FEINSWOG: Measuring the Marcus factor

The Marcus factor came through Saturday. <br><br> When it's all said and done about LSU football this season, that's what the Tigers need, for Marcus Randall, Marcus Spears and JaMarcus Russell to play big.

Yeah, there are plenty of other things to consider, but when the Marcuses do well, LSU does well.


Senior quarterback Randall completed all 7 of his passes and got things going in the 51-0 rout of Mississippi State. Marcus Spears didn't have a tackle – seriously, the outstanding senior defensive end didn't have a tackle – but his 35-yard interception return for a touchdown was huge, and redshirt freshman QB Russell completed 9 of 12 passes, proving that he can come in and hit the target more often than not, which is no small thing if you watched LSU's first three games.


Let's face it: After three games, you could draw the following two conclusions: LSU had a pretty good defense but had an offense that was going to keep things a little too interesting this season.

From a defensive end, you could say that the Tigers allowed way too many short passes by Oregon State and that it wasn't all it could be against Auburn (the whole field-position argument and all that).


But Oregon State scored just 15 points in regulation and Auburn was held to 10. Combine that with the three points scored by Arkansas State and the big zero by State and, well, 28 points allowed in 16 quarters of regulation isn't so bad.


The offense was another thing. There was a point in that Oregon State game when you wondered in what game would LSU score a touchdown (for the record, a whopping 39 minutes, 19 seconds after the season began).


LSU scored 53 against Arkansas State. For hindsight perspective, ASU has given up an average of 43 points, which includes a 28-21 victory Saturday over Louisiana-Monroe.


Then the Tigers went to Auburn and the nine-point effort had to leave you scratching your head. Poor QBs. A less-than impressive offensive line. A non-existent running attack.


Three things that come in handy in the Southeastern Conference.


Lost in the mix might have been that six Tigers rushed for 25 yards or more against State, led by Alley Broussard's 73-yard, 3-TD effort. Justin Vincent, still not the Justin Vincent who was MVP of the SEC and national-championship games, seems to be gathering steam, too.


So now thoughts turn east, to Georgia and Florida, where hurricanes (not those from the University of Miami) rule these days and things are all out of kilter.


First LSU goes to Georgia on Saturday for its first road trip. Not only is Georgia 3-0, albeit an unimpressive 3-0, the Bulldogs had this past Saturday off. You never know what an off week means till it's all played out, but being at home and rested can't hurt.


Many LSU fans figured to make it to both games and vacation in Florida in between. The hurricanes may well have changed all that, but the Tigers have to go to Gainesville regardless.


State was the majority pick to finish last in the SEC this year. LSU simply took care of business on Saturday.


Georgia, however, was the majority pick to win the SEC this year. Having survived the Oregon State debacle and seemingly able to shake off the defeat at Auburn, this game Saturday in Athens is LSU's chance to re-establish itself as a contender in the nation's toughest league.




Lee Feinswog is the author of "Tales From The LSU Sidelines," a Baton Rouge sportswriter and host of the television show Sports Monday. Reach him at (225) 926-3256 or lee@sportsbatonrouge.com.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories