Welcome to Film Room, our weekly analysis of LSU’s last football game. Have a seat. No talking. No tweeting. No texting. Pay attention.
(click photos to enlarge)
How They Happened (big-play analysis)
- In the shot above, you see that LSU has crowded the line with six defenders. Linebacker Deion Jones and safety Jalen Mills (both in blue) and Dwayne Thomas (red) are the non-linemen who have crept to the line. All of them are acting as if they’ll blitz. That, of course, won’t happen.
- What does happen: Jones and Mills drop into coverage (as you see in the photo to the right) and Thomas comes in completely free on a blitz from the edge. Thomas smacks ULM QB Pete Thomas after coming off the edge untouched. LSU rushed four guys (Thomas and three defensive linemen) against ULM’s five O-linemen but still got pressure. The Mustang doing its best.
Freshman’s big score: On third-and-one, Darrel Williams, running from the fullback position, rumbled 22 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0.
- LSU runs to the left side of the field, where tight ends Dillon Gordon and Colin Jeter are. Both Gordon and Jeter make great blocks on the play. ULM linebacker Hunter Kissinger (arrow) picks the correct hole, but he over-pursues.
- Louisiana-Monroe has what appears to be four guys free (No. 34 and three red circles) to tackle Williams (in blue). There was one problem: Williams is a big guy. The 230-pound Williams bounces off No. 34, LB Michael Johnson, Gordon blocks one of the three circled players and the other two crash into the pileup that Gordon and Williams create.
- Gordon takes out safety Mitch Lane and Williams hits Johnson, creating a jumbled mess that Junior Williams and Bryce Ray find. Ray was fooled just enough on the play by the decoy: RB Leonard Fournette.
Fournette’s TD rumble: RB Leonard Fournette scores from 24 yards out to put LSU up 24-0, a game-sealing victory late in the third quarter.
- This play is blocked to absolute perfection. Everyone involved gets his block. That includes Vadal Alexander on the linebacker, La’el Collins on the defensive tackle and TE Dillon Gordon on the defensive end (all in red circles).
- Fournette does something we haven’t seen in the first two games: He stays patient and waits for the blocks and the hole to materialize. Fournette follows his lead blockers, which include pulling RG Evan Washington (blue circle) and FB Connor Neighbors, who gets a great block on CB Trey Caldwell.
- Fournette does the rest, out-running two Louisiana-Monroe defensive backs down the sidelines. He shows some serious speed.
Big ugly blips and booms (O-line analysis)
- It wasn’t the greatest night for the line. In fact, LSU’s offensive line has probably not lived up to its preseason hype through three games. The unit has really struggled in spots, specifically in blocking at the second level (the linebackers). They haven’t created a ton of gaping holes. It doesn’t help that defenses are loading the box.
- In the first half alone, LG Vadal Alexander had five missed blocks, and Elliott Porter had three. Porter, in his first game action of this season, finished with four missed blocks and a hold and he stepped on Anthony Jennings’ foot at one point. Alexander had a unit-leading six misses. The Tigers had five missed pass blocks, including one on tight end Colin Jeter.
- All of this is probably a bit disturbing if you’re an LSU fan – this is against Louisiana-Monroe and it’s the third game of the season.
- There was some good. La’el Collins had at least three “booms” (great blocks that sprung a run). Jeter had two booms. He’s being used a ton and has shown a great ability to run-block. TE Dillon Gordon had two booms as well.
- Here’s the bad: Jennings had two misfires and he scrambled on a third down when WR Trey Quinn appeared to be wide open (check out that photo above). He completely misses Quinn, gets flustered in the pocket and scrambles for nine yards when LSU needed 10 for a first down. Quinn ran a great deep out route for 15-plus yards. Jennings also had that interception, throwing into triple coverage.
- The good: He broke two tackles on a 22-yard scramble for a first down. It was, really, a great run. He threw his best pass of the night to John Diarse while scrambling from the pocket. Jennings seems to be best when on the move. He found Diarse hovering in a zone defense. Jennings had to throw the pass into a tight window over a defender’s head. He threw it perfect.
- There wasn’t much to grade Harris on. He had an overthrow, but he also took a busted play and turned it into a first down with a nice scamper. However, the best thing he did was show some nifty feet in the pocket while stepping up to hit Dural with a nice pass. Check it out:
— Ross Dellenger (@DellengerAdv) September 15, 2014
- There were issues here. Leonard Fournette ran to the wrong hole twice. We have one of those shots to the right. Fournette chooses to go inside instead of following lead blocker Connor Neighbors over left tackle. That’s where the hole is. That play came on a third-and-2. Fournette gained one yard.
- LSU coaches are determined to get Fournette involved as much as they can. For instance, check out this formation. Fournette aligns behind Jennings while in the shotgun. He flares out to the flats, catches a pass and uses his speed along the sideline to pick up 20 yards.
- Magee had at least one play in which he ran right into his blockers instead of waiting for a hole to open, but he had a few breakout runs. Kenny Hilliard had a solid game, including a 4-yard touchdown run in which he met a defender at the 3 and then pushed him into the end zone.
- FB Connor Neighbors had the best game of his season so far. We charted Neighbors with a whopping seven booms. Check out the photo on the right. He pushes his man 10 yards into out-of-bounds territory on Hilliard’s run to the 1.
Five-yard out (WR analysis)
- There were three drops, all coming on the second drive of the game: Connor Neighbors, Trey Quinn and John Diarse had the dropped passes. Diarse bounced back to make a great catch (the one from above on the Jennings’ scramble), and Dural had a nice snag, too.
- Malachi Dupre had an ugly missed block on the outside. He was supposed to block the cornerback on a receiver screen play for Diarse. Outside of that drop, Quinn played fine. He caught a pass, turned a screen into a big gain and had a catch over the middle on a slant.
- Meanwhile, Travin Dural played with 13 stitches above his left eye. The shot above is from ESPN’s cameras during pregame.
Front Seven (Defensive linemen and linebacker analysis)
- Complete domination. LSU’s defensive line and linebackers combined for 11 “pressures” (pressures are heat on the QB that forced a poor play). Jermauria Rasco led the charge with five pressures. He’s having an impressive season so far.
- The defensive tackles had a banner day. Christian LaCouture had one pressure and two “attacks” (a disruptive play). Freshman Davon Godchaux had a pair of attacks, too, and backup MLB Kendell Beckwith had a pair.
- We charted only two missed tackles while the starting units were in (first three and a half quarters). Both whiffs were on LB Deion Jones.
Break It Up (secondary analysis)
- Another swarming day. This unit benefited from a defensive line that won the line of scrimmage. Ronald Martin might have had his best game, and Jalen Mills had at least one attack. Freshman Jamal Adams had an attack on a great run-stuffing tackle.
- Whenever Pete Thomas did find time to throw, the DBs were closely on their men. No separation at all.