In front of our very eyes, we are seeing major changes in college football and in particular how games are going to be played in the SEC and for LSU.
The Tigers lost a heartbreaking 44-41 shootout to the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens and the college football world we have gotten accustomed to seeing has changed forever. In many ways, the changes hit the NFL first before the college scene.
In today’s NFL it is all about quarterback play and scoring points in bunches. The rules are set up for teams to score and score plenty and that is exactly what we are seeing.
But it all boils down to what is coming from the high school and college ranks.
We are now seeing more talented wide receivers, halfbacks, tight ends and quarterbacks and less talented pressure people at defensive end, outside linebacker and defensive tackle.
The SEC is becoming more and more like teams in the PAC-12, Mountain West and Big-12. The games of 17-13 that were the norm in the SEC are forever lost.
It is why the LSU vs. Georgia game is going to be more of the norm than the exception today in the SEC. When is the last time you could say that the three best players on the LSU football team were their receivers, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, and their quarterback, Zach Mettenberger?
For 10 straight seasons the Tigers have sent a defensive lineman into the NFL draft. However, last week the Tigers didn’t sack the quarterback. Aaron Murray is a very good college quarterback, and he played like it, but it was Georgia’s rushing attack that piled up over 190 yards against the Tiger defense. That’s despite the fact that the best player for Georgia, halfback Todd Gurley, went down in the second quarter of the game with an ankle injury.
The Tigers are also known for producing great defensive backs, but what we saw this past weekend was total confusion in the LSU secondary. The Tigers have recruited a lot of top high school players, but none of them have been able to crack the lineup and be a significant playmaker along either the defensive line or in the secondary.
I really think that in time freshmen cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Rashard Robinson will turn out to be really good football players for LSU, but where will the pressure upfront come from in the future?
In 2012 the Tigers posted 35 quarterback sacks and 91 tackles for loss. In 2011 the Tiger defense posted 106 tackles for loss and 39 quarterback sacks. In 2013 the Tigers pressure has been significantly less. They have registered just 21 tackles for loss and seven quarterback sacks in five games.
Now the Tigers start with the meat of the SEC schedule. However, the defensive play we have seen for years in the SEC has changed and I don’t see it changing back anytime soon.