Answers To Some LSU Questions

As Alabama prepares to host LSU in a key Southeastern Conference football game Saturday, the editors of the Scout internet sites have swapped question and answer opportunities. Here are the questions posed by Editor Kirk McNair and the answers provided by Tiger Rag Editor Matt Deville. McNair's ansswers to Deville's questions will be on the Scout LSU site.

1. With Ryan Perrilloux out, how does that affect the quarterback situation?

Ryan Perrilloux will not play against Alabama on Saturday. He was involved in an off-campus altercation last week along with two other reserve players. The sophomore quarterback was cleared of any wrongdoing, but because he missed the "lions share" of practice this week, according to Coach Les Miles, he will not play Saturday. As for how that will affect LSU's offense, it will be minimal. Over the last five games, Perrilloux has been used mainly to mix up the offense. He has thrown fewer than 10 passes in the last half-dozen games and runs the ball a majority of the time via the option or designed quarterback draws. Flynn is just as mobile as Perrilloux and can move around as well. However, the coaching staff has used Perrilloux to alleviate contact on Flynn. Flynn will have to do both now. It doesn't limit LSU's offense because Flynn can be effective, however, Perrilloux's absence leaves the Tigers without a backup.

2. LSU looked unbeatable in September and vulnerable in October. Was the difference the level of competition or some other factor or factors?

LSU's most impressive two wins of the season were the first two games against Mississippi State and Virginia Tech. The Hokies remain a top 12 team even after a 48-7 thumping at the hands of LSU and the Bulldogs will likely be a bowl team so that 45-0 whipping looks better and better. The Tigers stumbled, though, as October opened (1.) because LSU played several quality teams in a row (Florida, Kentucky and Auburn) and (2.) both quarterback Matt Flynn and star wide receiver Early Doucet sustained injuries. Flynn was slowed by a high ankle sprain and Doucet suffered a severe groin pull prior to the Middle Tennessee State game. Flynn has just recently returned to 100 per cent and Doucet missed five games before coming back against Auburn. Doucet led LSU with seven catches for 93 yards against the Tigers and is back at full speed after two more weeks of rest.

3. Few teams could compete at a high level with stars like Early Doucet and Glenn Dorsey sidelined. What is the prognosis for them as the season hits the stretch run?

As previously stated, Doucet is back at full speed and will be called upon to lead the receiving corps down the home stretch. As for Dorsey, he is expected to play against Alabama, but is likely only 80 per cent. He will be wearing a knee brace that he has said has taken some getting used to. But as most people will agree, an 80 per cent Dorsey is likely better than a backup at 100 per cent.

4. How has the change of offensive coordinator from Jimbo Fisher to Gary Crowton been evident?

Jimbo Fisher did an amazing job at LSU in developing quarterbacks. Rohan Davey, Matt Mauck and JaMarcus Russell all flourished under his tutelage. However, the offense has performed better under Gary Crowton's watch. The Tigers are second in the SEC in rushing offense averaging 224 yards per game, that's 12th nationally. The passing game has struggled a bit with Flynn and Doucet being in an out of the lineup, but Flynn finally got going against Auburn and had a career game throwing for a career-high 319 yards. The offense seems to run more fluid, LSU plays a lot of players and can strike from virtually every offensive position. Crowton has really involved the tight end in his offensive scheme. Richard Dickson had several big catches in the win over Auburn.

5. Does the LSU animus towards Nick Saban end when the game clock reaches 0:00 Saturday?

Unlikely since Nick Saban has to come into Tiger Stadium next season. LSU fans are still bitter because the majority feels as if Saban should have never left Baton Rouge in the first place. They all know what a good coach Saban is and while they rebuke him now, the Tiger faithful was just as goo-goo with Saban as the Crimson Tide followers are now. While the jilted lover syndrome should die down as time passes, this should grow into a really good rivalry over the next several years.

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