More ‘bells and whistles’ coming? LSU flashes part of its new 3-4 defense in Saturday’s spring game _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Former LSU player Odell Beckham Jr., right, chats with LSU wide receiver Malachi Dupre (15) during halftime at LSU football's spring game.


LSU coach Les Miles again spoke of making the passing game a spring priority, and it appeared the Tigers tried to do more to incorporate the air attack into the offense. The results were mixed. Brandon Harris, Danny Etling and Justin McMillan all attempted deep passes, but Etling’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Dee Anderson was the only big thrill for LSU fans. Harris said coaches developed drills for him this spring to improve the touch on his short passes, and that was evident. Overall, without an injured Travin Dural, this is a book that is still being written.


Dave Aranda’s new defense. Miles said only about 60 percent of Aranda’s system is installed, but what’s there so far is plenty to chew on. There was still a lot of nickel (five defensive backs) as the Tigers have employed in the past, but we also saw LSU work in its new base 3-4. There were also examples of the new standup outside linebacker positions that former ends Arden Key and Tashawn Bower now play. Junior linebacker Donnie Alexander was notable by his absence with a concussion, but injured Kendell Beckwith played a lot at MLB and had six tackles.


If you watched LSU’s spring game and expected a revolution on offense, you probably came away disappointed. Not to say the passing game didn’t show promise. It did. But the Tigers will remain rooted in their power-running tendencies. The defense is what continues to draw raves. With three to four starters sidelined, the unit got a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks (the offensive line was also without three starters) and makes you think that Aranda will work some considerable magic with the talent at his disposal.