STOCK REPORT: What went right (not much) and wrong for LSU against Wisconsin

By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Here’s the stock report from LSU’s 16-14 loss to Wisconsin Saturday afternoon. Spoiler alert: the bad outweighed the good.

STOCK UP: Aranda’s defense

Dave Aranda didn’t get the reunion he hoped for with the program he bolted this offseason to land a raise in Baton Rouge, but to be fair, that was hardly his fault. The Tiger defense held its own for all but one drive, a Badger touchdown march to begin the second half, and managed to keep LSU in the game despite a sputtering offense that left them on the field for nearly two-thirds of the game and gave the ball away twice in its own end of the field. There were some hiccups that must be corrected, namely tackling and covering the tight end, but all in all, Aranda’s unit looked solid in its debut.

STOCK UP: Lambeau Field

Saturday marked the first major college game played in the historic cathedral of football, and take it from someone who was there, it served as a magnificent venue. The building itself is fantastic, rivaling any NFL stadium, despite the fact that “steeped in history” translates roughly to “old.” The town and the people who live there love their football, and hopefully, this isn’t the last college game housed at Lambeau, even if the Tigers probably aren’t thinking a return trip. Oh, and don’t forget the food. They put out the largest selection of grub I’ve ever seen for the media contingent. (Hey, you have to search far and wide for ‘stock up’ after a game like that)

STOCK DOWN: Communication

It seemed like it had been a while since Les Miles committed a time management faux pas, didn’t it? Well, as these things tend to do, communication issues came back to haunt LSU in a game it could ill afford to have such setbacks. Miles had to burn two timeouts in the third quarter when LSU couldn’t get the play in, both of which stalled promising drives. One, Miles said, was caused by the headsets going out. Time to reevaluate having every full-time assistant on the sideline, perhaps? The lack of timeouts also prevented him from stopping the clock to give his offense one more shot after Brandon Harris’ game-sealing interception.

STOCK DOWN: Offensive line

While there’s plenty of blame to go around for Harris, LSU’s wide receivers and the offensive gameplan Miles and Cam Cameron installed — specifically the lack of innovation after months of lip service that change was coming — LSU’s struggles Saturday stemmed from being whipped at the point of attack by a team missing its top two linebackers. There weren’t much in the way of holes for the ground game nor protection for Harris produced by LSU’s reshuffled front. On one play, a Badger linebacker blitzed up the middle unblocked and stripped Harris before he could hand to Leonard Fournette. That’s not to mention Josh Boutte likely earned himself a suspension with a vicious cheap hit that got him ejected. This group needs to get its act together — and quick.

About James Moran 1377 Articles
James Moran was Editor of Tiger Rag from August 2018 to October 2019. He previously served as the associate editor since 2014. He is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

4 Comments

  1. Led miles needs to be ejected also and forever! Led can’t change, we need a new coach and new offensive coordinator like major Apple white?

  2. We shouldn’t be surprised that the game was a defensive struggle, with no TD scored the first half. After all, it was Dave Aranda’s old defense against his new defense.

    If, as I was, you were anticipating the “new LSU offense” that we were promised after Miles was taken to the woodshed and almost fired last November because of his pedestrian offenses, you’re still waiting.
    I saw nothing new except maybe the looping pass to Fournette down the sideline to set up the second TD after the fumble recovery. It was by far Harris’s best pass of the day and gave a tantalizing (and frustrating) view of his ability.
    I thought the turning point of the game would be Wisconsin’s decision to throw the ball on 3rd down from inside their 10. White intercepted and ran for our first TD. Then a minute later, the fumble recovery set up the go-ahead TD.
    But the worn-out defense – thanks to LSU going 2-for-10 on 3rd down conversions to help Wisconsin to a 37-to-23 advantage in time of possession – gave up enough yardage to allow the Badgers to kick the winning FG.
    Going into the season, I thought one positive for LSU was the fact that Miles was coaching for his job. However, I saw no evidence that Les has made any changes to the offense. He apparently thinks he is bulletproof after surviving the November purge. Either he is ignoring the warnings supposedly given by AD Joe Alleva to improve the offense or else or he is incapable of doing so. He looked more “beaten” after the game than ever before. He has to pull himself together so that he can rally the team for the rest of the season, which can still be a highly successful one.
    Finally, it’s time to say that Cam Cameron has been a MAJOR disappointment. We can’t blame the poor QB play entirely on Miles. True, the offensive staff could help Harris with a more imaginative game plan but when he panics under pressure and throws the ball right to a defender instead of running or throwing it into the ground, that’s on his QB coach. Brandon’s had an entire year of starting under his belt. Steve Spurrier said a player will play only as well as he’s coached.

  3. Alumni lets rally together, buy out Miles’ and his buddy the OC’s contract, and force these clowns out. He obviously doesn’t have the class to step down. We need to put enough pressure on the AD to reach down and find his nuts and do what has to be done for our football program.

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