Jordan Jefferson: LSU's Offense Will Go as Far as He Will Take It
After the conclusion of LSU's victory over Washington to open the 2009 season, most of the commentary revolved around the inconsistent play of the defense and rightly so. The Tigers allowed nearly 300 yards in the first half alone.
However, I think the defense will solidify over the next few weeks before LSU hits the road again to face Georgia.
Besides the final score, I was most interested in the play of sophomore quarterback Jordan Jefferson because the quarterback play was an absolute nightmare for the Tigers last season.
The downfall started when ultra-talented quarterback Ryan Perrilloux was dismissed from the team in May 2008 for a long litany of reasons.
Harvard-transfer Andrew Hatch took over as the starting quarterback and only lasted three games before suffering a concussion against Auburn.
Freshman Jarrett Lee took over for Hatch and was the opposing team's best offensive weapons. Lee threw a half dozen interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
Jefferson took over midway in a game against Ole Miss and has held onto the job since.
He is a dual-threat quarterback who is an unhyped version of Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor.
Pryor and Jefferson both are physical specimans. Pryor is listed at 6'6", 235 pounds while Jefferson is 6'5", 220. Like Pryor, Jefferson can run the ball with good speed when necessary.
My concern with Jefferson is his consistency. After going five for seven in the first half against Ole Miss, Jefferson was only five for 13 in the second half.
His second half woes continued against Arkansas. After leading the Tigers to 23 first half points, LSU scored just seven points in the second half as the team lost 31-30.
Perhaps Jefferson turned the corner against Washington. Jefferson seemed to improve as the game moved along and had two of his three touchdown passes in the second half.
What is clear for the Tigers is that the offense has a wealth of talent. Running backs Charles Scott and Keiland Williams form the best backfield duo in the SEC. Senior wide receiver Brandan LaFell has first round talent, and junior receiver Terrance Tolliver had his coming out party against the Huskies.
Jefferson, however, is the key to the offense. If he can't pass the ball consistently then LaFell and Tolliver cannot routinely make plays and Scott and Williams will have nowhere to run against elite defenses like Florida's and Alabama's.
While it is far-fetched to expect the 19-year old true sophomore to bring a national title to Baton Rouge this season, Jefferson should be able to help bring LSU back to respectability in the SEC.
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