It doesn't take a football expert to see that LSU has its share of problems. All you have to do is sit down and watch them play for 10 minutes, and that fact becomes quite apparent.
It doesn’t take a football expert to see that LSU has its share of problems. All you have to do is sit down and watch them play for 10 minutes, and that fact becomes quite apparent.
After the loss to Troy, many were wondering if they’ll actually make it to a bowl game this year. Some were wondering if they’d even win another game.
LSU bounced back and earned a gritty win against Florida, but even with the victory, the deficiencies were still visible.
The biggest issue for LSU this season has been all the departures from the program in the past two years finally coming back to bite them.
Over the past two seasons, a laundry lift of players have bolted from Baton Rouge, and as a result, the Tigers are thin at multiple positions.
Two of the positions that have been most heavy affected just so happen to be two of the most important positions in football.
You win in the trenches. LSU’s lack of depth and experience at both the offensive and defensive lines have made them a very ordinary football team in 2017.
The offensive line already lost both Ethan Pocic and Josh Boutte to the draft, but right before the season began, starting guard Maea Teuhema transferred for academic purposes.
What made his departure that much more damaging was the fact that four other offensive linemen had left the program earlier in the offseason. This list included Chidi Okeke, Andy Dodd, Willie Allen and Seth Stewart.
As a result, LSU has only 11 scholarship offensive linemen.
It surely doesn’t help that starters Toby Weathersby and Donavaughn Campbell have both had to miss games. Campbell has been battling injuries since early in the season.
Campbell is just a sophomore. Freshmen Ed Ingram is starting, and sophomore Adrian Magee has had to be tossed out in the fire as well.
The defensive line has been gutted even more by departures, injuries and eligibility issues.
Defensive end Davon Godcaux left early for the draft. He’s starting right now for the Dolphins.
Over the past two years, end Sione Teuhema and pass rusher Isaiah Washington transferred, tackle Trey Lealaimatafao was kicked off the team and tackle Travonte Valentine left the program in the midst of academic issues.
Nose tackle Tyler Shelvin has been declared academically ineligible for this season, and senior defensive end Frank Herron was ineligible until this week.
Already extremely thin, the Tigers’ best defensive lineman in Rashard Lawrence has been dinged up all season. He was forced to miss three games. Two of those games ended up being losses.
His backup, Ed Alexander was forced to miss two full games and most of the Mississippi State loss.
The receiving corps is an issue as well.
In the last two seasons, four highly-touted wideouts have left the program. This includes Tyron Johnson—who was the No. 2 receiver prospect in his class—and Trey Quinn. He was the No. 3 receiver in his class.
They also lost a player in John Diarse that had 421 yards and three touchdowns in his freshman and sophomore years and four-star prospect Jazz Ferguson.
With junior Malachi Dupre leaving early, LSU was left with a thin and inexperienced bunch this year.
D.J. Chark had to step up to be the team’s top wideout, despite the fact that he had zero career catches prior to his junior season.
Russell Gage, Drake Davis, Stephen Sullivan and Derrick Dillon had a combined six catches coming into 2017.
Gage was a cornerback prior to last season. Davis, Sullivan and Dillon are all sophomores.
What is LSU’s problem?
They’re very young, very inexperienced, and most importantly, they’re very depleted in key positions.
Can it be fixed?
Yes, but it could take time.
Young players have to grow. Coach Ed Orgeron has to recruit junior-college kids that can immediately step in and fill glaring holes in the trenches.