By CODY WORSHAM | Tiger Rag Editor
LSU, once again, is in the market for an offensive coordinator – or will be soon.
Multiple reports, first from Tiger Rag featured columnist and Gannett News reporters Glenn Guilbeau and later confirmed by The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger, say Matt Canada will not return for a second season calling plays for the Tigers. The rift between Canada and head coach Ed Orgeron, brought to light when Orgeron “stepped in” to restrict Canada’s offense in LSU’s loss to Troy earlier this season, has grown large enough to make the two parties feel the need to part, despite significant financial sacrifices both would be forced to make.
Canada is owed $3 million over the next two seasons as one of the highest-paid coordinators in the country. He could play hard ball and demand the entire sum, which would be offset by any income he makes in his next position, but Dellenger reports the two sides are negotiating a buyout.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 28, 2017
A replacement candidate could be close to home. Guilbeau reports Steve Ensminger, who served as interim offensive coordinator after LSU fired Cam Cameron and Les Miles last year, might be in line to replace Canada.
It's looking like Steve Ensminger may replace Matt Canada as offensive coordinator for LSU after Citrus Bowl:https://t.co/WFaQJhcvHA
— Glenn Guilbeau (@LSUBeatTweet) December 27, 2017
Orgeron addressed his relationship with Canada earlier Wednesday, before news broke of the imminent change. He tersely dodged a question on if their relationship had been “mended” and only said the offense’s progression had been ‘fantastic.’
In Canada’s only season on the job, LSU finished 70th nationally in scoring offense (28.1 points per game) and 71st in scoring offense for conference games only (26.1 points per game). The Tigers ranked 53rd in total offense, averaging 412.1 yards per game, and they were 28th in yards per play (6.28). Canada’s offense was right in the middle of the pack nationally on third downs, converting 40 percent to rank 64th in the country, and it struggled in the red zone, scoring just 73 percent of the time, 101st among FBS teams.
The offensive coordinator position has been a revolving door over the last decade at LSU. Gary Crowton led a national championship-winning unit in 2007 but left after the 2010 season. Miles hired Steve Kragthorpe as his successor, but Kragthorpe was diagnosed with Parkinson’s before the 2011 season, handing the job off to Greg Studrawa. Miles hired Cam Cameron in 2013 after two seasons with Studrawa in charge, and Cameron left when Miles was fired last September.
Ensminger took over on an interim basis to finish the 2016 season, with ample success.
Not saying Zinger's the best choice. That'd be insane. But here are some numbers:#LSU offense in 8 games under Ensminger: 465 yards per game, 32 points per game.
LSU offense in 12 games under Canada: 412 yards per game, 28 points per game.
(no, he doesn't seem to want the job) https://t.co/DPaMmUvxqD
— Nick Suss (@nicksuss) December 28, 2017