LSU vs UAB: Odell Beckham Jr. Is New Star in Cam Cameron's Offense
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The college football world should get to know Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham Jr. does not run, he glides. His natural movements on the football field are poetic. Eminem should feature him in his next music video.
LSU was destroying UAB 49-17 in the third quarter. The Blazers were looking to score points against the vaunted LSU defense by any means possible.
The Blazers established some late momentum to end the half. Facing a 4th and 13, they lined up for a 59-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter.
Kicker Ty Long blasted the kick, perfectly booted for 3.
Unfortunately for the Blazers, the ball fell short of the goal posts and would not score again for the rest of the night.
Long instead perfectly kicked it for LSU's No. 3, Odell Beckham Jr. He waited for the ball patiently underneath the LSU goal posts. Beckham Jr. found LSU blockers down the left side and was able to shake a few defenders to find his way into the end zone.
The Tigers would not look back after that, as they defeated UAB 56-17 to remain unblemished for the season.
The only thing Beckham Jr. did not do in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night was sell popcorn and tear ticket stubs. New Orleans-based television reporter Ed Daniels says the performance was legendary.
Beckham Jr.’s touchdown return was not the only impressive move he made under his own goalposts. Off the opening kickoff, he casually caught a line drive with one hand for a touchback.
Even Keith Stone thought the snag was smooth.
Beckham Jr. also returned a punt 60 yards in the first quarter, dodging numerous UAB tacklers in the process. Punter Hunter Mullins’ desperation attempt to push Beckham, Jr. out of bounds worked before he could reach the end zone.
Beckham Jr. is amazing at breaking the first wave of tacklers on returns. After passing through the first few defenders, his ability to evade the opposition and use their momentum against them is spectacular.
Has it been mentioned yet “ODB” also caught five passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns?
Beckham Jr. blazed the Blazer secondary. He caught five passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns. He also had one rush for 15 yards. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron loves knowing he has a deep threat who can burn safeties deep for large gains.
Beckham Jr.’s 336 all-purpose yards against UAB ranks third all-time for a single game at LSU. He now comfortably leads the SEC in all-purpose yards with 608.
But Beckham Jr. had plenty of help.
Cameron continues to find ways to give Beckham Jr. the ball in space. Beckham Jr.'s routes remain unpredictable. He has also carried the ball three times on reverses this season, averaging 11 yards-per-carry.
Mettenberger’s pass protection was near-perfection too. He was not sacked.
Receiver Jarvis Landry also caught two touchdown passes, one of which was a spectacular diving grab.
LSU fans also saw Jeremy Hill for the first time this season. Hill rushed for 50 yards on six carries. His first carry of the season went for a touchdown in the first quarter.
But the story of the night is Beckham Jr. All three of his touchdown catches were over 20 yards. He also caught his second pass over 40 yards from Mettenberger for the season.
The biggest problem for the LSU offense last season was their inability to stretch the field. Beckham, Jr. was the only threat last season, but was inconsistent. He has now has confidence in his ability to beat any safety with his repertoire of moves and speed.
There are still some question marks in the LSU passing attack. While Beckham Jr. and Landry form one of the best receiving duos in football, there is a considerable drop off in the LSU receiving core.
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Mettenberger completed passes to seven other players Saturday night, but only two of them were wide receivers for a total of two catches. This marks the second straight week for that being the case. LSU needs secondary options to step up, wether it be Kadron Boone, Travin Dural or Quantavious Leslie.
Teams will eventually do everything they can to stop Beckham Jr. and Landry. This should open up more space for other receivers to make plays.
But Beckham Jr.'s speed is the key. The more he beats safeties deep, the more opposing secondaries scoot back. This will open up more room for the LSU running game against elite SEC defenses.
Last season, Florida's defense dominated LSU last season because their safeties played so close to the line of scrimmage. Now LSU has better chance in backing SEC safeties up, as long as Beckham Jr. is healthy and in tune with Mettenberger.
Still, LSU fans should bask in the greatness they witnessed on Saturday night. Beckham Jr's receiving, punt and kick returning performance formed a "holy trinity" of excitement Tiger fans should never forget.
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