3 Things to Watch For in LSU’s Spring Game
LSU football will hold their annual spring game this Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
Let's be honest, outside of the hardcore fans, spring games are not memorable.
In the moment, fans will watch and analyze, but once the season kicks off in the Fall, you won't find many fans or analysts reference the televised intrasquad scrimmage from April.
Having said that, spring games are a great way for a fanbase to wet their beaks and get a small glimpse of players they hope to see a lot more of when football season rolls around, whether they remember it or not.
Two years ago, fans saw strong offensive production in the spring game, the first look at an offense with Joe Brady as the passing game coordinator.
Once Joe Burrow starting lighting up college football, memories of spring ball were gone, and the focus was on the present.
With new coordinators in place on offense and defense for 2021, don't expect much sizzle this Saturday.
According to head coach Ed Orgeron, the sets will be basic.
“When you have a new offense and a new defense, you like to put the basics in and the core,” Orgeron said at his weekly teleconference this week. “The core run plays, the core pass protection, the core routes, the core defenses with one or two defenses, one or two coverages, one or two blitzes, that’s what we’ve done all spring.”
In other words, grade everything you see with a curve.
Kickoff is at noon at Tiger Stadium. Fans can attend for free.
Here are 3 things to watch for on Saturday.
1. Quarterback Battle - Max Johnson vs Myles Brennan
Orgeron named Johnson the starting quarterback for the spring game, then did his best to downplay it.
"He (Johnson) finished the season 2-0," said Orgeron. "It was hard for Myles (Brennan), and I could have gave Myles the first snap too. It really didn't matter. They're all competing for a job."
Who starts at quarterback always matters, even in a spring game. If it didn't, Orgeron wouldn't have said it was hard for fifth-year senior Myles Brennan to not get the start.
Orgeron also pointed out sophomore T.J. Finley and freshman Garrett Nussmeier are competing for the starting gig as well, and that the battle for the starting quarterback spot in 2021 is not set.
With a new offense in the early stages of installation, Johnson or Brennan has an opportunity to set themselves apart depending on how quickly they've picked up on the offense. Both will work with the first-team and second-team offenses.
2. New Defensive System Under Deronte Jones
Bo Pelini replacing Dave Aranda as defensive coordinator last season was similar to when Fresh Prince of Bel-Air replaced Aunt Viv with a new actress. Everyone could see a major difference instantly. The problem at LSU was the drastic difference was a drastic drop-off in play. A year after a 15-0 national championship season, the defense was historically bad under Pelini.
In a spring game when the defense will be basic, any positive signs will be welcome after the Pelini disaster.
3. The Trenches
The offensive line struggled a season ago, and several players need to take a big step. Will the starting right tackle be an easy decision, or will the Tigers have to settle? Can Dale Rosenthal reach his potential?
Speaking of potential, it seems the defensive line has it, but can it be reached? A dependable and consistent two-deep defensive line could work wonders for new defensive coordinator Deronte Jones.