The Daily Reveille sports staff shares their thoughts and score predictions following LSU's 33-17 win over Miami
Brandon Adam | Put the playoff predictions on hold for now
Fans might want to keep those playoff tickets in their cart and avoid hitting "confirm order" before seeing LSU play another top-notch opponent.
Yes, it was exciting watching LSU throttle No. 8 Miami in the opening game of the season on Sunday after all the predictions had LSU losing — myself included. However, before coughing up $250 for tickets back to Dallas for one of the CFP semifinal games, understand that LSU was far from perfect and Miami, who lost its last four games by a combined score of 129-58, may be vastly overrated.
LSU plays top 10-ranked Auburn on the road in 12 days, and the Baton Rouge Tigers haven’t won in Jordan Hare since a 12-10 victory in 2012.
This game will give a more accurate picture for LSU than Sunday’s game against the Hurricanes did, so for all those eager to buy playoff tickets, patience is key.
Myles Kuss l Physically overpowering
In the dominating 33-17 win over Miami, LSU showed something that was thought to be a question coming in: power in the trenches.
With a young offensive line and being without one of their top starters against Miami, the offensive line was definitely a question, but it was answered quickly. The young offensive line acted as if they had never heard of the “turnover chain” and the acclaimed stout defense and went at them the whole game.
Of course, giving credit to senior running back Nick Brossette, who rushed for 125 yards including an impressive 50-yard scamper through a massive hole created by the offensive line, he thrived off the physicality of the offensive line by hitting openings and running through defenders when necessary.
While Miami actually outgained LSU on offense, the physicality kept the game out-of-reach by getting crucial third downs and even a fourth-down conversion.
The physicality is something to be hopeful about, especially if the young guard Ed Ingram can return in the lineup, and it happened against a top-class defense from a year ago. The real question of physicality will come against Auburn on the road, but until then, the physical promise of the offense is something to look forward to.
Glen West | The offensive guru
Back in January when coach Ed Orgeron decided to promote tight ends coach Steve Ensminger to offensive coordinator, the decision was almost universally panned. Sunday night gave LSU fans some clarity on what to expect from the offense in the future.
After averaging 32 points per game as the interim coach in 2016, Ensminger picked up right where he left off, dropping 33 points on a Miami defense that had become notorious for its “Turnover Chain.”
This offense wasn’t particularly anything fancy like running jet sweeps every three plays, but it did showcase a number of talented offensive players the Tigers have at their disposal. Ensminger should also be commended for allowing his new starting quarterback, Joe Burrow, to make changes at the line of scrimmage, like the much talked about 4th-and-1 call in the first half that led to a touchdown.
Watching the Tiger offense has been an eyesore at times in recent years past, but Sunday night’s performance was fun to watch, and Ensminger’s offense is something every LSU fan should get behind.
Kennedi Landry | LSU has a quarterback, but it also has a kicker
Last year, I wrote about LSU’s “kicker controversy” in one of these Roundtables.
I wrote: “Contrary to LSU’s ‘quarterback controversy,’ neither kicker seems to be up the task this season. Sophomore Jack Gonsoulin and freshman Connor Culp, who will start against Florida, have gone a combined 3-for-7 total and 1-for-5 on field goals longer than 30 yards.”
I then went on to emphasize coach Ed Orgeron’s need to go out and recruit a kicker that could keep LSU in games, and win them. He did just that with DII graduate transfer Cole Tracy, who went a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals and tied a school record 54-yarder.
LSU’s special teams as a whole has shown perhaps the biggest improvement of any part of its overall game, thanks to newly hire special teams coordinator Greg McMahon.
Though Orgeron and McMahon only get to to utilize Tracy for one season, he could wind up making the difference in some big games.