LSU Football: 5 Reasons the Offense Will Outshine the Defense in 2013
LSU's football program has been a defensive powerhouse under head coach Les Miles, make no mistake about it.
But Miles and the Tigers coaching staff are going to face a tough and unfamiliar scenario heading into next season, as this team is going to be forced with the challenge of almost completely rebuilding what was a great defense this past season.
However, on the other end, Miles' offense returns a ton of firepower in the passing game, running game and on the offensive line.
Is it actually possible that LSU's offense could be the better unit in 2013?
Let's go ahead and give you five reasons why the Tigers offense could outshine the defense next season.
Bleacher Report style!
Look at the Numbers
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In order to fully understand the argument for why LSU's offense might outshine the defense in 2013, just take a look at the numbers.
Six starters on LSU's defense are forgoing their senior years in order to enter this year's NFL draft. Josh Downs, one of the Tigers' defensive tackles, is also a starter, which means a total of seven starters from this LSU defense will be gone in 2013.
In comparison, not a single player from LSU's offense is leaving early for the NFL, and only two of 11 starters on offense will be lost to graduation.
For all you math wizards out there, that means a total of four players will be returning on LSU's defense, while nine will return on the offensive side of the ball.
You simply can't teach experience, and this LSU offense will have plenty of it in 2013.
The same can not be said for the defense.
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Take a look at how LSU's experience on the offensive line compares to that of the defensive line.
The Tigers return four of five starters on the offensive line in 2013. The only full-time starter who will not be back is center P.J. Lonergan.
However, the defensive line is the complete opposite.
All four starers from the Tigers defensive line will be gone in 2013. Three of them, Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo and Bennie Logan, are elite playmakers who declared early for the NFL draft.
With an experienced offensive side, this LSU team should be able to pound the ball on the ground, which is where they are best.
Depth in the Run Game
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Jeremy Hill was an absolute stud for this LSU football team once he got the chance to play midway through the 2012 season.
Hill rushed for a team-high 755 yards and 12 touchdowns this season despite not receiving a single carry in three of the Tigers' first four games.
However, many people forget that the Tigers' top rusher during that early part of the season was Alfred Blue, who was lost to a season-ending injury three games into the season.
With Hill, Blue and Kenny Hilliard leading this rushing attack in 2013, this very well could be one of the most dominant backfields in the nation.
That right there certainly earns some points for the offense.
LSU Has Good Receivers, but Who Will Cover Opposing Receivers?
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Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry both had breakout sophomore campaigns in 2012.
Beckham Jr. hauled in 43 catches for a team-high 713 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His running mate, Landry, caught a team-best 56 passes for 573 yards and five touchdown receptions.
Both of them will be back in 2013.
However, while those two are catching passes next year for LSU, who is covering opposing wide receivers for the Tigers?
All-American safety Eric Reid and cornerback Tharold Simon are both bolting early for the NFL draft.
Safety Craig Loston is apparently considering the thought of jumping early as well.
The lack of experience in the pass defense and the talent and experience in the passing game point to the offense having the edge next season.
Experience, Experience, Experience
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If there is one word to sum up why this LSU offense has a chance to be better than the Tigers defense in 2013, that word is "experience."
The Tigers are expected to return nine of 11 starters on the offensive side of the ball in 2013, while the defense is expected to return four starters, at the most.
Most importantly, the Tigers return key positions on offense.
Quarterback, running back, wide receiver and offensive tackle—all of the starters at those key positions are expected to be back.
The Tigers must find a way to replace their entire starting defensive side and two or three starters in the four-man secondary.
That is no easy task by any means. And because of that, look for this LSU offense to outshine the defense in the 2013 college football season.