LSU Sports Information
By: Michael Bonnette
LSU’S STEVE ENSMINGER AND BILL JOHNSON TO TRANSITION INTO ANALYST ROLES WITH TIGERS
BATON ROUGE – Steve Ensminger, the offensive coordinator for the most successful team in LSU history, and defensive line coach Bill Johnson have both announced that they will retire from on field coaching duties and will transition into analyst roles on the Tiger staff.
Ensminger, who played quarterback for the Tigers under Charles McClendon in the 1970s, just completed his 11th year on the LSU coaching staff, the final three coming as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Ensminger joined the Tigers in 2010 as tight ends coach. Ensminger also served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the final eight contests of the 2016 season when Ed Orgeron was elevated to head coach four games into the season.
“Steve gave everything he had to LSU and I will always cherish the time we spent coaching together,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “Steve treated everyone on the staff and the players on our team like family. He bleeds purple and gold – I don’t know of a better LSU man. From a coaching standpoint, he’s the best. From game-planning to play-calling, Steve was outstanding. He developed our players on the field and he helped mold them into young men off the field. I can’t thank Steve enough for his loyalty and his willingness to do whatever was asked of him.”
In 46 games with Ensminger as offensive coordinator, the Tigers averaged 37.4 points and 474.1 total yards per game. LSU racked up over 500 yards of total offense 20 times under Ensminger which included 714 yards against Ole Miss in 2019. LSU also scored 40 or more points 23 times during that span. With Ensminger as offensive coordinator, the Tigers went 36-10, winning 26 of those games by double-figures.
LSU’s 2019 offense was called by many as the best in college football history as the Tigers were the first to feature a 5,000-yard passer (Joe Burrow), two 1,000-yard receivers (Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson) and a 1,000-yard rusher (Clyde Edwards-Helaire). The Tigers set 15 school records, seven SEC marks and two NCAA records on their way to a 15-0 record and the national title with an offense that featured a Heisman Trophy quarterback in Burrow and three first round draft picks (Burrow, Jefferson, and Edwards-Helaire).
Ensminger directed a Tiger offense that led the nation in scoring (48.4) and yards per game (568.4) in 2019. It marked the first time in conference history that a team from the SEC led the nation in both categories. In 15 games in 2019, LSU scored 40 points or more 12 times, which included four 50-point games and three 60-point games. Additionally, LSU racked up 500 yards or more of total offense 12 times, including 628 against Clemson in the national championship game and 692 in a win over Oklahoma in the national semifinals.
LSU’s 2019 offense featured Burrow, who reset the SEC single-season record books, with the best performance by a quarterback in college football history. Burrow set NCAA marks for passing TDs (60) and total TDs (64) to go along with SEC marks for passing yards (5,671), completions (402), completion percentage (76.3) and total offense (6,039). Burrow’s top two receivers in Biletnikoff winner Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson both set records as well. Chase set the SEC mark for TD receptions (20) and receiving yards (1,780), while Jefferson set the LSU record for total receptions (111).
Johnson joined Orgeron’s staff in 2019 as defensive line coach after a lengthy career in the NFL. Johnson is one of the few coaches that have won both a CFP National Championship and a Super Bowl. Johnson’s 2019 defensive line was instrumental during LSU’s undefeated national championship season. He won a Super Bowl as the Saints’ defensive line coach in 2009 and he helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2018 season.
“Bill is an outstanding football coach and a tremendous man,” Orgeron said. “I have great respect for Bill and the job he did teaching and developing our players. He stepped in and made an immediate impact with our defensive linemen two years ago and I will always appreciate his dedication to the LSU Tigers.”
In two years coaching the LSU defensive line, Johnson had a pair of players earn All-SEC honors in Rashard Lawrence and Ali Gaye.
LSU Sports Information
By: Michael Bonnette
LSU AND PELINI AGREE TO MUTUALLY PART WAYS
BATON ROUGE – LSU and defensive coordinator Bo Pelini have agreed to mutually part ways.
LSU and Pelini agreed to a financial settlement to end Pelini’s employment agreement with the University. As part of the agreement, Pelini will accept a one-time payment in lieu of the liquidated damages detailed in his contract.
“While this year has been challenging in many ways, the decision to return to LSU – a place that I love with many wonderful memories – is something that I’m thankful for. However, after meeting with Coach O and discussing the future of the program, we have mutually decided that it’s best we part ways,” Pelini said. “I wish nothing but success for LSU, Coach O and the players that I thoroughly enjoyed coaching and getting to know this year. I was proud of how hard our team competed down stretch, the way our young guys stepped up and were developing and the overall direction we were headed.
“I am grateful to call Coach O a friend and I am thankful for the opportunity to come back to LSU, but I have decided to move on in my coaching career. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Coach O, the staff, the players and the entire LSU community. I will be pulling for the Tigers wherever my next stop may be.”
LSU wrapped up the 2020 season on Saturday with a 53-48 win over Ole Miss in Tiger Stadium to finish 5-5 overall.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The Tigers needed a win in Saturday's season finale to avoid their first losing season since 1999. Mission accomplished as LSU would hang on late to defeat the Ole Miss Rebels/Black Bears/Land-Sharks in a wet and wild shootout, 53-48 in Death Valley. With the win the Tigers end a very disappointing and frustrating 2020 football season with a 5-5 record.
Below is our "Da Boot Sports" game break down.....
The Tigers won the toss and surprisingly took the ball to start the ball game. Max Johnson and the LSU offense would quickly go three-and-out. Zach Von Rosenberg would boom a nice 50 yard punt, setting Ole Miss up with a 1st and ten at their own 15 yard line after committing a penalty on the return.
On the Rebels first offensive play Matt Corral would swing the ball out to Braylon Sanders who looked to be tackled after an eight yard gain. However, it appeared Sanders rolled over on top of a LSU defender, bounced back up to his feet and continued to run deep into LSU territory. The play would be reviewed and overturned bringing the ball back to the Ole Miss 23 yard line. Two plays later Corral would hit Casey Kelly who was wide open in stride for a 57 yard gain down to the LSU 26 yard line. Two plays later Corral would hit Sanders in the far corner of the North End Zone for a 20 yard touchdown. Luke Logan would kick the point after to put the Black Bears up, 7-0 with 11:18 left in the quarter.
Both teams would trade punts, setting LSU up with a 1st and ten at the Ole Miss 31 yard line after a poor Land-Shark punt out of the end zone and a nice return by Koy Moore.
The Tigers could only manage to drive 15 yards on seven plays and would need to send in Cade York to kick a 34 yard field goal. York's kick was good putting LSU on the board, 7-3.
LSU would kickoff to the Rebels, setting them up 1st and ten at the 25 after a touchback. On 1st down, Jay Ward would intercept a Corral pass and return it 31 yards for a touchdown. The score would put LSU up 10-7 with 5:26 to go in the 1st quarter.
Both teams would once again trade punts setting up an Ole Miss drive, 1st and ten at their own 37 yard line. The Black Bears would drive into LSU territory before facing a 4th and 3 at the Tigers' 40. Matt Corral would throw another interception on the play. This time to Todd Harris. Harris would grab the turnover at the 15 and return it 14 yards out to the LSU 28 yard line. A penalty on the return would move the Tigers back half the distance to the goal. On 2nd and eight at the LSU 16, Max Johnson would find Kayshon Boutte for a 23 yard gain to the 39 yard line to end the 1st quarter.
LSU would continue their possession to start the 2nd quarter, putting together a very nice drive. The Tigers would increase their lead to 17-7 on a 1 yard quarterback sneak by Max Johnson. The 86 yard drive in nine plays was the first real production from the LSU offense so far in the contest.
LSU's momentum would be short lived as Avery Atkins' kickoff would be gathered in at the goal line by the Land-Sharks' Jerrion Ealy. Ealy would turn on the jets and out run the LSU kickoff team 100 yards for the score. The touchdown quickly cut the Tigers' lead to three points, 17-14 with 12:03 to go in the 3rd.
Johnson and the LSU offense would try to respond driving 47 yards into Ole Miss land before stalling at the Rebels' 39 yard line. Von Rosenberg would come in the game and have his punt downed at the Black Bears' five yard line as the rain would begin to fall.
Ole Miss would do a nice job of driving out of the shadow of their goal post as they would move out to their 40 in only four plays. On the next play, Ali Gaye would get to Corral, causing another interception by swatting the ball away and grab it out of the air.
LSU would waste little time, as Max Johnson would find Boutte for a 32 yard touchdown pass on 4th and two. The score would put LSU up 24-14 with 4:50 left in the first half.
Ole Miss would answer the LSU score as Corral would drive the Land-Sharks 61 yards in six plays as Henry Parrish would punch it into the end zone from 1 yard out. The touchdown cut the LSU lead down to 24-21 with 3:07 left in the half.
While the Black Bears had regained the momentum in a wild second quarter of play, the LSU offense had begun to play well and continued clicking as they would answer the Rebels score. Another nice drive by the Tigers going 75 yards in nine plays. Once again the Tigers would strike on 4th down. On 4th and one from the 18, Johnson would find Kayshon Boutte again for the score to put LSU up 31-21 with :58 ticks left on the game clock.
Only a few seconds later on 1st and ten at their own 35, Matt Corral would drop back to throw. Jabril Cox would step in front of the pass intercepting the ball at the 33 and return it 14 yards to the 19 yard line with :35 second to go.
The Tigers would be unable to put it in the end zone and would have to settle for a Cade York 34 yard field goal, sending us into halftime with LSU up by a score of 34-21.
Ole Miss would start the 2nd half with the ball, 1st and ten from their 17. On 3rd and 11, Jay Ward would intercept Matt Corral's pass at the LSU 40, returning it back 16 yards to the Black Bears' 44.
The Tigers would have to settle for a 23 yard Cade York field goal after the 39 yard, 11 play drive would stall at the Land-Sharks five yard line. With 9:50 left in the quarter, LSU would hold a 37-21 lead.
As the rain would continue to fall, it looked as though the Tigers were taking control of the game and about to put the Rebels away. However, Ole Miss would refuse to quit. Their offense would dig down deep and begin to move the ball at will against the LSU defense. The Land-Sharks would answer going 65 yards in five plays as Henry Parrish would sweep into the end zone from ten yards out for the score. The Black Bears would fail at an attempted two point conversion. LSU's lead would now stand at 37-27.
LSU would quickly go three-and-out giving the ball back to an Ole Miss offense that was
now clicking on all cylinders.
The Tigers would struggle to stop the Ole Miss attack as the Rebels as the game would begin to become a wild back and forth shootout. The Land-Sharks would chomp into the LSU lead as they would drive 77 yards in eight plays, ending with a five yard touchdown pass from Matt Corral to Dontario Drummond. With 4:03 left in the 3rd, LSU would cling to a 37-34 lead.
Max Johnson and the LSU offense would fight back driving 48 yards in six plays, highlighted by a Johnson to Kayshon Boutte 47 yard completion to the Ole Miss 31 yard line. The Rebel defense would halt the drive here, forcing Cade York to attempt a 50 yard field goal. York, who kicked the game winning, record setting 57 yard field goal last week in Gainesville, booted this one right down the middle through the uprights, extending LSU's advantage to 40-34.
Corral and the Black Bear offense would begin their next drive with 2:16 left in the 3rd quarter and quickly travel 67 yards in six plays as the quarter would come to a close.
The Rebels would continue their drive into the final period of the game, scoring on the first play as Corral would connect with Braylon Sanders on a 25 yard touchdown pass giving the Land-Sharks their first lead since early in the 1st quarter, 41-40 with 14:53 left in the game.
The back and forth battle would continue as Max Johnson and the Tigers would try to answer. On the first play of the drive, Johnson would hit Boutte for a 47 yard gain to the Ole Miss 31 yard line. Four plays later, LSU would face a 2nd and six at the ten and Max Johnson would make his first and only mistake of the game. Johnson would under throw a pass into the end zone attended for Kayshon Boutte, that would be intercepted, killing a huge scoring opportunity.
Matt Corral and the Rebels would slowly dominate a seemingly beaten LSU defense. as they
would drive 80 yards in 11 plays, scoring their 4th consecutive touchdown as Matt Corral would take it into the end zone from two yards out on a bootleg to extend the Black Bears lead to 48-40 with 8:43 left on the game clock.
The rain would continue to fall as LSU would begin their next drive. Johnson would start things off with a seven yard scramble, along with a Rebel personal foul on the play to tack on 15 more yards. On the next play Boutte would grab a Johnson pass for a 16 yard gain to the Land-Sharks 37. The Tigers would grind the ball down to the Rebels 15. From there, Johnson would hit Boutte again at the Ole Miss one yard line. On the next play, Johnson would take it in himself on a quarterback sneak. LSU would attempt and fail at the two point conversion, and the Black Bears would hold onto a 48-46 lead with 5:31 left in the game.
Ole Miss would start at their 25. This time the LSU defense would stand tall and shut the Rebels down. On 3rd and 12 at the 23, Corral would be sacked for a ten yard loss by Neil Farrell.
The Tigers would begin a 56 yard drive from their own 44 with only 2:36 left that would take only three plays. On 1st and ten from the Rebels 45 yard line, Johnson would hit Boutte crossing the field in stride. He would spin away from a tackler and take it up the near sidelines for the go ahead score. York's point after would give LSU a 53-48 lead with 1:02 left in the game.
The Land-Sharks would begin their final drive from their 34. Matt Corral would put the Ole Miss offense on his shoulders and begin to carry them up the field through the steady rain fall. With a 1st and ten at the LSU 28, it looked as if the Rebels were destined to score the winning touchdown and steal the win. Corral would drop to throw and begin to step up in the pocket to run. Ali Gaye would hit Corral causing a fumble. JaCoby Stevens would recover the ball at the 27.
The Tigers would line up in victory formation and end the game. 53-48 Victory for LSU.....
For the second straight week the Tigers played with energy and heart for 60 minutes. Max Johnson once again played an outstanding game finishing 27-51, 435 yards passing, 3 TDs, 1 INT, adding 45 yards on the ground with two rushing TDs. With both John Emery and Ty Davis-Price out with injuries, true freshmen running backs Josh Williams, 55 yards on 12 carries, and Tre Bradford, 53 yards on 9 carries filled in nicely. But the night belonged to Kayshon Boutte who finished with 14 catches for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns. Boutte's 308 receiving yards breaks Josh Reed's LSU receiving yards record (292 at Alabama in 2001) and the SEC record held by Arkansas's Cobi Hamilton (303 vs. Rutgers in 2012).
Even though the LSU defense gave up 558 total yards and 48 points to the Rebels, they had several moments throughout the game where they would make key plays to help the Tigers escape with the win. They would put nice pressure on Matt Corral all game long, sacking him twice and intercepting him five times returning one for a score. LSU would win the turnover battle 6-1.
So the 2020 LSU football team will finish with a 5-5 record and will be the first time in 20 years that they will not play in a Bowl game.
A 2020 season that would begin with high expectations and would quickly turn into a shocking nightmare filled with players opting out before and during the season. Losing a red hot starting quarterback with a season ending injury causing two young true freshmen to be thrown into the fire with no experience, which would contribute to offensive inconsistencies. Then a poorly coached defense that gave up a decade of big plays week after week until showing some improvement in the final two games of the season. Yes, the 2020 LSU football season has mercifully come to an end.
However the future is bright for this young LSU football team. Several talented true freshmen gained valuable game experience, improving each week and in the process new stars have shined. The Tigers will have a lot of talent coming back in 2021 along with a very strong 2020 recruiting class. So let the offseason expectations begin to rise and GEAUX TIGERS!
Photos By: LSU/SEC
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
On Monday afternoon Coach Ed Orgeron met with the media as usual for his "Tell the Truth Monday" press conference.. As most would expect, things were a little more up beat after LSU's 37-34 upset victory over #5 Florida this past Saturday night. Things now turn towards the 2020 football season finale against Ole Miss this upcoming Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium. The Tigers must pull out one more win this season to avoid a losing season.
Below is video of the press conference for your viewing....
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
LSU limped into the Swamp on Saturday night with high hopes that they could play a competitive game against the #6 Florida Gators. Not only were they competitive, but they were also victorious. The Tigers played perhaps their most inspiring and complete football game of the season as they beat Florida 37-34 in an epic SEC showdown.
Below is our 'Da Boot Sports' game recap.....
The Tigers would win the coin toss and elect to defer.. Florida would take the opening kickoff and begin to move easily into LSU territory, eventually finding themselves with a 1st and goal at the nine. The LSU defense would stand tall and keeping the Gators out of the end zone setting up a 4th and goal from the three. Florida would line up for a field goal attempt but Ali Gaye would jump off sides moving the ball to the one. Dan Mullen would choose to send his offense back onto the field to try for the six. The Tigers would slam the door on the Gators as the defense in purple and gold would stuff Malik Davis for no gain, forcing the turnover on downs. Florida would drive 74 yards in 11 plays and come away empty handed.
With freshman Max Johnson starting the game at quarterback. LSU would take no chances starting their first drive at the one in the shadows of their own goal post, only managing six yards. Zach Von Rosenberg would boom a nice punt that would be fair caught at the Florida 48 yard line.
Kyle Trask and the Gator offense would begin their drive right at mid-field, and again would find it easy to move the football against the struggling LSU defense. On 1st down Cordale Flott would be called for personal foul targeting and would be injected from the contest. On the next play Malik Davis would bust a 24 yard run down to the LSU six yard line. This time the Tigers would be unable to keep the Gators off the score board. On 3rd and goal from the one, Trask would sneak it in for his first rushing touchdown of the season. Evan McPherson would add the point after giving the Gators a 7-0 lead with 8:01 to go in the 1st quarter.
Starting their second drive with some breathing room, the Tigers were able to begin a nice drive highlighted by a nice job of play calling. LSU would be able to run the ball well as Ty Davis-Price would and Max Johnson would both help move the ball with nice runs. Johnson would show poise as he would complete a couple of mixed in key passes. The Tigers would end up on the scoreboard when Max Johnson would throw a perfect pass hitting Jaray Jenkins crossing in the back of the end zone for a five yard touchdown. York's PAT would tie things up at 7-7. The LSU drive would go 75 yards in 11 plays, eating 3:40 off the clock.
Both teams would trade punts to end the 1st quarter of play, tied at 7-7.
Florida would take their next possession into the start of the 2nd quarter. After crossing mid-field Trask and the Gators would have the ball 3rd and 6 at the LSU 35 yard line. Trask would drop back to throw and release his pass under heavy pressure. Eli Ricks would step in front of the pass and return the interception 68 yards for a LSU touchdown. The Tigers would now have their first lead of the game, 14-7.
Kadarius Toney would start the Gators next drive with an explosive 26 yard run to the LSU 49 yard line. From there Florida would go backwards after a penalty and a sack by Jaquelin Roy. Facing 2nd and 26 from their own 35, Trask would go deep and find Trevon Grimes for a 50 yard completion down to the LSU 15 yard line. On the next play LSU would pressure Trask forcing him to escape the pocket and role to his right. Trask would try to force a throw to a Gator receiver, who would tip the ball into the air. The ball would then bounce off of the helmet of LSU cornerback Dwight McGlothern back into the air and into the hands of Jay Ward at the six yard line.
Johnson and the LSU offense would quickly go three-and-out returning the ball back to Florida.
Trask would bounce back from his two interceptions and drive the Gators down the field going 44 yards in nine plays before the drive would stall at the LSU five yard line, as the Tiger defense would continue to play tough in the red zone. Evan McPherson would boot a 23 yard field goal attempt between the uprights making the score 14-10 with 6:25 left in the 1st half.
The Florida defense would seem to have finally figured the LSU offense out as they would force the Tigers three-and-out again forcing them to punt the ball away for the third straight possession.
Trask and the Gators would continue to pile up yardage against LSU defense, driving 66 yards in seven plays to retake the lead. On 3rd and eight at the LSU 19 yard line, Trask would find Jacob Copeland in the end zone for a touchdown. With 2:25 left in the half, the Gators lead 17-14.
The sputtering LSU offense would finally find find a groove as they would begin to establish the
run, keeping Florida's defense back on their heels as they would mix things up nicely. Max Johnson would throw his 2nd touchdown of the game as he would find Kayshon Boutte wide open down the far sidelines for 34 yards out. The score would end a 9 play, 75 yard drive, putting LSU back on top, 21-17 with :33 ticks left on the clock.
Instead of running out the clock to end the half, the Gators would look to strike deep down field against the LSU secondary. After a 17 yard gain, Trask would drop back to throw and would be sacked by Ray Thornton, causing the ball to pop loose. B.J. Ojulari would recover the fumble at the Florida 19 yard line.
Cade York would come in a kick a 39 yard field goal on the final play of the 1st half to give LSU the lead 24-17 at the half.
LSU would take the second half kickoff and begin a dominating drive to begin the 2nd half. The Tigers would go 63 yards in 17 plays, (12 of them rushing plays), while eating up 6:31 off the game clock. However, the Tigers would need to settle for a Cade York 30 yard field goal after a holding penalty would stall the drive deep in the Florida red zone.
Trailing LSU 27-17, Trask and the Gator offense seemed would score touchdowns on back to back drive as Florida would slowly take over the momentum in the 3rd quarter. Both times the Gators scored quickly, making it look too easy. First they would go 75 yards in only four plays, with the drive ending with Trask diving into the end zone from one yard out for the score, cutting the LSU lead to three, 27-24. After a quick three-and-out and a LSU punt, the Gators would strike quickly again. This time going 81 yards in only five plays. This time Trask would hit Kadarius Toney on a quick bubble screen that he would take into the end zone for a nine yard touchdown play giving the Gators the lead once again, 31-27.
Both teams would then exchange punts before LSU would take their next possession into the start of the 4th quarter. With Florida back in control, it seemed like the Tigers would begin to follow their same ole 2020 season routine, allowing their opponent to begin to take control a start to pull away.
But these Tigers had a lot of fight left in them. Max Johnson and the offense would put together a nice 9 play, 84 yard scoring drive. Johnson would find freshman running back Tre Bradford in the flat for a four yard touchdown putting LSU back up, 34-31 with 13:44 left in the ballgame.
Over the next four possessions, both teams would trade punts as a thick fog would begin to
move into Gainesville.
The Gators offense would be the first to break out of the offensive funk and finally start to move the football with 5:49 left in the game. Trask and the Florida offense would find themselves 1st and goal at the LSU nine yard line. It looked like Florida was on the verge of punching the ball in for a score to regain the lead, but the LSU defense continued to play their best game of the season, bending but not breaking, forcing the Gators to kick a field goal to tie things up at 34-34 with only 2:51 left on the game clock.
LSU seemed to go three-and-out quickly, but on 3rd down, Florida defensive back Marco Wilson would pull off Kole Taylor's cleat after tackling him and throw it, drawing a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, giving LSU a 1st down and new life. Johnson and the Tigers made the most of their gift, driving into Florida territory, setting up a 57 yard field goal attempt for Cade York. York's kick cut through the thick fog and split the uprights right down the middle to give LSU the lead back, 37-34 with :23 second left to go.
Trask would come out firing, working their way into field goal range. The drive would end at the LSU 33 with :02 seconds left. Florida kicker Evan McPherson would line up to try a 51 yard field goal to tie the game up. McPherson would miss the kick wide right and the LSU Fighting Tigers would escape the Swamp with an exciting 37-34 upset victory.
Got to give credit to the LSU players who played inspiring football for 60 minutes. There were moments when they would show signs of reverting back to the nightmarish play that has haunted them all season long. But against Florida, this team showed hunger, heart, and determination. They played with fight and pride for the purple and gold, looking like the team that we had expected to see all season long. A team that finally look prepared and well coached. A group of several young, inexperience athletes who took advantage of their opportunity. What a huge victory for this LSU program with the college football early signing day period only a few short days away, (December 16th).
Max Johnson's first start would be a memorable one as he and the LSU offense would battle a very talented Florid defense all night long. Johnson would finish the game going, 21-36, for 239 yards, and 3 touchdown passes, as he would play with the coolness and poise of a veteran leader.
The receiving corps which has taken three huge blow to it's depth chart over the last three weeks, losing both Terrace Marshall Jr. and Arik Gilbert to season opt out decisions, while Racey McMath has been unavailable due to injury. True freshmen wide receivers Kayshon Boutte, (5 catches, 108 yards, 1 TD), Koy Moore, (4 grabs for 20 yards), tight end Kole Taylor (3 catches , 11 yards), and sophomore Jaray Jenkins, (4 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD), all stepped up with outstanding play all game long.
Another nice surprise on the night was the play of the LSU offensive line. This unit has played very poorly most of the season, but finally stepped up as they would do a nice job against the Gators while dealing with injuries throughout the contest. Although Johnson was sacked twice, he was protected most of the night with time to throw. The O-Line also lead the way helping establish a strong running attack that has been missing in previous contest. LSU would grind out 179 yards on the ground, lead by Chris Curry's 67 yards on 17 carries. Ty Davis-Price would contribute 55 yards on 8 touches, as well as Max Johnson adding 52 yards on 18 carries.
You have to be proud of the LSU defense. This unit has played poorly all season long, giving up countless big plays. and was coming off of one of their worse performances of the season. Derek Stingley would not play as he would be dealing with a nagging injury. Cordale Flott would be lost early in the game with a targeting infraction, and for some unknown reason Micah Baskerville didn't make the trip. Florida would put up over 600 yards of offense on the night, (609), but the Tigers played very well, especially in the red zone at times. The big story of the night was turnovers. The Tigers forced three huge turnovers, including a 68 yard pick six by Eli Ricks. Bo Pelini would put together an very aggressive game plan that the young Tigers would execute well as they put nice pressure on Kyle Trask throughout the contest sacking him four times. Damone Clark would lead the Tigers in tackles with 9 total. Jay Ward, JaCoby Stevens, and Jabril Cox all stood out making several big plays. The Tigers' defensive line played an outstanding game, while the young secondary played well. It was a great team victory for the Tigers, a victory that may be nicknamed, "The Cleat Game"...
Next up, the Tigers (4-5), will play their final game of the 2020 season as they will host the Ole Miss Rebels/Black Bears/Land-Sharks in Death Valley on Saturday, December 19th. Kickoff is set for 2:30pm..
Photos By: LSU/SEC
LSU Sports Information
BY: Michael Bonnette
STATEMENTS FROM LSU ATHLETICS AND HEAD COACH ED ORGERON
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Athletic Department and head coach Ed Orgeron released statements today regarding the LSU football team not participating in a bowl game this year.
LSU Athletics statement:
“LSU has informed the NCAA and SEC that it will self-impose a one-year postseason ban on its football program for the 2020-21 bowl season, in addition to self-imposed sanctions already declared. LSU leadership made this decision after careful deliberation and review of the NCAA rules violations that have been discovered in the University’s cooperative investigation with the NCAA and IARP. This decision reflects LSU’s commitment to compliance with NCAA regulations and maintenance of institutional control. We regret the impact that this decision has on our current student-athletes, but we make it in the best interest of the football program and University. LSU will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and IARP throughout the enforcement process.”
Head coach Ed Orgeron statement:
“I respect the university’s decision to proactively address NCAA issues from the past. I share the disappointment of our student-athletes who will not be able to compete this season in a bowl game. I am especially proud of our players' dedication to the program during these unprecedented times in our country. Their pride in LSU will be the driving force as we continue to build a championship program. Geaux Tigers.”
By: Terrill J, Weil
Da Boot Sports!
What's going on!!?????? What kind of evil forces are the LSU football program dealing with??? Makes you wonder..... After a 15-0 national championship season in 2019, how could a team go from the top of the college football mountain to a spiraling collapse into the deep darkness of struggles in only one season?
Even with all that the team lost, (30 plus players, Joe Brady, Dave Aranda), most figured the Tigers still had enough talent in the tank to bounce back with at least a 7-3 type of competitive 2020 season.
So again, what evil forces are our Tigers battling? Could it be a disgruntled, revenge minded fan in the back woods of Oxford or Starkville, maybe Georgia who have placed some kind of curse on our beloved defending national champions?? Could it be a voodoo hex casted upon us from the swamps of Gainesville?? Whatever these evil forces are, we must find a way to some how exorcise this demon back to its dark, cold dimension and out of Baton Rouge forever.
I've got it!!!! It has to be a nutty hostile scientist somewhere in Alabama that has kidnapped Coach O during the offseason, holding him prisoner in a secret laboratory while replacing him with an evil look alike clone programed to take down LSU football once and for all. Anything to make sure the Tigers never defeat their unbeatable Crimson Tide ever again.
I have to say, no one is more in shock then I about this 3-5 season thus far.. The best way to describe the way I feel right now is NUMB.... I'm numb from head to toe. I never thought I’d see LSU football play on this pathetic level again. It’s disturbing.
Lets hope and pray that by Spring we can return to some normalcy. We have to believe that
Coach O will make the necessary changes to his staff in the offseason. WE NEED CHANGES! With a full spring practice and a regular fall camp, this team will bounce back with heart and passion in 2021 to compete for the SEC West. Put a huge asterisk next to the 2020 football season in the record books and forget about it forever.... GEAUX TIGERS!!
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Looks like the suffering at LSU will continue, as a source has reported that LSU freshman tight end Arik Gilbert has quit the team and has entered himself into the NCAA transfer portal after missing practice on Monday...
Gilbert, a five-star signee out of Marietta High School, located in Marietta, Georgia, was named the 2020 National High School Gatorade Player of the Year. The first tight end to ever win the award..
Reports have surfaced that since arriving at LSU, Gilbert has dealt with homesickness.. LSU
is hoping to change his decision and keep him in the purple and gold.
What a devastating blow it would be to the LSU football program if Gilbert chooses not to return. Last week, team leading receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. decided to opt out the remainder of the season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Coach Ed Orgeron held is weekly "Tell the Truth Monday" press conference today. After a short recap of the loss to Alabama, Coach O would answer questions from the media... The Tigers are preparing this week for a road trip to the Swamp to battle the Florida Gators who have won the Eastern Division earning a spot in the SEC Championship Game on December 19th...
Below is video of the press conference to view...
LSU Sports Information
By: Michael Bonnette
LSU’S ZACH VON ROSENBERG NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR RAY GUY AWARD
BATON ROUGE – LSU senior punter Zach Von Rosenberg has been named as one of 16 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award, which is awarded annually to the top punter in college football.
Von Rosenberg has twice been named the Ray Guy Punter of the Week this year. He won the award for his performance against Mississippi State in the season-opener and then again in LSU’s win over Arkansas.
Von Rosenberg, who is 30, is the oldest player on a college football roster this year. Now a senior and having already graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, Von Rosenberg ranks No. 4 in school history in career punts (140) and his 44.0 career average ranks No. 3 in school history.
This year, Von Rosenberg is averaging 44.0 yards on 46 punts. He leads the Southeastern Conference in punts downed inside the 20-yard line with 20 and he’s No. 2 in the league in punts of 50-plus yards with 13. As a unit, LSU ranks second in the SEC In net punting with a 42.2 average.
The candidates were evaluated by the Ray Guy Award committee on their overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis was placed on net punting average, number of times a punt was downed or kicked out-of-bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardage punted, average returned yardage and percentage of punts not returned. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team's success.
A national voting body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, national media and previous Ray Guy Award winners will decide the three award finalists who will be announced on Tuesday, December 22nd. Voters will then vote again to determine the winner who will be announced live on Thursday, January 7th at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.
LSU Sports Information
By: Michael Bonnette
LSU’S CADE YORK NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR LOU GROZA AWARD
BATON ROUGE – LSU sophomore Cade York has been named as one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, which is presented annually to the top placekicker in college football.
York, from McKinney Texas, has connected on 11-of-14 field goals this year with four of his kicks coming from 50-plus yards. York ranks No. 4 in the Southeastern Conference in total field goals (11) and he’s tied for first in the SEC in point-after touchdown percentage having connected on all 27 of his PATs.
In the win over Vanderbilt, York set a career-best with 53-yard field goal, just one yard shy of the school record of 54 yard held by a trio of Tigers – Cole Tracy vs. Miami in 2018, Wade Richey vs. Kentucky in 1996 and Ron Lewis vs. North Carolina in 1985.
A second-team All-SEC selection in 2019, York has eight career field goals or 50 yards or longer. Last year, York kicked a 52-yard field goal in the win over Ole Miss on his way to setting both the LSU and SEC single-season record for points by kicking with 152.
Semifinalists will be voted on by a panel of more than 100 FBS head coaches, SIDs, media members, former Groza finalists, and current NFL kickers to select the three finalists. These finalists will be announced on December 22nd and honored at the 29th annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Virtual Awards Celebration, streamed live on January 4th on lougrozaaward.com. The same panel then selects the winner, who will be announced live on ESPN at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, January 7th.
The Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
Our LSU Fighting Tigers played host to Nick Saban and his #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday night and it was a game night that we all will try to forget about, along with the entire 2020 football season. The Crimson Tide rolled the Tigers 55-17 to run their record to 9-0. This Alabama team looks as strong as any that they have recently, that went on to win a national championship. Nick Saban was interviewed by CBS when Alabama arrived to Tiger Stadium and was quoted saying.. "LSU beat us last year, so they probably have some confidence that they can play well against Alabama. We're going to have to change the way they think when it comes to that." .......
Below is the game break down....
LSU would win the toss and defer, giving the Tide the opening offensive possession of the contest. Bama would waste no time taking control, as they would drive easily down the field, 75 yards in seven plays, capping the drive off with a Najee Harris five yard touchdown run. Tide takes the early lead, 7-0.
T.J. Finely and the Tigers would respond with a nice drive, going 60 yards in 11 plays before stalling at the Bama 15 yard line facing a 4th and one. Orgeron would decide to roll the dice and go for it and would come away empty handed as Ty Davis-Price was stuffed for no gain on the play. The Tide would take over on downs with 7:52 to go in the 1st quarter.
The Alabama offense would start their drive from the 15 yard line and waste little time. On the first play of the drive Jones would hit Jahleel Billingsley for a 27 yard gain. On the next play Najee Harris would break a 28 yard run up to the LSU 30 yard line. JaCoby Stevens would hit Harris late out of bounds drawing a personal foul that would move the ball to the LSU 15 yard line. Two plays later Harris would punch it in from one yard out to give Bama a 14-0 lead.
LSU would quickly go three-and-out, punting the ball right back to the red hot Crimson Tide offense...
Bama's offense would once again waste little time crossing the goal line as they would go 47 yards in five plays, ending the drive with 24 yard touchdown pass from Marc Jones to a very wide open Jahleel Billingsley to put the Tide up 21-0.
LSU would begin the next drive at their own five yard line and begin to move the football. The clock would run out on the 1st quarter as LSU would find themselves in Alabama territory.
LSU would start the quarter 1st and ten at the Bama 44 yard line. Finley would drop back to throw and find a wide open Kayshon Boutte who would pull in the pass and out race the Bama secondary to the end zone, but ended up dropping the ball right before crossing the goal line in early celebration. The ball would roll into the end zone and sit there for a few seconds before Jontre Kirklin would recognize what happened, hustle over and pick up the ball for a touchdown while his Tiger teammates were celebrating. A huge heads up play by Kirklin to save the score. Cade York would add the point after as the Tigers would finally get on the board.
The LSU defense would continue to struggle to slow down the Bama offense as three plays later Mac Jones would find DeVonte Smith for a 65 yard touchdown putting the Tide up 28-7 with 13:36 to go in the 1st half.
The Tigers would respond with something LSU fans haven't seen yet this season, a long running play for a score. With it 1st and ten at the LSU 46 yard line, John Emery would bust it up the near sidelines for a 54 yard touchdown run. It was a beautifully executed play as the offensive line gave Emery a nice hole to hit, and Kayshon Boutte would make a superb block down field to lead the way into the end zone... 28-14 Bama with 12:32 left on the clock...
With the Tigers beginning to find some life on offense, it would be up to the defense to come up with a stop or turnover to help cut into the Tide's lead. No chance, as Mac Jones and the Bama offense would continue to score with ease and quickness. Three plays, 75 yards,... Jones hits,.... you guess it,... DeVonta Smith for a 61 yard touchdown up the near sidelines as Smith again would find a way to get behind the LSU secondary. That's five Alabama possessions, five Alabama touchdowns. ... 35-14 with still 11:14 to go in the first half..
The Tigers would be unable to score as they would need to punt the ball back to the Tide...
On this possession the Bama offense wouldn't strike so quickly and the LSU defense would finally keep the Tide out of the end zone. Bama would drive 77 yards in 11 plays, but the drive would stall at the LSU 12 yard line. Alabama kicker Will Reichard would come in a boot a 30 yard field goal for a 38-14 lead.
Finley and the LSU offense would sputter again, sending Zach Von Rosenberg back onto the field to punt it back to the explosive Tide offensive unit..
Mac Jones would continue to drive nails into the LSU coffin, as they would keep scoring at will.. This time Jones would find Smith once again for his 3rd touchdown grab of the game from 20 yards out, ending a six play, 58 yards drive. Smith would sky up into the air to make an incredible one handed grab in the back corner of the end zone as Derek Stingley would get tripped up and fall right as the ball arrived. The score would now stand at 45-14 with 45 seconds left in the first half...
LSU would mercifully run out the clock on the first half to send both teams into the locker rooms...
Over the first five minutes of the 3rd quarter both teams would trade punts until Bama would finally begin a drive into LSU territory. The Tiger defense would finally force a big play as Jay Ward would strip the ball away from Slade Bolden after pulling in a pass and begin to head up field.. The turnover would set LSU up 1st and ten at their own 26 yard line.
LSU would run four plays before turning it back over to the Tide. On a 1st and ten at the LSU 37 yard line, Finley would complete short pass to Arik Gilbert. Alabama defensive back Christopher Allen would pull the ball away from Gilbert has he fought for extra yardage for a fumble recovery.
Starting the drive deep in LSU territory, Bama would easily punch in another score as Najee Harris would end the 6 play, 34 yard drive with an 11 yard touchdown run.. The score would now stand at 52-14 with 3:39 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Max Johnson would be inserted into the contest and would direct a nice 10 play 41 yard drive that would end with a 52 yard Cade York field goal. cutting the Bama lead to 52-17...
Alabama would take their next drive into the 4th quarter...
Nick Saban would begin to substitute reserves to start the 4th quarter. Bryce Young would replace Jones at quarterback and drive the Tide down to the LSU 16 yard line before having to settle for a Will Reichard field goal. ... 55-17 with 10:50 left in the game..
Max Johnson would remain at quarterback for LSU and begin their next drive with a nice 21 yard completion to Jontre Kirkland. Then he would connect with Tory Carter for 13 yards for back to back 1st downs. Johnson would then find Kayshon Boutte with a couple of big completions as the Tigers would end up with a 1st and goal at the Bama five yard line. On first down Johnson would hit Arik Gilbert for a four yard gain. Then just like in Missouri, the Tigers had three straight cracks at the end zone from the one yard line and simply couldn't get it in. Alabama would take over on downs ending LSU's 15 play, 74 yard drive with nothing to show for it.
Alabama would pound their way out from the shadow of their own goal post, and run out the remaining 4:43 on the game clock for the dominating victory...
Once again the LSU defense was shredded badly in every way. Mac Jones would finish 20-28, 385 yds, 4 touchdowns. ... DeVonta Smith was on the receiving end of eight of those completions for 231 yards and three touchdown grabs... Najee Harris had a solid outing rushing 21 times for 145 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Alabama rolled up 650 yards of total offense, 265 on the ground, and 385 through the air.. LSU couldn't slow down the Bama offensive express as they scored on nine of 13 possessions... The Alabama offense basically did what they wanted, when they wanted throughout the game.
LSU played well on offense at times in the game. T.J. Finley would start the game and finish 14-28, 144 yards, with 1 touchdown pass before being replaced by Max Johnson late in the 3rd quarter. Johnson would play the remainder of the ball game, performing well against Bama reserves, going 11-17, 110 yards passing. .. Kayshon Boutte had a great game, grabbing 8 balls for 111 yards. Arik Gilbert would contribute 29 yards on 5 catches. Tory Carter and Jontre Kirklin both had nice catches to help keep drive alive. John Emery would lead the team in rushing with 79 yards on seven carries, while Ty Davis-Price would add 24 yards rushing... The offensive line showed some improvement in the ball game, as they showed aggressiveness in their run blocking at times, but gave up five sacks to the tough Alabama defense.
This LSU team did show some fight against a Alabama team which in recent weeks has proven to be heads and shoulders above everyone else in college football. Trying to be positive, the Tigers have an opportunity to close out the season at 5-5 if they could somehow manage to win their final two games, at Florida next week, then home against Ole Miss.. Considering the way this season has gone, 4-6 or 5-5 with a Bowl game invite and victory would be a nice way to end the season and kiss this nightmarish 2020 goodbye...
So next up for the Tigers is a trip to Gainesville on Saturday, December 12th, to take on the Eastern Division Champions Florida Gators. TV Network and game time is still TBA....
Photos By: LSU/SEC
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
For the past several years this game has been one of the most looked forward too games in all of college football. Battle of the SEC giants! .... LSU vs. Alabama... Always lands in the PRIME prime time slot on CBS.
Alabama leads the series overall 53-26-5... However, from 2000 to 2011 the Tigers would begin to dominate the series winning nine times in twelve years. From 2000 to 2004, LSU head coach Nick Saban would go 4-1 against the Crimson Tide. After Little Nicky would depart Tigerland for the NFL, Les Miles would have early success against Bama, with victories in 2005 and 2006. Then the series became a heated rivalry in 2007, as former LSU head coach Nick Saban would flop in the NFL and limp back to the college football landscape taking the head man spot in Tuscaloosa. The Mad Hatter and the Tigers would go 3-2 against Saban and the Tide from 2007 (LSU National Championship Season) to the 2011 regular season. The 2011 contest in Tuscaloosa was labeled the "Game of the Century" ... Both teams were undefeated as #2 Bama would host #1 LSU in a classic defensive battle that would end in a 9-6 LSU victory. Both teams would draw a rematch in New Orleans for the National Championship. That's when the nightmare would begin for the purple and gold. The Saban lead Crimson Tide would roll the Tigers, 21-0, winning the national title and begin a painful eight game winning streak. LSU would finally break the streak with a solid 46-41 victory last season in Tuscaloosa and would finish the 2019 season 15-0 National Champions...
But this season, things are much different. After having perhaps the greatest season in the history of college football, the defending national champions have struggled out of the gate and have been in an offensive downward spiral since losing Myles Brennan for the season and have been unable to find a solution to their woes on defense.
The offense is now in the hands of two true freshmen quarterbacks. Even with a simplified playbook, both T.J. Finley and Max Johnson have struggled due to an offensive line that has performed poorly, both run blocking and in pass protection. The running game simply doesn't exist, as LSU has not been able to establish any kind of rushing attack. Then these young quarterbacks have lost their top three receivers to throw to against Alabama. Ja'Marr Chase, decided to opt out right before the season began. Racey McMath has been lost to injury, and Terrace Marshall Jr. decided to opt out after last week's embarrassing loss to Texas A&M. That's a huge hunk of talent missing from the offense side of the ball.
The LSU defense has given up too many big plays to count. The inability to stop the outside running game and constant break downs in the secondary has been very painful for Tiger fans to witness. The Alabama offense is explosive. Najee Harris is as good as they come, and the Tide's passing attack is like a well oiled machine, led by quarterback Mac Jones and wide out DeVonta Smith.
The Crimson Tide come into Tiger Stadium favored by 29 points and are playing their best football of the season. While the Tigers are battling for respect and for an opportunity to play in a Bowl game at season's end. LSU will need to play their best for 60 minutes and hope that that will be enough to keep the contest close and respectable. Miracles do happen.... After all, didn't David bring a rock to face face Goliath???......