LSU Tigers Football: Offense Will Benefit From Early Schedule, Strong Defense

By Brad Stephens
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

The LSU Tigers concluded spring practice with more questions than answers on offense. Luckily for the Tigers, the defense is looking strong and the meat of their SEC schedule does not start until October.

Quarterback Anthony Jennings has precisely five quarters of game experience and his spring performance left much to be desired. His competition is true freshman Brandon Harris, who had a decent spring but still has some growing up to do. Les Miles is counting on his veteran offensive line to protect these young signal callers and some incoming freshmen talent like running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver Malachi Dupre to make some plays.

As any SEC fan knows, counting on freshmen to carry an offense can be a tenuous proposition. LSU has very little choice in the matter, Roger Goodell will be calling at least three former Tiger playmakers’ names in the next three days. Growing pains are inevitable and lining up against the Wisconsin Badgers will help them work out some kinks against a quality opponent.

The defense, on the other hand, is coming back strong. Seven starters return for John Chavis‘ unit that finished in the top five in the conference in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense and rush defense in 2013. Incredibly, that squad only had three returning starters, so this experienced group will be expected to step up in a big way. Shutting down Wisconsin would be ideal, so the offense will not be under too much pressure to perform with so many new faces.

After Wisconsin, the Tigers face Sam Houston State, Louisiana-Monroe, Mississippi State and New Mexico State. Three of those games will be good tune-ups for the offense to get some continuity, while the MSU game will be a dogfight that could come down to the wire. When the Tigers start their run through the SEC West gauntlet, they will be glad to have these first five games under their belt.

In any event, the Tigers are always a tough team with the athletes and coaching to beat anyone. Miles is a master motivator and recruiter who has made LSU one of those teams that everyone dreads. The 2014 season looks like a wild card right now, but do not be surprised to see the Tigers in the thick of the division race in the end.

Brad Stephens is an SEC Football writer for Feel free to follow on Twitter @bradstephens320 or add him to your Google network.

With Les Miles in charge, nothing is ever out of the question for the Tigers football team, so be sure to show your support this season by getting the best deals on LSU football tickets from BestTickets all season long.

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