But apparently that doesn't seem to be the case.
Despite a slow start offensively,
LSU used seven turnovers to its advantage en route to a 45-0 rout of
Being ranked No. 2 in the country, having a lopsided win under its belt, and heading into what should prove to be a huge showdown Saturday versus Virginia Tech, the Tigers should be able to count on the general consensus among their fans to be gleeful – especially after the Hokies struggled mightily in their season opener in Lane Stadium against East Carolina.
But sadly, no, not so much.
As I drove back to
But by the time we rolled into
range to pick up
Fans were ranting and raving over the airwaves as if LSU had LOST the game. People were complaining about the play calling, the offensive line, Matt Flynn's performance … You name it, someone had a complaint. Honestly, it was almost humorous.
The gripe fest continued into Saturday morning as the Internet was abuzz with people unhappy with LSU's performance Thursday night.
I spoke with Tiger Rag columnist and longtime Times-Picayune sports writer Marty Mule' Saturday morning, and he offered some sage words about the chatter around TigerTown on Friday.
"The only time a Tiger fan is truly happy," Mule' said, "is when LSU wins and they still have something to gripe about."
That pretty much sums up the situation as a very vocal minority of Tiger fans has spent the better part of Friday and Saturday dissecting LSU's very businesslike rout of the Bulldogs.
I'll offer up my two cents: Hey, it could be a lot worse.
Imagine what it's like to be a
With LSU kicking off the 2007 season last Thursday, I had an unusual chance to get out and enjoy some other college football Saturday evening. While watching the Tennessee-California game, I was bombarded with questions about LSU's vanilla play calling, the poor play of the offensive line – especially the right side - and the fact Les Miles insists on starting Jacob Hester at tailback.
Like I have several times already, I'll quickly address these issues.
The most common complaint has been
about play calling. Midway through the first half, the performance of the LSU
offense looked quite similar to the one it gave in the
But did you really think they'd
open up the playbook against
Matt Flynn did run the ball a little too often for comfort (he carried the ball 11 times for 42 yards). Over half of those rushes weren't designed running plays; rather, Flynn scrambled because he couldn't find an open receiver. When he did run, Flynn managed to avoid any serious contact with defenders and hit the deck and ran out of bounds efficiently enough. Besides, Flynn is a big, strong kid and likes contact. Remember, he played six games his senior year of high school with a broken leg. He's tough.
As for the offensive line, give them a little time to gel. And you'd better be as patient as possible because this is all the personnel the Tigers have.
Take into account LSU lost three backup offensive linemen – Zhamal Thomas, Kyle Anderson and Steve Singleton – before Fall Camp even opened. And they lost another – Mark Snyder – just three days in with a knee injury.
The obvious weak link on the o-line was right tackle Carnell Stewart. Give him a little bit of a break, though. He was playing in his first game – EVER – as an offensive lineman, having moved over from defense in the spring. His backup, true freshman Joe Barksdale, is also a converted defensive lineman.
And, oh, by the way, Stewart just
happened to be lined up on
Overall, remember no team is going
to play 12 perfect games in a season. Think back to 2003 when LSU escaped a
couple of games with sub-par performances.
Take solace in the fact that LSU
did have some hiccups last Thursday night but still managed to win 45-0. Don't
you think Mack Brown had some questions directed his way after
And we won't even mention
So, Tiger fans, stop fretting over
the negatives from the