First of all, I will try to be objective in my comments. I will comment from an overall standpoint first. LSU won the game. That is the first positive. To tell you the truth, I really cannot find too many others because it is so hard to gauge anything from playing a division II School. I know LSU had no choice when Bowling Green canceled the game but I think we need to do a much better job in the future of scheduling. I think Saban understands that and is attempting to alleviate this problem. Quarterbacks: Grade – D I really want to see improvement in this area and want to be objective. I can only evaluate from what I see. We know Mauck can throw the bubble screen. Hell 50% of his completions have been from the bubble screen. I can complete a bubble screen. They just did not throw the ball downfield. When they did throw downfield, Mauck overthrew wide-open receivers by 5-10 yards. He also missed wide-open receivers and threw a very bad interception. Don’t get me wrong; Mauck is not the only problem with this team right now. The LSU coaching did not take advantage of playing a DIV II school and work on passing downfield. The yards and completions LSU had in passing game are basically glorified running plays. Even Saban admitted this on inside LSU Football when he was talking about the bubble screen. I know the bubble screen is very effective but LSU’s quarterbacks need to work on more than throwing bubble screens. Randall was unimpressive in his first playing time of the season. He was unable to lead the team to any points on his two series. Things to look for next game: Improvement and downfield passing Running Backs Grade: - A LSU ran at will against this team, as it should have. Three different running backs gained over 80. LSU showed its depth at running back. The running backs did not put the ball on the carpet either. Both Davis and Addai ran real hard breaking several tackles. Things to look for next game: I think LSU will need to run the ball just as effective against Miami of Ohio as they did against The Citadel and continue to minimize mistakes. Wide Receivers: Grade – D I think the receivers, or as one radio show called them “The Weapons”, have just not showed up this year. They have been firing blanks. Again we dropped balls and turned it over with a fumble. I just do not see the separation from wide receivers against the defensive backs. Once again, it’s hard to evaluate when you have not thrown the ball in the air longer than 10 yards pass the line of scrimmage for a completion. Speeds kills and LSU has it all over the field but fundamentals and route running is well underrated and LSU’s receivers have yet to master this. Things to look for next game: Improvement and no dropped passes, which they should catch. We also need to see some separation. Offensive Line: Grade – B I think the line did a good job. For the most part, Mauck had time to throw the ball and LSU ran at will. However, there were a few series where LSU did not control the line of scrimmage and that should not have happened against a team like The Citadel. Things to look for next game: Consistency in both run and pass blocking. I think we need to give enough time for Mauck to throw the ball because defenses will just leave 8 men in the box and force LSU to throw the ball. Defensive Line: Grade – D- - - This would have been an F if LSU had not won the game. The Citadel trap block the defensive line right out of Tiger Stadium in the third quarter. We had zero sacks and zero pressure on the quarterback. Let me repeat myself. WE HAD ZERO SACKS AND NO QUARTERBACK PRESSURE. Do you think the defensive line showed up to play with intensity? NO! LSU gave up over 100 yards rushing and The Citadel actually control the line scrimmage more than you would have like them too. I do not want to single anyone out because I think they collectively stunk. Things to look for next game: We must be able to put pressure with our front 4. Miami of Ohio can throw the ball and we all know what our weakness is on defense. Defensive pressure with our front 4 is a key. Linebackers: Grade – B Bradie James had a very good game. Lawrence is a senior and needs to start playing like a senior. It seems like he has been invisible the last two games. Turner and Vaughn have been alternating time. Vaughn is still learning but his quickness and speed is an upside. Things to look for next game: We need a solid performance from this group. Minimize miss tackles in the open field and assist in pressuring the quarterback. Defensive Backs: Grade – C James interception for a towndown was a good play. LSU passing yards allowed per game looks real good – roughly around 85/game. That stat is a little misleading though. Some people are practice players and some people are game time players. I will categorize Hookfin as a practice player. Coaches raved all spring and fall about the improvement he has made. I do not want to jump on the “Bash Hookfin Bandwagon” because I know he is probably giving 100%, but it is not correlating to production on game day. I mentioned previously that most defensive backs that lack height make up for it with speed and good fundamentals. Hookfin is not making up for it with speed and good fundamentals. It has been apparent the first two games with below average passing attacks. For the second straight game Hookfin has received a defensive pass interfere penalty although I did not agree with the one in the VA Tech game. This all stems from poor technique and putting yourself in the right position. The opposing coaches all know what LSU’s weak link is. Things to look for next games: Improvement – Miami of Ohio can throw the ball and LSU defensive back will be tested. Special Teams: Grade – B Kickoff coverage team was very good. Punting improved. We are getting way too many penalties on punt returns. Once again, we got a punt return for a towndown called back on a block in the back that did not have to happen. Saban talked about this after the game and on Inside LSU Football. We have to have better field awareness on special teams. Things to look for next game: Positive plays, no penalties, and consistency Coaching: Grade – F I’m sorry. I know some people might disagree but let me explain. For the second straight week, the coaches put a goose egg up. I did not see the so call intensity that they wanted to display after not showing up in the VA Tech game. The offensive game plan just plain sucked. I know LSU was vanilla and did not want to show too much. They knew they could run the ball and they did. I was disappointed that we did not take the opportunity to work on our passing game, which we knew needed work. Throwing bubble screens or quick passes is not working on the passing attack and this consisted to 70-80% of the passes thrown. Things to look for next game: Have the team ready to play - NO EXCUSE, diverse offensive attack, and we need a shakeup in the defensive backfield. One last thing, I am a big proponent of statistics. A lot of people say statistics are for the birds. I think you can learn a lot from statistics. LSU vs The Citadel statistics: First Downs LSU 19 The Citadel 13: This one looks pretty even to me. This interprets to we did not move the ball. This can be deceiving if we scored all our points on big plays which is not the case. Only Toefield’s run was a big play. Rushing Yards LSU 293 The Citadel 132: Advantage LSU. 132 is still too many yards to give up rushing. Take into account, The Citadel was down big early. That usually does not dictate to a whole lot of rushing yards. Passing Yards LSU 107 The Citadel 104: This is ridiculous. You would think this was a Power I option fest Okahoma-Nebraska game of the late 70s and 80s. Turnovers LSU 3 The Citadel 2: You would have hope LSU would have force more turnovers than this. Actually losing the turnover better to The Citadel is bad. I do not know why it feels like a lost even though LSU won the game 35-10. I guess that is why you don’t schedule a DIV II School because nothing really positive comes out the game. Rent a Win! I’m not jumping off the bandwagon or holding up the white flag but let’s take a realistic look at this. Right now, LSU is not a Top 25 team. In fact, they are not playing like a Top 50 team. This team needs to make big improvements. There is no need to panic, because I think we have the people in place to correct the mistakes. I think as LSU fans, we can be satisfied with an 8-4 record and realistically 7-5 if this team does not drastically improve in the next couple of weeks. It would not surprise me if LSU loses to Miami of Ohio next week. I have a friend who is an Iowa graduate and a big Iowa fan. He watched the Iowa and Miami of Ohio game this weekend and said Miami of Ohio has a real good team. They threw for over 300 yards against Iowa and lost 29-24. The game was competitive the whole time. Geaux Tigers.