We’ve all heard the age-old saying that defense wins championships. By that standard, it seems to be no coincidence that the best defense in college football won it all this year.
The Alabama Crimson Tide had a special defensive unit that any coach would envy, one that led them to their third BCS Championship in four years.
But the LSU Tigers also have a great defensive unit, a unit that ranked 8th in the nation last year in total defense.
So how did the Tigers manage to lose three games and finish the year ranked #14?
As it turns out, you have to score points to win a championship too.
The Tigers defense has ranked as one of the top 10 scoring defenses each of the last three seasons, and I believe they will return to form in 2013. This LSU defense is very well coached: defensive coordinator John Chavis has worked wonders since arriving to LSU in 2009, and head coach Les Miles isn’t a bad defensive mind himself.
The defense will be fine, but will the offense improve?
The Tigers ranked 77th last year in total offense, and will be impacted by several key players who will enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Two of these players are Michael Ford and Spencer Ware, the Tigers best running backs. However, RB Alfred Blue will return for his senior season after missing much of 2012 with a knee injury. The injury is a concern, but before the injury, Blue was LSU’s lead back.
The offensive line was young in 2012, and should be even better in 2013. A big, physical bunch, the Tigers’ O-line pushed teams around to the tune of 179 rushing yards per game.
The big question for the Tigers is quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Mettenberger showed signs of promise last year, but also signs of inconsistencies. Mettenberger threw just 12 touchdowns to seven interceptions while completing 58.8% of his passes. These numbers aren’t bad, but certainly far from stellar.
Mettenberger can really chuck it but he lacks the confidence of Aaron Murray or A.J. McCarron. Once Mettenberger believes he is on the same level as those two guys, he can be just as good.
And once that happens, this LSU offense will really catch fire.
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