After a bye week to recover and take some time prepping for LSU, game week is here and the Hogs have a mountain of a team in LSU to face this weekend. To get a little insight on the Tigers we asked And The Valley Shook’s Billy Gomilla about the Tigers. Big thanks to him and as always, check out their work as well.
1. It felt like a lot of preseason predictions this year were setting off a lot of alarms for this LSU team struggling, that clearly hasn’t been the case. What’s been the biggest factor for this year’s success?
Well, first and foremost, the defense, obviously. That was the big reason I never bought into the more dire predictions this summer. Additionally, special teams has helped big time both with field position, and with making sure that LSU generally scores when they get in range. Heck, LSU was a decent kicker away from being 11-2 last year, so that being the difference in this team isn’t all that surprising, outside of having a more difficult schedule.
2. After getting Bama’d, is there any fear of some kind of hangover in this game?
I think that’s always something that worries me, just because everybody here gets so into that game and attaches so much to the results. But to date, a defining trait of LSU’s teams under Orgeron has been resiliency, especially after a loss. That gives me a lot of hope for them to bounce back well, but we’re talking about college kids, so its always something to worry about.
3. In their usual fashion, LSU’s defense looks to be full of some freakishly athletic players. Who are some of the standouts there and how do they compare to past players?
The two biggest stars are returnees -- linebacker Devin White and safety Grant Delpit, who are both All-American candidates. But defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko has been a nice addition, even if he doesn’t have the gaudy stats in LSU’s 3-4 defense. Cornerback Kristian Fulton being back from suspension has been a huge addition as well, working opposite Greedy Williams. He’s been incredibly consistent as a cover guy.
4. How would you explain to a Hog fan that hasn’t seen Joe Burrow play much this year what he’s done well despite not having huge numbers?
For the most part, it’s been decision making. He hasn’t made a ton of mistakes with any regularity, save for his two interception game against Florida. He makes good reads on the option, and rarely puts the ball up for grabs, even if he hasn’t been as accurate as we’d hoped. He’s been the classic game manager in a lot of ways. Making good calls at the line and keeping things moving. It would be nice to see that translate into more points, though, especially against a better defensive match-up than LSU has seen in recent weeks.
5. Finally, how do you see this game playing out?
I’m pretty confident in LSU’s defense holding the Razorbacks down. The big key to me will be how fast the offense gets going. I’m hoping that the offensive line will play with some fire after getting embarrassed last week, and that will help establish the run and take a little more pressure off Burrow. If that’s effective, LSU can eventually pull away. If it’s really effective, it could happen sooner.