Friday, August 5, 2016

Will I see the same LSU play again, and again, and again?

LSU Play-Action Passing Game

Louisiana State University featured a potent rushing attack in the 2015 season, that featured some interesting wrinkles. However, if they are going to compete in their conference, then they will need to move the ball more effectively through the air.

Mark Schofield covers the LSU play-action passing game to show how the Tigers can reach the next level in 2016.

It is no secret that the strength of the Louisiana State University offense is their running game. Junior tailback Leonard Fournette is a preseason Heisman candidate and looks to build upon a strong 2015 season. Last year Fournette carried the football 300 times for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns, an average of 6.5 yards per carry. A scarier thought is that Fournette might not be the most talented running back on the roster; sophomore RB Derrius Guice notched 445 yards on only 51 carries last season, for a whopping 8.5 yard per attempt. When you consider that the Tigers also return starting center Ethan Pocic, starting left guard William Clapp, and right guard Josh Boutte (who started the season opener) it is a safe bet that LSU will feature the running game heavily in 2016.

But if the Tigers want to fulfill the promise afforded by a roster that returns 17 starters and knock the Alabama Crimson Tide off the top spot in the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division, they will need to improve in the passing game. Senior quarterback Brandon Harris returns and has a duo of talented receivers to target in the passing game: Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre.

Given the prowess of the Tigers’ rushing attack, their best means of attacking a defense through the air should stem from the timely use of play action.

To effectively draw in a defensive front through a play fake, however, takes more than Harris simply carrying out a good fake to either Fournette or Guice. To truly sell the run, it takes the entire offensive unit to show run, to convince defenders that the football will stay on the ground. Defenders up front often key not on the quarterback or the football to make their run/pass read, but rather on the linemen up front. For example, a linebacker might read first the movements of the center and the guard to determine whether a running play is coming, or if the quarterback is going to take to the skies.

Therefore, on play-action plays, the offensive line needs to show the defense some “run keys” to truly convince the defense a running play is coming.

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Thomas Williams 

So everyone has heard how other people criticize their favorite college football team last year, by saying. “They are running the same play over and over again, just like LSU.”

Well you can carry Les Miles around LSU Tiger Stadium like an LSU mascot all you like. And I did see how a lot of the LSU football fans are not all that bothered about losing to Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss, like those loses affected me. So if I see the same Les Miles college football plays failing again in 2016, I’m going fishing instead. Because just watching LSU play football for the Show sake is really not for me.
Mark Schofield covers the LSU play-action passing game to show how the Tigers can reach the next level the Southeastern Conference in 2016.

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