Furman vs. LSU: Slow Start Not a Concern, Tigers Will Be Ready for Alabama
LSU had the most frustrating 32-point blowout victory ever seen on Saturday night.
Fans were frustrated the Tigers started off sluggish against Furman, highlighted by quarterback Zach Mettenberger's interception returned for a touchdown. The defense looked dull as well, giving up multiple third-down conversions.
The Tigers only led the Paladins, 20-16, at half. But the second half was a completely different story.
LSU would score 28 unanswered points in the second half to eventually blow out Furman, 48-16. LSU accumulated a season-high 672 yards on offense while only allowing a season-low 198 yards on defense.
Miles said, after the game, the mistakes made early cannot happen going forward.
Miles: Too many penalties...we cannot turn the ball over...INT off tip was not QBs faulk...Eventually we caught speed @1045espn— Matt Moscona (@MattMoscona) October 27, 2013
Giving up 16 points in the first half to a FCS team LSU was favored to beat by 47 is putrid. Some fans on Twitter were calling for Miles to be fired after another lackluster start.
Fans are sick of LSU playing down to its competition. But that should not be the focus of Tigers fans heading into the bye week.
The Tigers will have a chance to lick their wounds before heading into Tuscaloosa to play Alabama. The last time LSU hit the road to play the Crimson Tide in 2011, it won a physical "Game of the Century" in overtime after a bye week.
LSU will need all of the rest it could get. Alabama is on a roll on both sides of the ball. The Crimson Tide have defeated its last four SEC opponents by a combined score of 168-20.
Ole Miss was shut out by Alabama. LSU was outplayed on both sides of the ball against the Ole Miss Rebels a week ago.
But when LSU plays Alabama, everything else in the past does not matter.
LSU matches up well against Alabama. The Crimson Tide has had a distinct advantage in the trenches in every SEC game it has played this season.
Alabama is stronger on the offensive and defensive lines, but the gap will not be nearly as wide as it has been for the Crimson Tide so far this season.
LSU will have a revamped, rejuvenated defensive tackle tandem in Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson. The duo will be key in clogging the Alabama rushing attack.
Does LSU's slow start against Furman concern you heading into Alabama?
LSU's linebackers lack speed. But D.J. Welter and Lamin Barrow have played their best when facing an offense centered around a power-rushing attack.
If the Tigers secondary can prevent coverage breakdowns, defensive coordinator John Chavis should be able to call a good enough game to keep it close.
Alabama will have their hands full when they face Mettenberger, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Jeremy Hill. LSU's four key offensive cogs this season all played at an elite level last season against the Crimson Tide.
Nobody will care about what happened, so far this season, two weeks from now. Players from both LSU and Alabama take much pride in the annual must-see matchup in college football.
LSU has looked average against inferior opponents like Furman too often this season. But with extra time to prepare and get healthy, the Tigers should give Alabama its most physical contest in early November.
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