Question and answer with our friend, Faimon, from Pelican State Sports. Check out his blog to see my answers to the same questions.
1) If you were your team's coach, how would attack the other teams offense/defense?
If I was Les Miles, I would need bigger pants hold my nuts. But after securing trousers with a big enough banana-hammock, I imagine I would attack the Tide like this:
LSU on Offense: Bama’s defense has been fairly stout, but not outstanding. Luckily for the Tide, their (relative) weakness is pass defense, and that is where LSU struggles the most. But, assuming Early Doucet and Matt Flynn are both fully healthy, that adds a dimension to the passing attack. LSU must keep doing what it has been doing, meaning utilize lots of formations. Run Hester and Scott from the I-formation to pound the ball. Run Holiday and Williams out of the shotgun and the pistol, on both the zone read and the option, the toss, draws, delays and screens. And then I would look to run some play-action passes, hit Dickson over the middle and try to work Byrd and Lafell deep on the outside, and Early Doucet for mid range routes. I would run a 60-40 run-pass offense with this group of LSU players. There are so many talented ball-carriers, and being able to run at will makes the passing game so much easier. LSU also has to utilize its power, so that by the fourth quarter Bama, which doesn’t have a ton of depth, is tired. LSU has been better in the second half of its last two wins and it needs to play some ball-control to grind Bama down.
LSU on Defense: Three words: blitz, blitz, blitz. LSU should be able to stop the fun in the base defense, so the focus has got to be on stopping the pass, something the Tigers have struggled a bit with against Kentucky and Auburn. The Tigers need to get some hits on JPW early, make him think about them the whole game. At this point, I don’t know if Glen Dorsey will be playing after that Barn cheap-shot he took, but it is obvious from the last 3 games that expecting sufficient pressure to come from the front four is unrealistic. Pelini must bring pressure from many different angles, too. Brandon Cox was able to buy time on roll-outs, so Pelini needs to anticipate this and utilize the corners on outside blitzes. In the secondary, press DJ Hall, but shade a safety towards him, too. He is a very good receiver and will kill a team if you let him, as the Tennessee game showed.
2) Who on the other team scares you the most? Terry Grant scares me a little. Javier Arenas scares me a bit on special teams. DJ Hall scares me a lot. JPW scares me if he is given time to throw. Les Miles scares me more than all Bama players, coaches, and fans put together.
3) Who do you think your team can take advantage of, etc.
I don’t know of any specific players that we can take advantage of, except perhaps JPW. If LSU is able to exploit his lack of mobility and tendency to just hang it up sometimes, then I think it will be a long night for the Tide offense. Other than that, I think LSU has to exploit its offensive depth to keep the Tide defense off-balance and by the end of the game, tired. Bama has shown the will to fight to the end, but I don’t think that they have the depth to stay with LSU for 60 minutes. If LSU is able to wear down the Bama defense, I expect LSU to pull away in the fourth quarter and win by 10 or more.