LSU Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

Carter Bryant@carterthepowerContributor IApril 5, 2014

LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings gets ready for the spring game.
LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings gets ready for the spring game.Photo Credit: Geaux247

The first half of the LSU spring game featured plenty of scoring, some of which came from the defense. The second half had a running clock, but that did not slow down the passing attack. The white team, which included mostly the first-unit players, defeated the purple, 42-14.

LSU Tigers Spring Game Grades
Position UnitFirst Half GradeSecond Half Grade
Pass OffenseBA
Rush OffenseDB
Pass DefenseA-B
Rush DefenseB+C
Special TeamsBB
Bleacher Report

Second-half analysis for the LSU Tigers

Pass Offense: Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris were both impressive. Jennings tossed a touchdown pass to Travin Dural for the white team and Harris walked into the end zone off a bootleg. Hayden Rettig looked sharp in his limited snaps. Dural made difficult catches throughout the half in tight spaces. Rob Bolden and John Diarse also caught a pass each.

Run Offense: LSU was able to establish some success on the ground in the fourth quarter, ending a Rettig-lead drive with a touchdown rush from Kenny Hilliard. The offensive line for both the purple and white squads showed much improvement in the second half. 

Pass Defense: LSU's pass defense was not as sharp as it was in the first half, yet still performed admirably. Jennings, Harris and Rettig fit the ball into tight windows. LSU fans should be pleased with the performance of the defensive backs even with a few sitting out due to injury. 

Run Defense: The purple squad's defensive line wore down in the fourth quarter, to no one's surprise; they had been on the field for most of the game. The white squad, like it had all day, dominated the line of scrimmage defensively.  

Special Teams: LSU remained perfect on extra points. 

Coaching: Les Miles switched Jennings back to the white squad and Harris to the purple. They both performed well. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron called mostly passes in the third quarter and mainly kept it on the ground in the fourth. Defensive coordinator John Chavis put an impressive Ronnie Feist at linebacker with the white squad to start the second half. 

TAMPA, FL -  JANUARY 1:  Quarterback Anthony Jennings #10 of the LSU Tigers looks to pass against the Iowa Hawkeyes January 1, 2014  in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  LSU won 21 - 14. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

First-half analysis for the LSU Tigers

Pass Offense: Anthony Jennings played for the white team in the first quarter and the purple for the second. He threw a interception to linebacker Debo Jones, which was returned 67 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, Kwon Alexander jumped an out route for an easy pick-six. Jennings struggled to get into a rhythm and completed only six passes.

LSU's Brandon Harris was first to take the field with the purple squad. He started off 1-for-7 for three yards, but then heated up when he switched over to the white. The freshman impressively finished 8-of-18 for 122 yards and three touchdowns, throwing the ball where only his receiver could catch it. His most impressive trait was was ability to step up in the pocket and let the play develop. 

Run Offense: The Tigers have struggled to get anything going on the ground. LSU has only produced 71 yards on 28 carries from running backs, with no rush for over 10 yards. The Tigers have only three scholarship players taking snaps at running back in Terrence Magee, Kenny Hilliard and Melvin Jones. The offensive lines for both teams have been average. The best rush was a Harris scramble for 41 yards.

Pass Defense: The LSU pass defense was dominant in the first half. Jones and Alexander's interception returns were impressive, but the entire secondary for both units showed great physicality in man coverage. The LSU receivers struggled to get separation. Danielle Hunter was a menace on the pass rush, raking in two sacks. All of Harris' touchdown passes were on perfectly thrown passes. 

Run Defense: LSU's run defense has been stout. Defensive tackles Christian LaCouture and Quentin Thomas of the white team and Maquedius Bain and Greg Gilmore of the purple have done a superb job of holding the point of attack. 

Special Teams: LSU punted eight times in the first half due to the offensive struggles early. To avoid risking injury, plays were blown dead soon after the ball was caught by the returner. LSU had Ed Paris, Tre'Davious White, John Diarse and Dural all catch punts. Paris fumbled his only attempt, which eventually led to a Harris touchdown pass. The LSU kickers were perfect on extra points and no field goals were attempted.   

Coaching: Les Miles had the decision to switch to putting Harris with the white team, which ignited the offense. Cam Cameron called mostly pass plays, but was able to keep the defense honest with the run. John Chavis kept his playbook simple, rarely calling blitzes. 




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