The City of Lake Charles acquired the steel beams for the 9/11 memorial at the lakefront from the World Trade Center not long after the 2001 terrorist attack. The memorial area was created a few years ago. People sometimes leave flowers or other mementoes at the memorial on the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. (Lisa Addison/American Press.)
Looking to get more offensive
There’s more to LSU’s lackluster passing game than the problems protecting quarterback Joe Burrow, head coach Ed Orgeron said Monday.
But the Tigers will make some adjustments in the offensive line anyway.
One was a given as starting left tackle Saahdiq Charles will return from a one-game suspension for the No. 12 Tigers’ showdown at No. 7 Auburn Saturday.
But Orgeron was generally pleased with the play of sophomore Austin Deculus in Charles’ place against Southeastern Louisiana Saturday.
Right tackle remains a problem area with starter Adrian Magee expected to miss at least two more weeks. Junior college transfer Badara Traore often struggled while filling in Saturday.
So Deculus, who’s listed as a guard, will move over there this week to at least give LSU other options.
“We’re going to give him a chance to compete with Badara, see who will start,” Orgeron said.
It certainly won’t get any easier against Auburn’s formidable defensive front.
“First we have to fix ourselves,” Orgeron said. “There are some technical things we can fix. Getting Saahdiq back will help us. Giving Badara some help. Remember he’s a junior college player, his first time in full action. We believe he’s going to be a good player, he was throw into the action.”
But Orgeron said it went beyond personnel to explain why the Tigers’ offense, which had hoped to throw it far more often this season, after two games is dead last in the SEC with just 145.5 yards in the air per game.
LSU’s work-around for the protections issues Saturday was mostly to go with “max protection,” keeping more players in the backfield to help with “chip” blocks on rushing defensive linemen.
He said one alternative would be the opposite, to go with an empty backfield and four or five wide receivers.
“That’s an option to go empty and and throw the quick (routes). Two of the times we had max protection, we had a chip on. But Joe held the ball too long and the receivers weren’t open.
“Those are options we could go into. It’s less protection, so you are taking a chance.”
He said he didn’t think it was neccesarily the offensive line that was holding the LSU offense back.
“We’re free to call the plays we want to do,” he said. “It can’t be put all on the protections. We need to catch the ball when thrown, we need to get open more and we need to get more creative in what we’re doing. And I think we’re going to do that.
Burrows, Orgeron said, held the ball too long while waiting on receivers to come open. LSU has a host of receivers with potential, but is still waiting for to step forward as the go-to option.
The most experienced of the bunch, transfer Jonathan Giles who had 1,158 yards receiving at Texas Tech two years ago, has only one catch for nine yards in two games.
“We need to get him the ball more and he needs to make some improvement,” Orgeron said. “Obviously we’re diappointed. He’s doing a good job in practice. We just need to feed him the ball.”
Justin Jefferson leads the team with six catches for 86 yards, followed by true freshman Ja’Mar Chase with four receptions for 47 yards, including the 40-yard Hail Mary to end the first half last Saturday.
“No one has really stood out,” Orgeron said. “Stephen Sullivan made some good catches, some good plays. Those guys need to improve. Need to improve on route running and catching. We feel that Justin Jefferson can be an excellent football player.
“There’s some things we can do on offense that we’re not doing yet that we plan on doing this week.”
LSU at Auburn 2:30 p.m. CBS