The LSU Tigers had a different look for the 2013 season. During the tenure of Les Miles in Baton Rouge, LSU could annually be counted on to have one of the nation’s best defenses, to go along with an offense that would score just enough points to win the game for the Tigers.
However, in 2013, Cam Cameron was brought in to run the LSU offense, and he produced strong results in his first year. Until Cameron’s guidance, quarterback Zach Mettenberger passed for more than 3,000 yards, while running back Jeremy Hill rushed for more than 1,000 yards. As if that wasn’t enough, wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry each went over 1,000 yards receiving last season.
Despite all of those big numbers, LSU was just sixth in the Southeastern Conference in scoring (35.8 points per game) and seventh in total offense (453.3 yards per game). That means Hill, Beckham and Landry accounted for a large portion of the offense, while other players did very little.
And that could be a problem in 2014. Mettenberger, Hill, Beckham and Landry will all be in the NFL this fall, unable to help the LSU offense.
After Mettenberger was injured last season, Anthony Jennings was the quarterback. In limited action, Jennings was 13-of-29 through the air for 181 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 48 yards and two scores. Jennings should get more time to work with Cameron during the spring, which can only help him.
LSU also plans to sign Leonard Fournette, a running back from New Orleans who is rated as the top overall prospect in the 2014 signing class. Perhaps Fournette can help fill the void left by Hill.
The Tigers defense also hopes to be better in 2014. Defensive coordinator John Chavis annually fields a potent defense, and last year wasn’t as bad as some made it out to be. LSU was third in the SEC in total defense (340.7 yards per game) and fourth in scoring defense (22 points per game). Chavis, of course, would like to see those numbers improve.
If the defense can step up, and if the offense can come around, LSU could be back in the hunt in the SEC next season.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.