. Mississippi State has historically been very big on the offensive line but slow. Mississippi State will definitely try to run the ball with Walker. Mississippi State will probably have a better passing attack than you see in a few years from them so getting heat on first year full time starter Kevin Fant will be a key. Linebackers – Grade B Statistically, Bradie James did not have a Bradie James game (5 unassisted 2 assisted tackles) but keep in mind Miami of Ohio threw the ball with 4 and 5 wide receiver formations. This usually does not correlate to big statistic numbers for your linebackers. With that, Bradie James had a solid game. He picked off his first pass of the year. The other three linebackers with playing time - Lawrence, Turner, and Vaughn combined for 4 assisted and 1 unassisted tackles. They need more production from these three. Things to look for next game: Expect Bradie James to have a big game. Our linebackers will have to plug the holes to stagger Mississippi State’s ground attack. One of the three remaining linebackers Lawrence, Turner, or Vaughn will need to step up and play a big game. They need to force more turnovers to help our offense. Defensive Backs – Grade A A lot of us have beaten this player down for the last two years. Hookfin had the best game of his career as a Tiger. He limited a potential NFL draftee in Branch to 4 catches for 21 yards. Great job Demetruis Hookfin! He was tested two or three times downfield and responded with great defensive plays. This group collectively limited a high-octave passing attack to 195 yards. Randall Gay has been a steady performer at the other corner position. He led the team with 7 unassisted and 2 assisted tackles. Things to look for next game: Limit Mississippi State on big plays in the passing department. Make them prove they can score on long drives. Interceptions!!! They need some in this game. Hoofkin one game does not make a career. Special Team – Grade A John Corbello was perfect on 4 field goal attempts. Kickoff coverage was good. They only punted 1 time for 39 yards but that was John Corbello for Donnie Jones. Donnie Jones got hurt on his first punt of the game. Davis had 6 punt returns for 116 yard for an average of nearly 20 yards a return. Things to look for next game: Carbon Copy/Duplicate this game. Coaching – A The coaching staff finally had LSU ready to play. Saban and Muschamp came up with a great defensive scheme. They threw a lot of different looks at the quarterback. Offensively it was Jimbo’s best game of the year. Things to look for next games: Defensively scheme to get pressure on the quarterback. Get the boys ready to play again. This is the SEC opening game. They have been 0-2 the last two years under Saban in SEC openers.