With two games remaining in the regular season, LSU (8-2) still has plenty to play for.
Despite having its SEC title hopes dashed by undefeated Alabama (10-0), LSU can accomplish a 10-win season for the first time since 2013 by knocking off Rice and Texas A&M.
LSU is currently projected to play either UCF or West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl according to ESPN.
Saturday Down South created a list of five observations about LSU’s season.
1. The LSU offense is still the LSU offense
The offensive coordinator (Steve Ensminger) and personnel are different but ultimately things are the same.
With Joe Burrow taking the place of Danny Etling at quarterback and Nick Brossette and Clyde Edward-Helaire in the backfield instead of Leonard Fournette and Darius Guice, the LSU offense is producing similar results.
“Their quarterback play is average, their wide receivers are less productive than their talent level suggests and the passing game is pretty mundane,” Saturday Down South writer Les East said. “It’s good enough to win most games, but not good enough to make the Tigers a serious national championship contender.”
2. The defensive line isn’t as good as hoped
The LSU defensive line has been good but not great. Grant Delpit (5) and Michael Divinity Jr. (4) lead the Tigers in sacks.
FEED GLEN! pic.twitter.com/dKZjQOSp0H
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) November 11, 2018
“Some bumps and bruises have slowed some guys down, and maybe the thought of this being a really special line was based more on hope that any realistic expectation,” East said. “Nonetheless, it’s very good and a key factor in this team’s success.”
3. LSU needs John Emery Jr. or someone comparable
The 5-star prospect from Destrehan is the No. 1 running back in the state and is in high demand after decommitting from Georgia.
Since LSU starting running back Nick Brossette is graduating after this season, it’s imperative for the Tigers to pounce on Emery Jr. to re-establish the ground dominance.
“The Tigers need to sign a running back who can come in next season and be the next 1,000-yard rusher. Maybe it’s Emery. Maybe someone else,” East said. “But the 2019 LSU Tigers need a stud running back. And he’s not on the roster right now.”
4. Tigers need a return specialist
LSU is in need of a spark in the return game.
East suggests either utilizing whomever LSU signs at running back or finding a diamond in the rough on the current roster.
“With this level of skill players, someone should make some big plays in the return game, especially given the overall improvement of the Tigers’ special teams this season,” East said.
5. Dave Aranda is worth every penny
East is an advocate of LSU defensive coordinator being the nation’s highest-paid assistant coach in the country.
The reason is because of how the LSU defense maximizes its potential each week and strengthens as the game reaches the fourth quarter.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 11, 2018
“Aranda’s defense gives head coach Ed Orgeron’s team a chance to win every game against anyone other than Alabama and nearly always the Tigers prevail,” East said. “When they win it’s usually in spite of the offense and because of the defense. And that’s mostly because of Aranda.”