2010 SCORING OFFENSE: 29.7 ppg (9th SEC, T45th NCAA)
2010 RUSHING OFFENSE: 185.7 ypg (4th SEC, 28th NCAA)
2010 PASSING OFFENSE: 155.6 ypg (12th SEC, 107th NCAA)
2010 TOTAL OFFENSE: 341.3 ypg (11th SEC, 86th NCAA)
WHO’S BACK: 9 starters - LG Josh Dworaczyk, OG/C T-Bob Hebert, RG Will Blackwell, RT Alex Hurst, TE Deangelo
Peterson, WR Rueben Randle, WR Russell Shepard, FB James Stampley, QB Jordan Jefferson
IMPACT VETERAN: QB Jordan
WHO’S NEW: 2 starters - LT Chris Faulk, TB Spencer Ware
IMPACT NEWCOMER: Offensive
coordinator Greg Studrawa
REASONS TO BELIEVE: Except at running back, the offense is loaded with veterans. Jefferson and Jarrett Lee’s struggles aside, most teams would love to have LSU’s experience at quarterback and on the offensive line. The late change in play-calling duties from Steve Kragthorpe to Greg Studrawa is an unwanted curveball, but at least there is experience and familiarity there, too. Despite the changes, this should easily be LSU’s most potent offense since 2007.
REASONS TO WORRY: One name - Jordan Jefferson. He has never displayed the kind of championship-caliber consistency LSU will need if it’s to play in Atlanta (for the SEC Championship Game) and New Orleans (for the BCS national title) this season. It’s also imperative that the wide receiver corps identify double-digit pass catchers to play behind Randle and Shepard. And, of course, no one knows what kind of play-caller Studrawa will prove to be.
DON’T BE SURPRISED IF ? Ware builds on the momentum of his performance in the Cotton Bowl and pulls away from LSU’s crowded pack of running backs to be the Tigers’ go-to tailback.
LSU WILL PLAY FOR THE BCS CHAMPIONSHP IF ? Jefferson has a breakout senior year like Jason Campbell had at Auburn in 2004. No one has ever questioned JJ’s talent - just his seriousness about playing the game.
OUTLOOK: LSU’s offense should be improved in 2011. It could hardly be worse than it was at times in 2010. There are good building blocks - experienced line, deep running back corps - but again, it all falls back on Jefferson’s shoulder pads.