Don’t let a 28-27 final score fool you. LSU’s National L Club Spring Game Saturday in Tiger Stadium was an affair largely dominated by the defense.
Ed Orgeron asked for patience from fans with only 35 percent of the new offense installed. While there were flashes of talent and promise from young players and newcomers, Orgeron knows his team has a lot of growing to do before opening the season September 2nd against Miami in Arlington.
Here are a few observations from Saturday’s game:
LSU managed to escape its first 14 practices of spring without a major injury. The Tigers weren’t as fortunate Saturday.
Starting safety Grant Delpit suffered a broken collarbone when a receiver landed on top of him as he went to the ground while defending a pass in the second half. Delpit tweeted that he will have surgery Monday.
The rising sophomore played in all 13 games last season with ten starts. His 60 tackles were fourth on the team. He has plenty of time to get healthy for the start of fall camp and the Tigers will need him to be one of the leaders of the defense that might have to carry a young offense early in the season.
True to his word, Orgeron rotated all three quarterbacks equally between the first and second team offense. Whatever questions existed before Saturday are still unsolved after the action.
Justin McMillan led the way completing 14-of-29 passes for 216 yards and a score. He managed the game well, but accuracy and arm strength were his obvious shortcomings.
Myles Brennan was 11-of-23 for 113 yards and a score, also throwing the game’s only interception.
Lowell Narcisse was just 6-of-13 for 205 yards and a score. The touchdown was a 94-yard catch-and-run by Justin Jefferson that would have never happened in a real game because Narcisse would have been sacked on the play.
Orgeron and Steve Ensminger seem no closer to naming a starter than they were at the start of spring practice. That may be good for competition, but it certainly does not bode well for the development of a new offense.
Hurry back, Saahdiq
Sophomore tackle Saahdiq Charles did not participate this spring while recovering from shoulder surgery. Charles played in all 13 games as a true freshman with starts at both guard and tackle. His absence might have solidified his spot a starting left tackle.
JUCO transfer Badara Traore earned the nod Saturday and struggled to contain LSU’s edge rushers, beaten badly at times by K’Lavon Chaisson and Rashard Lawrence.
Traore is a nice prospect who, by all accounts, had a productive spring. He just my not be ready to block the best pas rushers in the SEC.
Center of attention
Llyod Cushenberry and freshman Cole Smith battled to replace Will Clapp in the center of the offensive line. Both had their struggles Saturday. There were two fumbled snaps, a false start and Smith tripped Narcisse during a drop back in the second quarter.
If offensive line coach James Cregg is serious about getting the best five linemen on the field, he might look at Garrett Brumfield or Damien Lewis in the fall.
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