Leading up to the start of the college football season, The Red & Black will preview each of the 13 teams Georgia plays alongside in the Southeastern Conference. Today, The Red & Black takes a look at the LSU Tigers.
9-4 (6-2 SEC); 3rd in SEC West
Summary of last season
LSU had one of the strangest seasons in the program's recent memory in 2017. They opened the season in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans with BYU, who they beat 27-0. In week 3, the Tigers traveled to Starkville, Mississippi, and left on the losing end of a 37-7 blowout loss at the hands of Mississippi State. But the biggest marker of their season came on Sept. 30 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Tiger Stadium. LSU lost to Troy 24-21 in one of the biggest upsets of the year.
That loss must have inspired the Tigers as they went on to win three straight games, including an upset over Auburn, before losing to Alabama for the seventh year in a row. LSU finished the season with three straight wins before losing 21-17 to Notre Dame in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
Last chance for Coach O?
There is really no way to sugar coat it, LSU fans are growing restless. The Tigers haven’t been nationally relevant since 2011 when they lost to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. They haven’t had a 10-win season since 2013.
In the two years that Ed Orgeron has held the reigns as head coach, the Tigers have gone 15-6. Good, but not great. As a result, Orgeron is on a bit of a hot seat this season. Orgeron will have to navigate a tough schedule and solve the team's questions at quarterback if he wants to keep his job.
Key returning players
Devin White, linebacker - White is the best player on LSU’s team. The senior recorded 133 total tackles and 4.5 sacks in 2017 and is expected to lead defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s defense this season. LSU will need White to direct a young but talented defense with several explosive offenses on the Tigers’ schedule.
Foster Moreau, tight end - There really aren’t a whole lot of options to include for key returning players on offense, but Moreau is one of the most experienced players on offense for the Tigers in 2018, and his leadership will be needed. Moreau recorded 278 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season, but that was with quarterback Danny Etling, who is now with the New England Patriots. LSU will need to establish some sort of threat through the air no matter who the quarterback is, and Moreau will certainly be a target worth watching.
LSU will have to navigate its extremely tough schedule in 2018 if it wants to have any success. Without many returning starters and uncertainty at the quarterback position, that could result in trouble. However, if the Tigers find a quarterback in either sophomore Myles Brennan or Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow, things could be looking up in the Bayou.
They still need to replace the production of former Tiger and current Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice, which is easier said than done. With so many questions on offense, LSU will once again be a team that relies heavily on solid defensive play. Will that be enough? The schedule proves to be extremely difficult for the Tigers, and with that being said, LSU could be lucky to walk away with seven or eight wins.