The Tigers Defense:
For their play against Mississippi State, BJ Ojulari and Jay Ward earned SEC honors in the 31-16 win on Saturday in Baton Rouge. Jay Ward who plays both safety and the nickel for the Tigers was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week, while Ojulari was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week.
The Tigers limited Mississippi State QB Will Rogers to 214 yards through the air. A QB that had been averaging nearly 400 yards per game coming into the contest. LSU also limited the Bulldogs to just 75 yards on the ground, most of that yardage coming from two long runs by RBs Jo’quavious Marks (37 yards) and Dillion Johnson (35 yards)
THE (not so) BAD
The offensive line continues to gel and grow. However, the offensive line started not one, but two true freshmen at both tackle spots on Saturday. It looks as if Will Campbell and Emery Jones have solidified the spots for now. “Emery has exceeded expectations” said Head Coach Brian Kelly. “He has great feet, and he is a great open field tackler.”
Anthony Bradford has been activated as of this week and will compete for a starting role this week as well.
Look for the offensive line to get better as the season progresses.
For years special teams have been a solid benchmark of the Tigers. Kickers Cade York, and Cole Tracy coupled with Punters Avery Atkins, Zach Von Rosenberg, even going back to Josh Growden and Brad Wing. I can’t remember the last time special teams committed an unforced error like they did on Saturday in the fourth quarter. “I’ve gotta coach better” says Brian Kelly. “Moving off your spot at the 10 yard line that has to be coached. That falls on Brian (Polian) that falls on me.” However, when junior wide receiver Gregory Clayton came to the sidelines on Saturday he explained that “he thought he saw it (the ball) hit one of our players” said Kelly.
“I think we have to correct the things we can, and not over coach things.” – Brian Kelly
For these segments, these are things that can be fixed, and not a criticism of the coaching staff or players in anyway.