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 -- LSU head coach Les Miles, center background, watches as the play gets ready to start during LSU football's spring game.

Welcome to Film Room, normally a weekly analysis of LSU’s last football game. This time, it’s an analysis of the first half of LSU’s spring game.

We restricted the analysis only to plays that included Brandon Harris (first string O vs. first-string D) and Danny Etling (second-string O vs. second-string D). And we did not include a “Big-Play Breakdown” section. You’ll just have to wait until September for all that.

Have a seat. No talking. No tweeting. No texting. Pay attention.

(click photos to enlarge)

Position Analysis

Big Ugly Blips and Booms (O-line analysis)

  • Let’s start with Maea Teuhema. Teuhema moved to left tackle this spring – a position coaches hope he can secure. If not, Ethan Pocic is a candidate to move from his center spot to left tackle. Teuhema struggled early in the spring game against some veteran and more athletic talent on the outside. He recorded three Blips (a missed assignment resulting in a negative play) in the Tigers’ first two series. Christian LaCouture beat him twice, and Arden Key beat him once. Here’s an example of one of those plays LaCouture took the rising sophomore Teuhema to task:
  • Does this mean Teuhema can’t play left tackle? No. In fact, play-by-play man Brock Huard said on the call that the left tackle spot is “going to be his job going into camp,” referring to Teuhema. Why do we care what Brock Huard says? The announcing team usually meets with coaches for off-the-record type chats the day before games. Keep that in mind – as a Huard comment will arise again in this blog.
  • There were four other Blips we charted in the first half – each made by a different first or second-string offensive lineman (K.J. Malone vs. Lewis Neal, Garrett Brumfield vs. Tashawn Bower, Andy Dodd vs. Davon Godchaux and Andrian Magee vs. Frank Herron).
  • LSU’s second-string offensive line struggled against the Tigers’ second-string front – an expected result, really. LSU’s second-string line included several players who probably should be on the third string. The Tigers’ first string was without three projected starting O-linemen.
  • LSU didn’t run the ball much, especially with the first units. There were two noticeable Booms (a run block that resulted in a successful running play): Josh Boutte and George Brown Jr.
  • Remember our reference above to a second comment from Huard? Well, here it is.
  • Again, Huard and the SEC Network staff members normally meet with the coaches in the days leading up to regular season games and spring games, too.
  • I charted just one real miss from Brandon Harris in the first half against the No. 1 defense, and that might not have been his fault. Harris misfired to Malachi Dupre in a play that clearly was the result of miscommunication. Harris wanted to throw a back-shoulder pass, and Dupre kept running.
  • Harris did, indeed, show poise in the pocket, and he showed some touch on the short to intermediate passes. This does look like a different Brandon Harris from the one we saw for the last two years in the spring game. Here’s an example of some touch on a 15-yard pass – while under some serious heat:
  • Cam Cameron rolled out Harris on several plays. The QB would fake to Fournette from the shotgun and then roll the opposite direction. Here’s a video of what we’re talking about:
  • Really not much to say here. Since there’s not much to say, let’s spend it talking about LSU’s first and second string offenses’ formations:
  1. Shotgun, 1 TE, 3 WR: 14 times (10 w/1st string, 4 w/2nd string)
  2. I-back, 1 TE, 2 WR: 9 times (3 1st, 6 2nd)
  3. Pistol, 1 TE, 3 WR: 8 (8 1st)
  4. I-back, 2TE, 1WR: 1 (1st)
  • There were no dropped passes in the first half and only one noticeable gaffe, that miscommunication between Harris and Dupre. There were a couple of great catches, none better than Dee Anderson’s extension on a high ball from Danny Etling:
  • Christian LaCouture had one of the better games of any front seven member – at least during the first half against the No. 1 offense. We charted him for two Attacks (a disruption causing a negative play) and one Pressure (a QB pressure, basically). He seemed to thrive in his new position at defensive end (read more about that here).
  • Arden Key, Lewis Neal and Tashawn Bower each had a Pressure in the first half, and Dwayne Thomas, Davon Godchaux and Frank Herron each had an Attack.
  • Remember when Dave Aranda was hired and we wrote this blog about him, at times, playing no down linemen? Well, on at least four first-half plays, LSU played with just two linemen with their hands on the ground. It appears to be Aranda’s pass-rushing unit. The guys on the line, you’ll notice, are the speed rushers, in the game during second or third-and-longs:
  • Here’s a good example of why Davon Godchaux was moved to nose tackle from his spot at defense end. We explain more in this story, but the nose tackle must win one on one battles enough that the defense starts double-teaming him. Godchaux beats Andy Dodd here.
  • First thing here: LSU never played in a six-defensive set (the ole Mustang) in the first half. It was always the base 3-4 with 4 DBs or a 3-3 with 5 DBs (the nickel). Here’s a shot of LSU’s base and the starters.
  • Another thing of note: Tre White, as we noted during Satuday’s game, has been moved to the nickel role, covering the inside receiver. Saivion Smith replaced White at outside cornerback in the 3-3-5 nickel package, bumping White inside. In the 3-4 base, White played his normal outside cornerback role. Here’s an example of White (red) in his nickel role covering a tight end, Colin Jeter (black):
  • LSU brought White on a blitz from his nickel position at least three times in the first half. Here’s an example: