Scott makes big splash in LSU backfield

The No. 10 LSU Tiger offense executed. Everyone would agree after several recruiting classes over past years that LSU had more talent then the Green Wave of Tulane. But Saturday night's game in Tiger Stadium wasn't all about talent, it was about execution.

Even after posting 90 points in their first two contests, the LSU offense has struggled this season with consistent execution. Last week at Auburn, a lack of execution reared its head when LSU couldn't establish a running game, gaining only 42 yards on 23 attempts in their only loss of the season.

 

After three games, the Tigers didn't have one rusher over 100 yards.

 

But Saturday's game against Tulane changed that when LSU's offense consistently executed and freshman Charles Scott broke out in Death Valley.

 

"[Scott] got loose the first couple of times, and we decided to stay with him a little bit," LSU head coach Les Miles said. "It's nice to have a back with over 100 yards. That's nice to have happen. He ran the football well and caught the football well."

Scott, a 5-11, 211-pound freshman tailback from Saline, La., had his breakout night in Tiger Stadium when he rushed for 101 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns. The freshman averaged 6.7 yards per carry against the Green Wave while also grabbing one catch for 16 yards.

 

Players and coaches since fall camp have always spoken very highly of Scott, but because he lacked experienced, the balk of the carries this season have gone to struggling running backs Justin Vincent and Alley Broussard.

 

After the lack of a rushing attack at Auburn, Miles hinted earlier in the week that Scott could receive the bulk of the carries, and he did. Vincent was handed the ball only twice in the game while Broussard never saw the field. Miles and his staff are believed to be unhappy with Broussard and his continuing weight issue. Miles said he is about 15 pounds over playing weight. 

 

"He ran hard and its fun watching him run," offensive tackle Will Arnold said. "I'm glad he had a good game. I'm glad we had a good game. We needed that. It was good. [Scott's] a real good guy, works real hard. He's not going down with just one guy on him."

 

Scott is now the first true freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game since Vincent gained 117 yards against Oklahoma in the 2004 Sugar Bowl. He also became the quickest true freshman back to rush for 100 yards ( doing so in four games) since Kevin Faulk did so in two games in 1995.

 

Setting up the run for Scott was a group of men that have been under heavy scrutiny lately. The offensive line executed early and often in Saturday's game opening huge holes for backs to run through and protecting their quarterback.

 

Last week, Miles said the offensive line was always just a half-second off from turning a block that would spring their running back down the field for 10 yards. The offensive line practiced hard and improved over the week according to Miles, and it showed.

 

"We talked about no more messing around and establishing the run," Arnold said. "It was time to get it done and I feel like we did a good job."

 

There was only one change to the offensive line on Saturday with Herman Johnson stepping in for Brian Johnson who was out because of what Miles called a "sore toe."

 

The offensive line opened holes and protected their quarterback all night giving up one sack, and starting quarterback JaMarcus Russell paid them back with a numbing block of his own on an Early Doucet touchdown run.

 

Miles said after the game that he didn't get a good look at the block, but if he blocked too hard he is going to be mad at him.

 

"When you weight 255 pounds, you think you are a guard," Miles said.

 

Russell on the other hand said it was fun running down field to advance the runner.

 

"It's just getting my guy down," Russell said. "I think we did a better job at execution this week. I saw a lot of great blocks. As long as we are focused and look at the small details we can do as much as possible."

 

Overall, the LSU rushing game accounted for 35 of its 49 points including 172 total rushing yards.

 

The Tigers came out throwing the ball because Tulane was playing man coverage according to Miles. Miles said he thought passing the ball early against that coverage offered them the best opportunity to score.

 

Last week after Auburn, questions arose after the game if LSU can set up the rushing attack with the passing game instead of setting up the passing game with the rush.

 

"I think coach [Jimbo] fisher thought we could come out and throw the ball and set things up by getting the receivers involved," Doucet said. "Our passing game, all the guys are mature and I think we are going to play a big part on this team, even in the running game by throwing blocks and opening things up."


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