I got my soggy arse home last night just in time to pour myself a glass of bourbon (for medicinal purposes, you understand) and settle in to watch Late Night in Baton Rouge. Entertaining game, and a few points crossed my Dawgcentric mind as I watched it:
- Cam Cameron is on the same page with Les Miles. More than once, it struck me that Miles finally has the offensive coordinator he really wants: a run first guy who’s competent calling a power game with play action. It’s well suited for the Tigers’ strengths on offense, although I wonder how long LSU sticks with that max-protect package against defenses that are willing to play a lot of press coverage, like Alabama and Florida. Against Georgia? Let’s just say I winced every time I saw Copeland unload on a hapless Auburn middle linebacker.
- The Zach Attack. The other thing I give Cameron a lot of credit for is cleaning up Mettenberger’s mechanics. He’s eliminated most of the hitch in ZM’s throwing motion I saw last season, I assume by convincing Mett he has a strong enough arm that he really doesn’t need to wind up so much. The result is that his release is noticeably quicker. Between that, his height and how money his starting receivers are, when he stands in the pocket, he’s pretty deadly. The catch is, if you can force him out of the pocket, he’s pretty ordinary. Georgia’s pass rush just became the biggest key – okay, the second biggest key, after not making stupid mistakes – for this Saturday’s game.
- LSU’s defense didn’t freak me out. I mean, the Tigers did okay early on, against an Auburn offense with a shaky quarterback making his first SEC start on the road. But as the game wore on, Malzahn’s guys started getting some traction. I’m not saying they threatened to turn it into a game late, but they did rack up over 400 yards of offense against what’s supposed to be a shut down bunch. I wonder how things would have played out if Auburn hadn’t shot itself repeatedly in the foot in the first quarter and a half of the game. I also wonder if Bobo will take Blackledge’s advice about challenging the LSU defense with downfield passing.
- LSU’s special teams, however… Oh, why don’t you just shut up.
- Nick Marshall isn’t Brent Schaeffer, but he isn’t Cam Newton, either. He’s not a transcendent talent like Cam, although he’s got a strong arm and can move a little. But he just hasn’t done this SEC quarterback thing enough to be comfortable running an offense. Although, speaking of running, I predict he’s going to run that read option play to death when he faces the Dawgs. We’ll probably get pretty sick of it, too.
- The Auburn defense looks a little challenged. If you watched the game, tell me you weren’t seeing visions of Quayvon Hicks wrecking havoc on the Plains in a couple of months’ time. (Aaron Murray, too, seeing as he doesn’t have a problem throwing outside the pocket.)