TN yard per rush average is in some pretty good company. I wonder why LSU could not run on Ga. My kids could run on Ga.
But La’el Collins and the rest of the Tigers’ new-look line appears to be coming together at just the right time. And head coach Les Miles has noticed:
“I think the line is developing. I think they’re coming. I think they’re a big, strong, physical group. They’re gong to be, at the end of the season, a very find offensive line. They had a nice day against a very quality defensive line in Florida. I thought they gave great protection for the most part to Zach. Felt like there was running room, and great energy and enthusiasm for play. I’m really please with their effort and energy and who they are.”
There’s no denying that LSU’s line did a top-shelf job against Florida’s stout run defense last Saturday. The Gators had allowed just 65 yards per game on the ground entering Tiger Stadium. The Bayou Bengals proceeded to ring up 175 rushing yards against them.
But is the line improving? Below are LSU’s yards-per-carry numbers as well as the current numbers and national ranks of the defenses the Tigers have faced:
|School||LSU Yds/Carry||Opp. Rush Def.|
|Kent State||8.30||116th (5.68)|
|Miss. State||5.72||84th (4.43)|
As you can see, the only truly bad day at the office came in LSU’s lone loss, a 44-41 defeat at Georgia. The rest looks pretty good.
Until you compare those numbers to the rest of the SEC.
LSU currently ranks 10th in the league in rush yards per carry. The Tigers’ overall 4.91 yards-per-carry average is smaller than Mississippi State (5.10), Georgia (5.14), South Carolina (5.17), Tennessee (5.36), Alabama (5.38), Arkansas (5.47), Texas A&M (5.48), Missouri (5.74), Auburn (6.26).
So rather than saying the O-line is improving — it was just a couple of weeks ago when Miles’ team couldn’t run against Georgia — we’ll instead say that last Saturday’s game was encouraging.
Ole Miss (#91 in national rush defense allowing 4.61 yards per carry) and then Furman are next up on the Tigers’ slate. Then comes an open date. And then comes the biggie at Alabama. At the end of that game we’ll know if LSU’s rushing offense is really playing on the same level as past Tiger title-contenders.