HOWDY. We're into June now, which means football frenzy levels will be rising steadily over the next several weeks. We're seeing it everywhere, and no one's immune. The humidity of the coastal plain paired with some key staffing changes is a breeding ground for unbridled optimism throughout the SEC, and our epicurean compadres down on the bayou are no different. We sat down virtually with Billy Gomila from And the Valley Shook to discuss LSU Football in the post-spring 2016 era. (P.S.-- if you haven't done so already, scope out Billy's recipes here. The man is a culinary legend.)
Good Bull Hunting: What does the Dave Aranda defense look like? Any newcomer standouts? How is the philosophy different from Steele?
Billy: It's a 3-4, so that's a bit different. Really, the big key is pressure. Aranda wants to attack the backfield from all angles and be really disruptive, which is a change from both Chavis and Steele. I don't know that there are any newcomers to talk about yet, given that we haven't gotten much of a look at the freshmen that will play, but I expect Arden Key to excell as an edge pass-rushing outside linebacker from the boundary, and for Kendell Beckwith to fit in really well as an inside linebacker as well.
GBH: Who's the top QB or do you have a QB or will you be using a QB?
Billy: Brandon Harris is back, and while the #narrative is that he's been sucking for years now, this will actually just be his second season as the starter. He seemed to be coming along last year before he was dreadful in November, but he did rebound in the bowl game well. He'll be just the first returning starter LSU's had in some time, so I don't think we're crazy to expect improvement.
GBH: What's the mood with LSU fans about the trip to Lambeau Field?
Billy: I think most of us would rather be going to Madison, but as a consolation prize, a venue with Lambeau's history, plus a semi-college-like environment isn't too bad as a consolation.
GBH: What's the bare minimum Les Miles needs to accomplish in 2016 to keep his bosses and fans from faux firing him?
Billy: Well for some, nothing but an undefeated championship will be enough, but I think double-digit wins and a real shot at the playoff down the stretch will be enough. Honestly, after last season and everything that's happened since in terms of making some pretty big hires, he's in a much better place than most seem to think.
GBH: Is your Australian punter the next Brad Wing or can he keep his showboating in check?
Billy: We honestly haven't seen much of Josh Growden as a punter, but I'll say this much for him. He's pretty dreamy.
Indeed. This off-season stew is starting to simmer nicely. Stay hungry, friends.