Up Front And To The Point

The Rebel offense will be facing their stiffest challenge this Saturday when they invade Death Valley in Baton Rouge. Read what Mike Markuson thinks of the LSU defense inside.

There was no wasted time when the media approached Rebel Co-Offensive Coordinator Mike Markuson.

No need avoiding the inevitable, or the elephant in the room. As parents are wont to say when troubled kids are stuttering and stammering, "get to the point, son."

LSU's front?

"Wow. Awesome, awesome," Mike stated. "They are a great challenge. Big, physical and a lot of quick twitch to them.

A.J. Hawkins

"We will have to play with a great pad level and come off the ball hard, because they are well-coached and their whole defense, not just the front, plays with an attitude."

The Tigers, according to Markuson, don't have to try to pull rabbits out of their hats schematically. What you see is what you get.

"They are confident enough that they just line up and play ball with the fronts and schemes they are most comfortable with," said Mike. "They don't seem to worry too much about what you are doing, they just line up, do their thing and play hard."

Markuson and all the Rebel offensive coaches will be matching wits with veteran Defensive Coordinator John Chavis, who they have faced at both Tennessee and LSU.

"He runs a lot of similar stuff he's always run. When he's got the horses, he makes sure they are fundamentally sound, puts them in a Bear defense, runs linebackers through and makes you account for every gap," explained Mike. "They are what they and what they are is very, very good."

Through Wednesday, Mike was pleased with the way his guys have zeroed in on the task at hand.

"We've had two great days of practice. The kids are giving us everything they have and as coaches we appreciate that," he continued. "They are not moping around. They know what's at stake and they keep working hard and giving us everything we have asked. I'm proud of their attitude. I can't ask much more."

Markuson will go with the same lineup he has the past two weeks - LT Bradley Sowell, LG Alex Washington, C A.J. Hawkins, RG Jared Duke and RT Bobby Massie.

Mike Markuson

"I've given Patrick Junen more reps this week because he's moving around better and the ankle injury is much better," Mike noted. "We're also giving some other guys more reps, like Evan Swindall and Emmanuel McCray."

In the normal offensive story, it's common to ask about the skill guys.

In this particular instance, with the Rebels facing - statistically - the best defense in the SEC, it will be mostly about the trenches.

"In the age of high-powered offenses, these guys are only giving up 273 yards and 14.6 points per game. That's a real defense, and real defenses in this league start up front," Mike closed. "It will be up to our guys up front to set the tone for our offense."

The challenge is there.

Will the Rebs rise to it?

This will be football in it's rawest form. Not for the weak, man on man, let's get it on.

With LSU, it always is.

OM Spirit Top Stories