LSU football reader mailbag: 'I feel like it's Groundhog Day, 2020'
BATON ROUGE - The No. 13 LSU football team suffered its worst season-opening loss in nearly two decades on Saturday when the Tigers fell at unranked UCLA, 38-27. The previous worst opening loss was 26-8 at No. 16 Virginia Tech.
LSU Nation has let its collective voice be heard about the team's lackluster play and coach Ed Orgeron. The following are questions comments from fans after they were asked to comment via Facebook and Twitter:
QUESTION: "Beyond the game, how long will recruits continue to believe in Coach O's ability to get LSU back to a championship level program?" ... John Hayes, @johnhay.
RESPONSE: LSU recruiting has thrived after great, good and average seasons for most of this century. After the 5-5 season of 2020, Orgeron still signed the No. 3 class by the 247Sports Composite. But if he hovers around five losses again this season, you could see an impact on the 2022 class. But as of now, that class is ranked No. 8 with 15 commitments.
QUESTION: "After four years of great recruiting, why is the offensive line terrible?" ... Gregg Potts, @greggpotts
RESPONSE: LSU's new offensive line coach, Brad Davis, just got here in June after the sudden firing of James Cregg, who was an excellent line coach for LSU from 2018-20. Davis, who is in his seventh job in eight seasons with no NFL experience, is not nearly as qualified as Cregg, who coached lines for three NFL teams. Cregg was not thought to be a great recruiter by Orgeron, but that was the mistake former coach Les Miles made. In the end, he had too many recruiters and not enough coaches who could flat coach. Cregg's coaching will be sorely missed all season.
QUESTION: "Should we have scheduled someone like Miami for the first game?"
RESPONSE: You may be kidding. Miami may have looked bad against No. 1 Alabama, but many teams have and will. The Hurricanes entered that game No. 16 in the USA TODAY poll. And seeing how LSU played against unranked UCLA, Miami likely would have defeated the Tigers, too.
COMMENT: "The offensive line couldn’t block, and we couldn’t pass effectively. Orgeron said he wanted to get back to 2019 with his offensive coordinator hire, but Jake Peetz seemed to call too conservatively. And he didn’t call anything deep. The defense looked the same as last year, except they don’t have Bo Pelini to blame for this loss. This season could go south in a hurry. I have great faith in (athletics director) Scott Woodward to find a successor." ... Scott Gremillion.
RESPONSE: The best athletic directors tend to keep a list handy for possible new hires. I would bet Woodward has one, should things not improve.
COMMENT: "They looked like a high school team. They were literally dazed and confused. I thought they looked flat from the beginning and very sluggish. No emotion. They left the running game in Baton Rouge. To say it was a disappointing start is an understatement. Hopefully, they can only go up." ... Jill Venezia.
RESPONSE: Mississippi State did not look great in its win over Louisiana Tech. So, with McNeese State, Central Michigan and State over the next three weeks, LSU could be 3-1 going into a home game against Auburn on Oct. 2. With a win there and a win at Kentucky on Oct. 9, LSU could be 5-1 before a home game against Florida on Oct. 16. A lot of ifs, but Orgeron did dramatically turn around the 2017 season after early losses at Mississippi State and to Troy to finish 9-4.
COMMENT: "Overhyped. Soft." ... Kenny Laborde.
RESPONSE: LSU has a history of being overrated. The fact that it was No. 13 in the USA TODAY preseason poll was ridiculous after a 5-5 season. After an 8-5 season in 2008, LSU entered 2009 at No. 11 and finished at No. 17 with a 9-4 mark. After an 8-4 season in 2016, LSU entered 2017 at No. 13 and finished 9-4 at No. 18.
COMMENT: "A week in Houston doing nothing but football, and they could not call a play. Play clock got under five seconds 33 times." ... Tommy Krysan.
COMMENT: "The score was not indicative of the thorough, methodical beat down that occurred on the field. Better team won." ... John Burke.
COMMENT: "Diving at someone's feet does not constitute a tackle." ... Lester Duhe.
COMMENT: "Offensive line issues. Defense still confused. We do have a good kicker and punter. That’s about the only highlight." ... Kevin Guice, @BroMalcolm.
MORE OF SAME:LSU football's defense looks same under new coordinator in UCLA loss
COMMENT: "Thankful for wide receiver Kayshon Boutte. Sad to say Coach Orgeron might be living down to his reputation as a head coach. It’s good when one recognizes their talents lie in being a great integrator, instead of insisting on being a mediocre-to-poor visionary." ... Libby Murphy, @murphy515.
COMMENT: "5-7 at best." ... Hebert-Pronounced like, @Abear_n_dawoods.
COMMENT: "Awful. Dumpster fire." ... Jsw252, @Jsw2522.
COMMENT: "Our team is a receiver, a kicker and two cornerbacks. That’s it. I feel like it’s Groundhog Day, 2020, like Curley (Hallman) is back." ... WHODATgirl, @knodrose1.
COMMENT: "Those sissy blue shirts showed out." ... @Kdot Spann.