I’ll start this out by saying something nice. I really enjoy boudin at unhealthy levels, and I generally like every creole or cajun dish I have ever eaten.
That being said — go to hell LSU.
There are nice LSU fans out there too, and Zachary Junda with ATVS, the premier LSU blog on the world wide web, is one of them. He took a few minutes to answer our questions about Saturday’s game between the Tigers and the Rebels.
The answers are all unedited, unfiltered, straight some the horse’s mouth if you will. That’s how we do things around here and have been doing it for the last 15 years.
Without any further adieu, here’s our sit down session with ATVS.
What do you think the reaction would be from LSU’s fanbase if Lane Kiffin was announced as head coach?
There’d be excitement no doubt about it. Lane’s maybe the best offensive mind in all of college football and now that LSU’s finally got with the times in terms of passing the ball, he could absolutely bring the LSU offense to 2019 levels.
But they would all want to know which coaches, if any, would Lane retain. Corey Raymond’s the best DBs coach in college football; Brad Davis is a promising offensive line coach; Greg McMahon has hit home run after home run with the special teams; surely those guys would get to stay but new head coaches can—and should—have the final say on who his assistants will be.
Which game so far this season has been the most promising and most disappointing for LSU?
The UCLA game’s the most disappointing because it was such a carbon copy of all the issues that bogged down LSU in 2020. Poor offensive line play, a stifled running game, and a defense that, despite having future pros at all three levels, getting gashed for big play after big play by inferior talent. It was all the things that Ed Orgeron said all off season would be fixed and none of them were. And when you add in the whole “sissy blue” fiasco Orgeron didn’t just look like a bad coach, he looked like a fool and was rightfully dunked on by UCLA Twitter.
Most promising game’s got to be the Florida game because if nothing else, for the second year in a row LSU’s JV team fucked up Florida’s season. Last year LSU took Florida out of contention for the College Football Playoff, and this year they’ve ruined whatever chance the Gators had at a New Year’s Six bowl. 10/10 would recommend. But it was promising for other reasons too, namely the running game coming alive. Junior running back Ty Davis-Price set the LSU single-game rushing record against Florida and LSU figured out some stuff with this guard/H-Back counter play that the Tigers ran over and over and over again and Todd Grantham never adjusted. We also learned that day that apparently walk-on tight end/H-back Jack Mashburn is the greatest lead blocker to have ever lived and ought to be on scholarship for his efforts.
What players do Ole Miss fans need to pay attention to on both sides of the ball?
Offensively LSU’s gone with a youth movement out wide, especially in light of Kayshon Boutte’s season-ending injury. Jack Bech is a flex tight end/receiver that they’ve never really had before. Brian Thomas Jr. is a big-bodied receiver that got D1 offers in both football and basketball. His basketball background really shows when he goes up for jump balls and he can box out smaller DBs with ease. And Malik Nabers is a mean sumbitch, there’s no higher compliment I can give him.
Defensively Damone Clark has really turned it on this year. He had maybe the roughest year possible last season at the Mike position, but he’s made a massive leap this year and is third in the entire nation in tackles. Also be on the lookout for corners Dwight McGlothern and Cordale Flott, they’d be multi-year starters anywhere else but have had to take back seats to Derek Stingley Jr. and Elias Ricks. With both those guys out for the year, McGlothern and Flott are manning the boundaries and showing they can play on Sundays.
If you haven’t already said it, how have injuries changed the trajectory of the season?
The injuries are wiping out LSU’s roster, against Florida they had up to 20 players that were unavailable for Saturday’s game. LSU *should* have the best corner tandem in the country in Ricks and Stingley, both those guys are out; they *should* have maybe the best receiver in the conference in Kayshon Boutte, and he’s out; they *should* have a veteran pair of edge rushers in Ali Gaye and Andre Anthony and, you guessed it, both those guys are out for the year too. The list goes on and on and it’s getting to a point where you wonder if they have enough scholarship athletes to last another six games.
The only positive you could maybe takeaway from all this is the injuries are forcing the underclassmen into action and that should only lead to good things in 2022 and beyond, especially with a new coaching staff coming.
What do you think LSU will do to limit Matt Corral on Saturday?
They’ll need stud defensive ends BJ Ojulari and Maason Smith to have the game of their young LSU careers and make Corral use move around as much as possible on that bothered ankle. I’m thinking back to the 2019 LSU-Alabama game where Tua underwent tightrope surgery on his right ankle and on Bama’s first possession of the game he tried scrambling to keep a drive alive and fumbled the ball away. If Corral is still feeling any soreness after his 30-carry game last week, LSU will have to make him uncomfortable.
This would have been so much easier to predict had LSU not beaten Florida last weekend. Orgeron would be gone, LSU would be on a three-game losing streak, and the team would just go through the motions as they try to sim toward the end of the season. But beating Florida, and Orgeron going from head coach to basically his own interim might weirdly galvanize the team. And say what you want about Ed Orgeron, but he’s yet to lose to Ole Miss since becoming the LSU head coach. Orgeron has always gotten his team ready to play against the Rebs and yes it’s 100 percent out of spite but hey five wins in a row is five wins in a row. Ultimately, however, I think a depleted LSU team can’t recreate the effort they gave against Florida—remember they gave up 42 points while forcing four turnovers—and the Tigers run out of gas in Oxford. I see Ole Miss winning between 7-13 points.