LSU Football: Grading Every New Starter's Week 1 Performance
The LSU Tigers sported an abundance of new starters against TCU, especially on the defensive side of the football.
How'd it go? Well, so far, so good for the Tigers.
There were no major errors committed, and in one particular area of the game, a new starter shined brightly in his debut. Dare I say, he was perfect.
Here are the grades for every new starter following the Tigers' 37-27 win against TCU.
Elliot Porter handled his own at center for LSU.
The Horned Frogs managed to only secure two sacks, both coming by defensive backs, so overall, the offensive line did well in pass protection.
Improvements must be made in the rushing game, as the big boys upfront need to get a better push for the running backs.
That goes for Porter and the guards mostly. They certainly showed glimpses of what's to come in future weeks near the end of the game, though, as the Tigers accumulated most of their 197 rushing yards in the second half. That, along with no quarterback/center exchange blunders, keeps Porter in the A-range.
The future is bright for Jerald Hawkins.
Let me just recap his first series: Hawkins manhandled any defender standing opposite of him.
He provided great pass protection for Zach Mettenberger, drove his defender off of the line of scrimmage to create holes for running backs and stayed poised despite being an undergrad.
Hawkins is going to be an anchor at right tackle. As the season progresses, look for him to become a staple for this offense.
Dillon Gordon, the best blocking tight end of the group, started against TCU in the season opener.
Gordon got a solid push upfront, but he failed to get open in passing situations. In fact, the sophomore tight end didn't make any receptions in the contest.
Gordon's main priority on offense will be blocking, but the Tigers have plans to spread him wide and exploit matchups against smaller defensive backs, just as they tried against TCU. In the future, he must be more productive in that area.
Jermauria Rasco might not have recorded a sack in his starting debut, but he did record five tackles.
Rasco's aggressive rush up the field saw him making plays at defensive end.
Was it Barkevious Mingo or Sam Montgomery-esque? Not hardly, but still, after beginning the season practiing primarily in a green shirt, he hit the ground running in his first start.
With the limited contact Rasco has received this summer, expect his numbers to incline as the year goes on. The more his shoulder gets acclimated to the contact, the better off he will be. All things considering, the TCU game was a strong showing for him.
Jordan Allen/Danielle Hunter
Jordan Allen and Danielle Hunter are interchangeable on the defensive line. The two provided an extremely impressive one-two punch for the Tigers opposite Rasco.
Early on, Allen dominated the game by constantly getting in the backfield and breaking up a pass by Casey Pachall. In the second half, Hunter took over, recording a sack and making big plays in the backfield. The defensive ends combined for five tackles and a ton of pressure on the quarterback.
Ego Ferguson should have an "A" here, but a few bonehead plays lowered his grade.
Ferguson was flagged for roughing the passer on a third down in the third quarter, which led to a 26-yard touchdown run by B.J. Catalon. Plays like that are inexcusable, as they could potentially cost the Tigers a win.
As for Ferguson holding his own on the defensive line, he provided LSU with a physical presence in the interior, posting four total tackles.
This is a huge drop-off from Kevin Minter. Last season, Minter recorded 130 tackles at middle linebacker for the Tigers.
How many did his replacement record in his first start?
Well, D.J. Welter only garnered two total tackles. Yes, two.
More is expected, and much more must be delivered if Welter wants to hold onto that starting Mike position. In his first start with the Tigers, he certainly didn't impress.
Ronald Martin didn't make any spectacular plays in his first start with the Tigers. More importantly, though, no sensational plays were made against the starting safety.
He did miss some tackles, however, and if he wants to keep freshmen such as Jeryl Brazil, Rickey Jefferson and others on the sideline, he'sll have to improve that area of his game.
As far as his coverage went Saturday night, Martin provided great pass defense for the Tigers.
Tip your hat to Jalen Collins, LSU fans. He deserves it. Not only did he fight off young incoming true freshman to hang onto his starting job in the summer, but Collins sharpened his skills and displayed them vividly against TCU.
He finished the game with three total tackles and one pass breakup.
With Collins playing like a seasoned starter already, LSU is still DBU.
You can't do any better than 100 percent.
Colby Delahoussaye was 3-of-3 on field goals in his first start with the Tigers. He hit from 23 yards out twice and from 28 yards.
James Hairston and Trent Domingue will kick longer field goals for the Tigers this season, while Delahoussaye will handle the shorter range.
His kicking was perfect in the first game of the season.