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From The Other Side: 5 Questions About The LSU Tigers

Inside The Auburn Tigers checks in with Billy Embody from Tiger Blitz about this week's showdown between Auburn and LSU at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

1. How is this LSU offense different with Danny Etling running the show? What does he bring to the table?

Etling spreads the ball around much more than Brandon Harris did and determines where he's got to go with the football in his pre-snap read much better than Harris. Etling uses the tight ends and takes deep shots to loosen up the box. Most importantly, he's been a calming voice for what has been a team that potentially had too much hype coming into the year. With Etling under the center, the players are more relaxed and motivated as Etling's work ethic has been the talk of the team for the last week. He's really putting this team on his shoulders in a way.

 

2. Leonard Fournette has been bothered by an ankle injury early this season. How did he look last week against Mississippi State physically and are there any issues with him?

Leonard is back to being Leonard. He absolutely trucked a defender on an outside zone run and for the most part, doesn't look to have any difficulty running. Fournette did put the ball on the turf twice, but Les Miles attribute that to rust more than anything. I expect Fournette to be motivated even more against Auburn to perform well against the Tigers again.

 

3. Arden Key has been an impact player for the LSU defense so far in 2016. What makes him such a special player for the Tigers?

His speed and pass rushing skill set is incredible really. Key is at his best with his hand in the dirt, which LSU has used him in more and more the past couple games. Dave Aranda runs some great stunts to get him loose as well and help with that. Key's long arms allow him to keep linemen off of him. He's really developed his pass rushing moves well and his motor never stops running either, which makes him even more dangerous.

 

4. LSU has a new defensive coordinator in Dave Aranda from Wisconsin. What is the biggest change in philosophy that he brought to the table on that side of ball?

Aranda's new scheme is still being broken in, but LSU is now a base 3-man front versus a 4-man front along the defensive line. Aranda changes things up enough to use the 4-man front, but that's the biggest change. Aranda attacks and attacks offenses with disguises and elaborate schemes, but players have said the new system is simplified compared to Kevin Steele's defense. LSU leaves defensive backs in 1-on-1 coverage a lot due to the blitzing, but that's a part of the scheme and hasn't been too big of an issue so far this season outside of some late-game completions against Mississippi State.

 

5. What is the biggest issue for this LSU team through three games? What is a concern for Les Miles heading to Auburn this week?

Finishing. This team hasn't played a complete game once. The Tigers let their foot off the gas or make mistakes that cost them dearly. Last week, turnovers and penalties allowed the Bulldogs back into the game. LSU has to clean those up and finish a ball game. LSU's offensive line is nicked up as well, which is a cause for concern, but if LSU loses this game, things may move quickly for Les Miles' potential departure from Baton Rouge. Both coaches are under major pressure.


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