LSU vs. TCU: 10 Things We Learned from Tigers' Win
Points are to be expected from the LSU Tigers in 2013.
Cam Cameron's offensive ingenuity, Zach Mettenberger's progression as a quarterback and the Tigers set of skill players add a dimension to LSU's offense that has not been present in recent years.
The impressive performance against TCU in a 37-27 win gives Tiger fans a bit of insight as to what is to be expected this season.
What other lessons did we learn from the opener?
Cam Cameron Has Had a Tremendous Impact on Offense
Night and day.
The changes in the Tigers offense are 100 percent night and day. Cameron has not only made Mettenberger an improved quarterback, but he's made the offense both more efficient and dangerous.
In the first half alone, the Tigers gained 256 total yards. How impressive is that? Well, the Tigers averaged 376 yards per game last season. LSU passed that number in the third quarter.
Five-wide sets, two-back sets and utilization of the tight end in the passing game are going to make this LSU offense one of the SEC's best.
Jordan Allen Can Ball
I tell you what—No. 98 was all over the football field Saturday night.
Jordan Allen was constantly in the backfield, either hurrying the quarterback or deflecting passes. Tiger fans didn't see this from Allen in 2012 because he went down with a season-ending injury early in the campaign.
If this is what's to come from Allen and the rest of the defensive line, there won't be much of a drop-off for LSU.
Allen will likely continue to rotate with Danielle Hunter in games moving forward, but if he makes a habit of staying in opposing offenses' backfield, his playing time should increase.
Time Management Controversy Never Fails to Ensue
It never fails.
This time a (potential) time-management blunder was not Les Miles' fault.
This is how it went down. The Tigers threw an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-goal with under 10 seconds left to play and La'el Collins' helmet came off. The referees mistakenly thought the clock stopped because of his helmet coming off (go figure?) and called it a half.
Miles and LSU's coaching staff corrected the referees, and LSU was able to kick a field goal before intermission. No harm, no foul.
Odell Beckham Needs to Work on Securing Deep Balls
Odell Beckham made huge plays in this game. He also missed a few ones.
In the first half, Beckham had a few drops on deep passes.
Mettenberger was extremely accurate in this game, but because of drops by receivers, his stat line won't necessarily show it (16-of-32).
Beckham made up for his drops in the second half with some flashy returns and huge receptions, finishing the game with 118 receiving yards. All is forgiven.
Zach Mettenberger Is Poised for a Big Year
Speaking of Mettenberger...
Not the same guy you saw last year, right?
Mettenberger finished the game with 251 passing yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. That won't exactly wow you as much as the ol' eyeball test, though.
Throughout the game Mettenberger was accurate and placing balls on a rope to his talented receivers on the outside. Mettenberger started the 2013 season red hot, but can he remain consistent in weeks to come?
The maturity he displayed in the Cowboy Classic has me believing.
Not Much Dropoff in the Secondary
Yes, LSU is still DBU.
Jalen Mills recorded an interception, Micah Eugene swatted balls away and Craig Loston lowered the boom on intended targets all night.
Mills and Loston provide great leadership to a secondary that should see a number of baby faces make appearances throughout the year.
The Tigers held TCU to only 145 yards passing, and with two extremely talented quarterbacks in Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin throwing against them, the Tigers made quite a statement in the first week.
The Running Back Race Is Much More Interesting
Think Jeremy Hill was getting a bit anxious on the sideline?
While Hill was taking it easy with his helmet off, the man listed behind him, fourth-string running back Terrence Magee, was balling hard.
Magee, not Alfred Blue nor Kenny Hilliard, led the Tigers in rushing with 95 yards and two touchdowns.
All running backs should see playing time with the way LSU rotates running backs, but man oh man, Hill's precious minutes may diminish if Magee keeps up that type of production.
Some Work to Be Done
There's always room for improvement.
Kick coverage, securing catches and not making bonehead plays (fumbling, roughing the passer and false starts) all gave LSU a scare against TCU.
The Tigers were talented enough to overcome these mistakes in their season-opening win, but moving forward, LSU must not shoot itself in the foot.
Here's to minimizing the mistakes.
The Tigers Are Better Than Sixth in the SEC
Sixth? Sixth in the SEC?
Are you still so sure that the Tigers are behind Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia? After watching LSU's performance against TCU, I don't see it.
The Tigers' passing game proved successful against one of the better secondaries in the country. LSU was also able to run the ball late in the game, and its defense held when it needed to.
Most importantly, the Tigers won a big game away from home against a Top 20 opponent. Where you at Georgia?
The Swagger Is Back
Keep bobbing those heads fellas.
Mettenberger was karate chopping on the sideline, Landry was bobbing his head, Mills was barking at receivers and Ego Ferguson was downright nasty in the trenches.
Yes sir, it's clearly evident that LSU has a chip on its shoulder.
If the Tigers can display all year this same type of swagger—the kind of attitude that drove the 2011 squad—that confidence could bring this team together and setup a remarkable season.