American Press

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Southwest Louisiana ,

Gazzolo Column: Louisiana football has entered Twilight Zone

Last Modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 1:38 PM

By Jim Gazzolo / American Press

The world of Louisiana football seems to have flipped into some bizarre new land.

The Saints find themselves perfect on the young season because of their defense.

If that is not odd enough, check out LSU. The Tigers are 3-0 and racing up the polls thanks to their offense.

That’s right, folks, the two have changed DNA, at least in the early going.

Sunday the Saints found a way to win by scoring only 16 points. Sixteen points, that is usually a quarter for this franchise since Sean Peyton and Drew Brees have hit town.

That, coupled with a game-winning interception in the end zone on the final play a week earlier and you can see why New Orleans fans are suddenly very defensive about their team.

While that might be hard to believe, imagine what is going on up the road in Baton Rouge.

LSU has won three games thanks in large part to an offense that resembles, well the Saints of recent years.

Maybe the Tigers are even more balanced, but seeing the ball fly around the field might worry the old Les Miles more than hearing Sports Illustrated is coming out with a new 5-part series next week.

It just doesn’t seem like LSU when touchdown after touchdown is being scored.

Clearly, this is not your same Tigers.

This might be a concern for some.

Let’s face it, LSU has not exactly played the toughest of schedules, facing teams with just a combined 2-6 record.

And the Saints only beat Tampa Bay by two points, but it is the way these clubs are winning that makes things interesting.

With Georgia two weeks away, the Tigers will be tested both on offense and defense. We will see what happens when push comes to shove in the SEC and a championship is riding on almost every play.

If Miles and Co. can keep pushing the envelope on offense, we may have seen real change.

This is important because in today’s fast-paced world of college football, where all the rules have changed to help the offense, a big-time attack is the only way to compete long-term.

If you don’t think so, check out Alabama last Saturday.

Nick Saban, who thinks that if he didn’t invent defense at least he perfected it, won a game despite giving up 42 points to Texas A&M.

The Tide rolled 49 on the Aggies and needed each of those seven touchdowns to win.

While the shift for LSU and the rest of college football is part of its changing landscape, that’s not the case in the NFL.

If anything, they are bucking the trend by getting defensive.

In the new NFL, where it is hard to know what is and what is not legal when it comes to making a tackle, the Saints have found life on the other side of the football.

New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan should get some of the credit for the change, making it fun to play defense in the Dome.

If the old saying still holds true, and defense wins championships maybe this is the way the Saints want to go. It is a change, one that if it lasts could lead to a special season.

But it will also take some time for the fans to understand the difference.

After all, we know the Saints are going to score.

One other thing, what is with all these weather delays.

Never before have games been stopped for weather like now.

All part of the changing world of football.

Strange times indeed.

• • •

Jim Gazzolo is managing sports editor. Email him at

Posted By: Mr. B On: 9/20/2013

Title: great read

great article, good insight. always love reading your stuff.

Comment on this article

captcha adaeba63d5544fe4b2bfb2eb3789d632

Copyright © 2017 American Press

Privacy Policies: American Press