THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE
47.0 points per game and 543.7 yards per game.
Those are the numbers the LSU defense will hear many times from coaches before Saturday’s kickoff against Texas A&M.
Those numbers are the Aggies season averages on the offensive side of the ball.
And as impressive as those numbers may be, LSU has a simple solution to make sure the Southeastern Conference newcomers don’t replicate those numbers against it.
Hold the football.
“They’re a team that wants to try and put up a lot of points and the best way for us to stop them from doing that is to have the ball for 30-plus minutes and dominate time of possession,” said quarterback Zach Mettenberger. “That’s how we play football here. It’s been that way since Coach Miles has been here. We want to dominate time of possession and win the turnover battle.”
The Tigers were effective in keeping South Carolina’s offense on the field last week by keeping the ball for nearly 37 minutes, and leaving Connor Shaw, Marcus Lattimore and Co. on the bench.
More of the same will be needed from the Tiger offense to make sure the defense has enough time to recover in order to corral Texas A&M dual-threat quarterback Johnny Manziel all day.
Mettenberger knows being efficient is a key to the game, but said his unit isn’t pressing.
“As long as we have the ball and don’t turn it over and keep time of possession in our favor, that’s going to be the big thing for us to get the win. I fully trust our defense to stop them, so there’s no added pressure.”
THE VISOR’S WRATH
Following a tackle in the second half, LSU defensive lineman Bennie Logan arose to what appeared to be a livid Steve Spurrier.
From the play and the reaction, it was a natural assumption that Spurrier was upset at Logan for a hard hit that he thought might have occurred after the whistle.
“There’s a picture going around, but he was getting on the ref about a bad call and it just happens I’m in the picture,” Logan said. “It seems like he’s fussing at me. But we’ve never had any words exchanged.”
Logan said the official was the target of Spurrier’s ire, not himself.
On the field, LSU coach Les Miles apparently thought the same thing as most who say that picture — that Logan was getting an earful from the Gamecock’s head man.
“He was getting on the ref about not calling a late hit,” Logan said. “Coach [Miles] watched the film because at first he thought he was getting on me. But then he saw that he was getting on the ref about a call and a late hit.”
Logan definitely heard Spurrier’s words, though, but is staying mum on what exactly was said.
“I don’t think it was appropriate, what he said.”
EARLY BIRD GETS THE WIN
Those 2:30 CBS games aren’t looking quite so bad anymore.
LSU and Texas A&M’s 11:00 am kickoff is the earliest LSU has kicked off since the beginning of the 2008 season when Hurricane Gustav forced LSU and Appalachian State to tee it up at 10:30 in the morning.
The Tigers have taken extra precaution, by consulting a sleep doctor, to make sure the early game time doesn’t impact their performance.
“We’re already preparing to get up early,” Logan said.“[Wednesday] we had to get up at 7:15 and go to the academic center and just get our bodies used to getting up in the morning.”
While some players may not relish the early morning wake up calls, they know the start time of the game won’t be a valid excuse for poor performance.
"I'm not really a morning person, but I'm sure it will be okay,” said linebacker Lamin Barrow. “We're used to playing at night, but football is football. Don't matter what time you play it."