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Hall of Famer Willie Roaf expects Steve Ensminger to excel as LSU’s offensive coordinator

LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger

It has been 20 years since Steve Ensminger was a full-time offensive coordinator in college football. With that long of a hiatus, any glimpse into his past as a play-caller is a speculative glimpse into the future for LSU fans.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Willier Roaf provided a peek into his experience with Ensminger as offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech from 1988-90.

“It was great,” Roaf said on “Off the Bench” on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge. “We had a real good offense.  We would run the ball and pass the ball. We did it all.”

Roaf  explained how Ensminger would shift his lineman to create competitive advantages.

“I was the weak(side) tackle, so we would flip-flop during the games,” Roaf remembers. “You had to be pretty athletic. We played left and right the whole game. It just mattered what the formation was.”

Roaf referenced the 1990 Bulldogs, who went 8-3-1 and ranked 21st nationally at 30.4 points per game.

“We would run the ball, pass the ball, we ran a pro set offense and we spread the ball around,” Roaf said. “We mixed it up and it was a lot of fun.”

Ensminger served as interim OC at Auburn in 2008 and then at LSU in 2016. Ed Orgeron promoted him to the full-time OC job after Matt Canada and LSU mutually agreed to part ways after the 2017 season.

As for the long gap in coordinator jobs, Roaf does not feel that it will be a detriment.

“It would be one thing if Coach Ensminger hadn’t been around and hadn’t been in the game this whole time,” he said. “But Coach Ensminger has been around the game…He’s been watching film and studying it, so I think he can evolve. It’s not like he’s been detached from the game. He’s been around the game and coaching the game for the last 30 years.

“He’s going to want a balanced attack—run and pass—and he’s going to take shots down the field.”

Ensminger is not only working in a new offense, but new personnel to run that offense. Quarterback Danny Etling is gone to graduation and the Tigers’ top two running back and receivers along with three starting offense lineman are off to the NFL Draft.

LSU will unveil its new offense in Arlington against Miami, Sept. 2.

RELATED: New Tigers coach Bill Busch excited about first impressions at LSU.

(You can follow Matt Moscona on Twitter @MattMoscona)

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