After coming into the 2013 college football season with questions surrounding how they were going to recover from losing eight players to the NFL draft and picking up a new offensive coordinator this offseason, LSU had something to prove in their opening game against TCU.
After an impressive 37-27 win that included great displays from both the offensive and defensive units, many of these questions have already been answered. In the process of answering these questions, LSU not only showed that they will be a solid team this season, but that they will be in the running for the SEC title.
The Tigers offense looked much more impressive under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron than they did for the entirety of the 2012 season, coming out of the gate with scores in their first three drives. They were able to keep the heat on TCU’s defense for the whole game with a balanced approach led by quarterback Zach Mettenberger and running backs Terrence Magee and Alfred Blue.
The three led the way as the offense combined to pick up 448 yards, with 251 coming from the passing game and 197 on the ground. What was even more telling than total yards was the fact that the offense held on to the ball for 36:01, in the process assuring that they would be able to take pressure off their own defense and that a very good TCU defense was severely fatigued.
With the offensive side of the ball taking control of the game, LSU’s defense was refreshed and ready to show the world that the fast-paced style that the team has been known for in recent seasons will continue to be in effect. The speed and strength throughout the defensive unit forced TCU to turn the ball over twice while only allowing them to pick up 13 first downs, run 54 total plays and pick up 259 total yards. This defensive prowess will be crucial to the team’s success throughout a schedule that includes matchups with Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama .
The balanced and effective approach that LSU showed against TCU is precisely what is needed to win an SEC title in a league that is full of deep and talented rosters from top to bottom. While there has only been one game played in the season, it is easy to see that fans in Death Valley have reason to be very excited and hopeful for in the 2013 season.
Tyler Leli is a Washington Capitals writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or join his network on Google.