"The" game this year is LSU/AU

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by edyel, May 26, 2006.

  1. edyel

    edyel edyel

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    81
    This reporter's article seems to me to have some truths and some "I dont think so", statements. Without a doubt AU is going to be LSU's big game early on in the SEC. I don't agree with his assessment of our linemen;either side.




    Sports

    Printer Friendly Version
    Email This Story To A Friend

    AU Football Countdown: Reloading LSU expected to be a force

    Collin Mickle / Staff Writer
    May 24, 2006



    ADVERTISEMENT

    Editor’s Note: This is the third in a weekly series previewing Auburn’s 2006 football opponents. This week: LSU (Sept. 16).

    The 2006 Auburn University football season officially begins on Sept. 2, when AU plays Washington State.
    The Tigers start Southeastern Conference play one week later, against Mississippi State.
    But for many fans, the season won’t really be under way until Sept. 16. That’s when SEC West rival LSU comes to the Plains for the first really big game of the season.
    The annual AU-LSU game has high stakes: The winner has represented the West in the SEC Championship Game five of the last six years. Last year, LSU edged Auburn, 20-17, in overtime at Baton Rouge, La.
    Second-year LSU head coach Les Miles has 13 returning starters, though there’s no guarantee they’ll all be back in the starting lineup.
    That’s even true of junior quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Russell played well last year, his first as a full-time starter, but suffered an injury in the SEC title game.
    Junior Matt Flynn replaced Russell and was excellent.
    Flynn also excelled in spring practice, with Russell still sidelined. And redshirt freshman Ryan Perilloux, a big-time recruit last year, split first-team reps with Flynn in the spring.
    Odds are, Russell will reclaim his job, though Miles declined to name a starter at the end of spring practice.
    Whoever wins the job won’t lack for help. The Tigers’ offense is loaded, especially the skill positions.
    At running back, starter Joseph Addai is gone to the NFL. But speedy junior Alley Broussard - who missed all of 2005 with a knee injury - is back. So is senior Justin Vincent, though he is still recovering from knee surgery.
    And the Bengal Tigers’ three touted freshman tailbacks - Charles Scott, Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy - will get a long look in the preseason. Williams, widely considered a top-10 running back prospect, signed with LSU over offers from Southern California and Florida, among others.
    The receiving corps returns mostly intact, with talented seniors Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis backed up by juniors Xavier Carter and Early Doucet. The foursome might be the fastest group of receivers in the SEC.
    And the addition of three touted freshmen - Ricky Dixon, Chris Mitchell and Jared Mitchell - will make LSU even more dangerous.
    The only place LSU isn’t loaded offensively is up front. Only two starters return on the offensive line: Right tackle Brian Johnson and left guard Will Arnold.
    Redshirt freshman Ciron Black, who had an outstanding spring, inherits the tough task of replacing star left tackle Andrew Whitworth. Converted defensive tackle Carnell Stewart will compete with sophomore Brett Helms at right guard. Helms is also in the mix at center, where sophomore Ryan Miller is the early favorite to replace Rudy Niswanger.
    Under the direction of Nick Saban and Will Muschamp, LSU was known for its ferocious defenses. Saban is with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and Muschamp is AU’s new defensive coordinator, but the hard-hitting tradition is still alive on the bayou.
    That tradition could take a hit this year, though, unless a young defensive line grows up quickly. The only returning starter up front is end Chase Pittman, an adequate but unspectacular run-stopper. He’s likely to play in a rotation with senior Ryan Willis and sophomore Tyson Jackson.
    Star tackles Kyle Williams and Claude Wroten will be missed. Their likely replacements, junior Glenn Dorsey and sophomore Charles Alexander, just don’t demand double-teams the way Williams and Wroten did. One player who might is redshirt freshman Marlon Favorite, who impressed observers in spring practice but is listed as a backup heading into the fall.
    The situation is almost as dire at linebacker. Weakside ’backer Ali Highsmith has star potential, but classmates Luke Sanders and Darry Beckwith are inexperienced. There’s also not much on the depth chart behind any of the starters.
    The defensive backfield still looks like the usual star-studded LSU unit, though, starting with safeties LaRon Landry and Jessie Daniels. Landry, who has started 35 consecutive games for LSU, is a virtual lock for All-SEC honors and could be an All-America pick. Daniels is a big hitter despite his 5-foot-11, 200-pound frame.
    Standout corner Ronnie Prude is gone. But sophomore Chevis Jackson, a starter most of last season, returns. So does junior Jonathan Zenon and senior reserves Samuel Joseph and Daniel Francis.
    Strong-legged place-kicker/punter Chris Jackson is also back, though he may miss some preseason practice time with a leg injury sustained in the spring.
     
  2. cadillacattack

    cadillacattack Illegitimi non carborundum est

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,327
    Likes Received:
    184
    likewise for AU, it's a huge test that falls a lot earlier in the season than most Auburn fans would like.

    Not that it is much different in any year, but both teams will need to answer critical questions in their early games before they meet.

    It will be interesting to see how LSU's OL settles in, and if the QB battle has been a healthy one for the receiver corps. To beat Auburn, LSU must establish the run early - failure to do so will result in a loss on the Plains. I'm speculating that Searels will have the OL squared away in fall ball. Searels is a rising star among OL coaches - and its no surprise since he was a smart, astute player in his day.

    I recognize I'm in the minority on this, but I'm not sold on LSU's receivers yet. Speed merchants galore but a shortage of hands. If one receiver among this highly touted bunch can step-up and play the true, possession-receiver role of Josh Reed, their receiver corps will become the most feared unit in the SE. It's not about making spectacular catches, it's about moving the chains - as a unit. Additionally, the QB controversey - if it can be called that - always seems to affect most team's receivers more than the QB's themselves. If Mile's doesn't name a firm starter before fall ball, expect their to be some hangover among the WR's.

    Same game plan plan for AU. Establishing the run early will create mismatches in the passing game that can be exploited if Cox brings his A-game. TE's on linebackers in the seams, and Tre Smith/Lee Guess out of the slot position on the side of the field away from Landry. Those are the two leverage plays I would attempt to exploit against a Pelini scheme. His schemes were similarly susceptable at both Oklahoma and Nebraska .... the question is, "can a Tiger change his stripes?"

    Man, I can't wait :thumb:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. TejasTiger

    TejasTiger Founding Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    3,184
    Likes Received:
    49
    I don't think you're as much in the minority as you think regarding LSU's receivers...or, if you are, then count me as part of the minority.

    I think Buster Davis plays to his potential, but the rest (Bowe, Doucet, et al) do not.

    No excuses, none at all, going into 2006. It's time.

    Anyway, AU's the favorite, clearly, as we sit here in May. A CBS game, without a doubt.
     
  4. houtiger

    houtiger Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Messages:
    4,287
    Likes Received:
    390
    Good article, thanks for posting. If thats the worst they have to say about us, we should be in good shape. At LB, Sanders and Beckwith are inexperienced, but have talent, which usually rises to the top. I think we'll do well. Who knows, Catrera and maybe Charles Scott may get a go as backups.

    Auburn and Fl. look like our 2 biggest tests, then Tenn. and Bama. Bama needs a QB to step up and surprise, and develop on the O line.
     
  5. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    45,195
    Likes Received:
    8,733
    Brett Helms was also a starter last year before his injury.
     
  6. youcandoit1687

    youcandoit1687 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    15
    i think bowe plays close to his potential. hopefully that eye problem has been solved and he can be a little more of a playmaker. he has been the go to guy for us most of the time, alabama game, vanderbilt, florida, spring game etc. i say he is our number 1 followed by craig davis. hopefully doucet can step it up this year and live up to the 5 stars
     
  7. LuvDoc

    LuvDoc Founding Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    4
    Great article, and better f/u by Caddy!

    Only thing that stung was the intro: Five of six winners in AU/LSU game won the West. THe other, if I'm no mistaken, is the Arkansas team that won on the last second bomb blown coverage.
     
  8. Thorny

    Thorny Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    37
    Yes, Arkansas was the other, but the loser of the LSU/AU game was the one in position to go to Atlanta that year.

    GEAUX TIGERS
     
  9. edyel

    edyel edyel

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    81
    This is gonna be a snot slingin,down in the trenches game. Both Coach Miles and Coach Tuberville know this and I think they are planning their X&O's for this game. It is a make or break game for an entire season for whoever wins or loses.AU and LSU are very close talent wise but if I were a betting man I give the edge to the LSU TIGERS . What these guys went through last year (and survived!) is a testament to the entire coaching staff and the players themselves. I kind of have the attitude of MR. T. .. "I pity the poor fool that has to play LSU this year". I think Coach Miles has that same attitude.
     
  10. edyel

    edyel edyel

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    81
    I recognize I'm in the minority on this, but I'm not sold on LSU's receivers yet. Speed merchants galore but a shortage of hand



    This where LSU will suprise everyone in the SEC this year. Their running game will surpass all expectations. No brag,just fact.
     

Share This Page