LSU VS CENTRAL MICHIGAN PREVIEW

Updated: Sep 20

DONATE TO CAJUNRELIEF.ORG & REDCROSS.ORG TO HELP THOSE AFFECTED BY HURRICANE IDA


by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips


9/18 CENTRAL MICHIGAN


During the off-season, Central Michigan Head Coach & shark necrophilia enthusiast Jim McElwain's program grabbed transfer QB Jacob Sirmon, who has some interesting potential:


Could this be a "KJ Costello vs LSU" sequel coming this weekend:

A transfer QB gutting LSU through the air with an offensive journeyman coach?


Beware of McElwain's offensive nous, but still...this is Daronte Jones' supremely talented 2021 unit taking on Central Michigan...expect extreme velocity from LSU's defense as they try to continue their 8 sack, 16 tackles for loss performance from last weekend.


On the other hand, LSU do not match up well vs traditional, old school "up the gut", Pro formation, run-based teams, which is McElwain's bread and butter.



Also in Central Michigan's arsenal?

Bagging yards over the middle via crossing or slant routes....a big problem for the Tigers since 2020 began.


Regardless of QB Jacob Sirmon's talents, this LSU defense will have no excuses if they get beaten up by McElwain's offense....absolutely none.

In fact, if LSU are to surrender near 200 rushing yards & more than 20 points on Saturday morning, then they better start planning for a future loss against Sam Pittman's 300+ yard rushing Hogs.


On the other side of the ball, our offensive line is still a resounding worry, and though Brad Davis' embattled crew are boosted by right guard Chasen Hines' re-appearance, I still don't feel like Hines is the most reliable upgrade.


While RT Austin Deculus may be able to slide back in vs Central Michigan, the risk of our veteran becoming re-injured just ahead of a grueling SEC schedule would be horrific.


Expect Charles Turner to start over the longtime LSU Legend;

Still trying to hit a record-breaking 60 appearances for LSU, Deculus has a dance with history now hanging in the balance.


LT Cam Wire is still out as well, which points Brad Davis' attention toward second year utility OL Xavier Hill to retain his starting spot at LT.


Believe it or not, the biggest problem on our OL is actually along the interior, where both "pro-potential" left guard Ed Ingram and Harvard graduate center Liam Shanahan have played as if they're both "tired and out of shape", to use their own quote.



We are yet to see a strong second level push from our OL, hardly busting the first pressure back, and rarely being able to blaze trails up the field.


Still, we should see a steady improvement at the least vs Central Michigan, right?


Right?


It's hard to say, but it's starting to feel like our running backs are on their own this season:

Ty Davis-Price, Corey Kiner, Josh Williams, returning transfer Tre Bradford and Armoni Goodwin (doubtful for Saturday) will have to go it alone most reps, hitting the space as it opens in front or to the side....with little options.


We must run the ball to the outside, especially concerning Ty Davis-Price.

With John Emery Jr out of contention, it's time LSU's fanbase unite behind TDP, and the same goes for our offensive staff:


When TDP receives 15+ touches, the former Southern Lab madman eclipses 100 yards, scores a touchdown, and LSU are undefeated....

Elsewhere...


I can't believe I'm having to say this, but our wide receivers have to step up big time...

8 drops vs McNeese is embarrassing, while freshman Jack Bech led the way producing 57 yards from just 4 catches (5 targets).


LSU's wide outs were lackadaisical vs McNeese and UCLA, highlighted by freshman Brian Thomas Jr dropping consecutive passes on back to back plays, only to shrug off an angry Coach O on his way to the sidelines.


Yes, he hauled in his first ever receiving touchdown, however the improving Trey Palmer only averaged 6 yards a catch vs McNeese.


Kayshon Boutte leads the way with 5 CFB-leading TDs

Jaray Jenkins was targeted just a trio of times...and for good reason: he dropped all three targets, two on 3rd down that were guaranteed to move the chains, and all three were thrown right to his hands.


As for Kayshon Boutte, college football's leading scorer (5 TDs), our offensive staff must help QB Max Johnson routinely find Kayshon at the snap: give him the ball in time, space and stride....


If Max can light it up with his favorite target, and if Offensive coordinator Jake Peetz dials up at least 12 Targets for Boutte, LSU could blow Ce