TWO DAYS UNTIL THANKSGIVING, GANG. If you’re off work enjoying time with family and friends, great! If you’re stuck at work killing minutes until Wednesday afternoon, here’s another small distraction. We visited with longtime pal of the site Billy Gomila from the LSU site And The Valley Shook to get an extra scoop of LSU-ness.
Offense, Defense, Special Teams: who’s one player to watch from each unit that doesn’t get a lot of hype?
Offense: Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson has been Joe Burrow’s top target consistently. He did drop a pair of touchdown passes against Rice, but overall he’s been LSU’s most consistent receiver in terms of getting open on a reliable basis. LSU having success is almost surely going to involve him.
Defense: Devin White gets all of the press -- and rightfully so -- but fellow linebackers Jacob Phillips and Michael Divinity have put together two very strong seasons. Phillips has been excellent next to White, and his absence was a big part of LSU’s loss at Florida earlier this year. Divinity starts outside at the field linebacker spot, and he’s very quietly put together a strong all-around year, setting the edge in the running game and covering tight ends on the strong side. He’ll likely spend some time matched up with Jace Sternberger.
Special teams: You know, lately freshman wide receiver Kenan Jones has been an absolute demon in kick coverage.
As someone familiar with Jimbo Fisher from his time at LSU, do you think his hiring will make this series more competitive?
Honestly, competitive in the SEC West right now is a pretty relative term. We’re all playing catch-up to Alabama right now, and I don’t think changing that is an easy, or fast process. Georgia made a leap quickly in a weaker division, but they also didn’t have to actually go through Bama to get to Atlanta. That’s something A&M (or LSU) will have to do. Fisher’s proven he can build a program, although I think sustaining is a bit of a question mark.
It’s no secret that LSU generally felt like they could push around Kevin Sumlin’s A&M teams, and I would imagine that Jimbo will almost certainly change that. But football’s not a linear process -- fixing one area doesn’t necessarily mean all the others stay static. He’s recruiting well, but that’s not new. Question is, will he keep the right players and coaches around consistently?
Is there a Kansas-LSU home-and-home in the future?
Probably not, given how long those get planned out in advance, and well...how long is job security for any Kansas coach?
How do you see Saturday night panning out?
LSU’s coming into this down two big defensive starters in lineman Breiden Fehoko and cornerback Kristian Fulton, and that could potentially be problematic. As could LSU running the ball against the Aggie front. Joe Burrow can do well when he’s asked just to manage the game and not make too many big throws down the field, and in my experience, so is Kellen Mond. So I think the winner likely comes down to which team can do a better job of managing their quarterback and keeping them in plus situations.
Give us Coach O’s top five Cyber Monday purchases.
1. After wins over Arkansas, Rice and A&M he should probably see if he can find a SWC Championship ring on sale somewhere, right?
2. An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. Can never have too many.
3. Airboat. I hear there’s a website that gives a good deal on pre-owned ones.
4. Some Sugar Bowl tickets, hopefully.
5. Dramamine to make sure he can handle running the roads in recruiting through the early signing period.