Bayou Bengal Briefing: Did LSU prove it’s a serious contender against BYU?

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How impressive was that?

In a development that genuinely shocked me, the day-after fan reaction to LSU’s 27-0 season-opening victory against BYU on Saturday was sort of mixed.

On the one hand, there was this: a series of proud, confident fans who were pleased with LSU’s showing, especially Dave Aranda’s defense.

On the other hand, there was this:

No one is griping about the defense’s showing. When you’re missing three starters and your opponent doesn’t cross the 50-yard line all game, there’s not much to complain about.

But if you really think about the way Matt Canada’s offense looked, you can understand why people are concerned. Fifty-seven rushes compared to 18 passes isn’t exactly the widespread offensive change LSU fans were promised. Even if LSU was motioning and shifting all across the field, there were still a ton of halfback dives and off-tackle runs.

That said, you have to take what your opponent gives you. And LSU put on a master class in doing that, holding the ball for 41 minutes, 54 seconds. No other team in the nation, not even triple-option powerhouse Navy, crossed the 40-minute mark this opening weekend. And when things are working that smoothly, why deviate?

Does a win like this make LSU the favorite in the SEC? Of course not. There’s no way to compare what LSU did against BYU to what Alabama did versus Florida State. But it’s hard to come away from LSU’s win and think less of the Tigers, especially if what coach Ed Orgeron and running back Derrius Guice said is true and Canada only showed about 10 percent of his offense.

Also: Let’s not forget LSU used 17 true freshmen and started five. LSU’s performance on Saturday might not have proved LSU can win a national title today. But if this squad progresses as a young team should, we might be having a different discussion in three months.

Your weekly LSU football poll question

I’ll leave this debate up to you. How do you grade the LSU football team’s performance Saturday? Vote in the poll below and we’ll discuss your answers in the Bayou Bengal Briefing on Tuesday.

Create your survey with SurveyMonkey

The great running backs debate

Guice had a pretty good game Saturday. He took it easy in the second half but still came away with 120 yards and 2 touchdowns. Respectable, but maybe not on par with his usual performances.

All offseason, many people (myself included) hyped Guice as the best running back in college football. Which he still might be. But let’s use this Briefing, and future Mondays throughout the season, to compare Guice against the best backs the nation has to offer. Here’s the comparison board after Week 1:

Player Carries Yards TDs YPC
Derrius Guice, LSU 27 120 2 4.4
Saquon Barkley, Penn St. 14 172 2 12.9
Nick Chubb, UGA 15 96 2 6.4
Ronald Jones III, USC 18 159 3 8.3
Damarea Crockett, Missouri 18 202 2 11.2
Bo Scarbrough, Alabama 15 40 0 2.7

Reading the coverage

After Alabama versus Florida State ended, the whole nation had its eyes on LSU. So, how did the national media react to LSU’s victory over BYU? Let’s take a look:

No, it offends me as a comedian

ESPN’s commentators made the news Saturday night for doing Orgeron impressions.

I hate to break it to you, ESPN. Everyone thinks they can do an Orgeron impression. Almost everyone is wrong. Because let’s be real: These commentators are doing impressions of Farmer Fran from The Waterboy.

And then there’s the whole deal about making fun of Cajuns because of the way they sound. I don’t think that’s what this is. I think it was all lighthearted fun. But it all reminds me of a scene from Seinfeld when Jerry is concerned his dentist converted to Judaism just to tell jokes.

I’ll paraphrase Jerry’s sentiment: These impressions shouldn’t offend you as a Cajun. They should offend you as people who should have higher standards for Orgeron impressions.

Your weekly LSU non-revenue sports recap

We all know the LSU football team won Saturday. But how did LSU’s smaller sports perform? Let’s take a look:

  • LSU volleyball improved to 6-0 on the season with three wins in Storrs, Conn., against Hartford, UConn and Iona. For a team that had nine wins all of last season, this is a pretty impressive start.
  • Speaking of undefeated, LSU soccer improved to 5-0 with a 3-1 victory over Austin Peay on Sunday. LSU has outscored its opponents, 15-1, in the early season.
  • The LSU women’s cross country team won the New Orleans Invitational, while the men’s team finished second.

Today in very real holidays

Monday is Labor Day here in the United States. If you have the day off from work, celebrate it. Because the LSU football team has decided to practice through Labor Day this year. The squad will be on the practice field Monday beginning approximately at 5 p.m. CT.

I’ll be there to check out what the Tigers are up to. So, I guess I won’t be celebrating Labor Day this year either. Darn. I guess y’all will have to celebrate for me.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns  right here.

The post Bayou Bengal Briefing: Did LSU prove it’s a serious contender against BYU? appeared first on SEC Country.

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