X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NCAA Football LSU Tigers

LSU Football: 5 Questions Entering the 2014 Season

1 of 11

LSU Football: 5 Questions Entering the 2014 Season

LSU Football: 5 Questions Entering the Season
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The LSU Tigers will enter the 2014 season looking to get back into the national picture. A defense decimated by NFL departures and off-field issues caused a step back in 2013. If they are going to compete for the playoff, they will need to find players to replace a large amount of production on offense, and the defense needs to find its way back to form. Here are five questions they'll have to answer to find success in 2014.

5. Can Leonard Fournette Live Up to the Hype?

Leonard Fournette, LSU Tigers RB
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. Can Leonard Fournette Live Up to the Hype?

Leonard Fournette, LSU Tigers RB
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman Leonard Fournette has come to Baton Rouge with as much hype as any incoming freshman in recent years. A ton of expectation has been placed on the young man's shoulders. Will he be able to stand up to the pressure and live up to the hype? He would be a huge shot in the arm as far as excitement goes if he does. There are talented backs on the roster already, but he has the ability to be special.

4. Can the Offensive Line and Running Game Carry the Offense?

La'el Collins, LSU Tigers OT
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Can the Offensive Line and Running Game Carry the Offense?

La'el Collins, LSU Tigers OT
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The strength of the 2014 Tigers will undoubtedly be the offensive line and running game. Les Miles and Cam Cameron will need to lean on the big uglies up front and their talented stable of backs if they hope to be successful in 2014. Behemoths La'el Collins and Vadal Alexander will lead the way for Fournette, Kenny Hilliard and Terrence Magee. If they can shoulder the load, it will take the pressure off the new starting quarterback.

3. Will the Defense Improve?

Danielle Hunter, LSU Tigers DE
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Will the Defense Improve?

Danielle Hunter, LSU Tigers DE
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers were hit hard by departures on defense last season, and it showed. Usually known for lock-down defense, teams scored seemingly at will on last season's unit. There were still some big departures this offseason, but the unit wasn't gutted. If guys like Danielle Hunter can use the experience of last season and build on it, the Tigers could find their way back to having an elite defense in 2014.

2. Where Does the Production Come from at Receiver?

Travin Dural, LSU Tigers WR
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2. Where Does the Production Come from at Receiver?

Travin Dural, LSU Tigers WR
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers lost two 1,000-yard receivers in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, Jr. The returning leader, Travin Dural, only managed 145 yards and two touchdowns last season, and almost 50 of those yards came on one catch. Dural has shown big-play ability and other guys have talent, but don't expect two elite pass catchers from this unit in 2014.

1. Who Replaces Zach Mettenberger?

Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, LSU Tigers QB
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

1. Who Replaces Zach Mettenberger?

Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, LSU Tigers QB
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Mettenberger has been a stable presence under center the last two seasons, but he's moved on to the NFL. Sophomore Anthony Jennings and true freshman Brandon Harris have battled all offseason to replace him. It is disconcerting that one hasn't separated from the other, especially Jennings since he's had a full year in the system. If the Tigers want to be successful, they need to settle the issue at quarterback and do so quickly.