When its traditional offense faltered, LSU tried running out of shotgun. Then it aligned with only one back.
But as coach Les Miles sees it, formations weren’t the problem with the Tigers offense as it trudged through a brutal November stretch during which it scored only 16.5 points per game.
The problem, he said, was much simpler.
“The issue is that we have to accomplish the play that’s being called and execute better,” Miles said Sunday. “I promise you, I recognize the effort and energies of my coaching staff. I understand what’s being coached. I have an understanding that we, collectively as coaches and players, have to improve.”
Miles still maintained No. 22 LSU needs to “re-gear” its offense as it prepares for Texas Tech, which the Tigers (8-3) will face in the Texas Bowl at 8 p.m. Dec. 29 in Houston.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s future with LSU remains in doubt, and Miles shed no light on the issue. Cameron’s contract expires at the end of March, and Miles’ attempt to extend his contract earlier this year failed, two sources told The Advocate.
Athletic director Joe Alleva said Friday that he and Miles haven’t spoken about Cameron’s future, “but I’m sure we will in the very near future.”
“I am contemplating no changes at this point, in personnel,” Miles said when asked about Cameron’s future.
Miles, though, is contemplating the offensive “overhaul” he spoke about following LSU’s last two regular-season games. The Tigers’ once-potent rushing attack struggled while sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris’ numbers plummeting during the team’s three-game losing streak.
It prompted Miles to consider altering his ground-and-pound offense. With uncertainty surrounding the offensive coordinator and schematic changes looming, Miles said the bowl game against the Red Raiders (7-5) gives him a chance to start tinkering.
“This would be a time where you would look at change,” he said. “Not necessarily a widespread, complete (change), but tweak things to make yourself more productive.”
LSU won’t be getting any healthier despite the extra time off during bowl season.
The Tigers lost three players — senior tight end Dillon Gordon (Achilles), sophomore fullback JD Moore (knee) and junior receiver Travin Dural (hamstring) — to season-ending injuries this year, and Miles doesn’t expect any of them to return.
LSU requested a medical redshirt for Gordon, a senior who suffered his season-ending injury against Florida. According to NCAA rules, a player can receive another year of eligibility if he or she played less than one-third of the season — all of it coming in the first half of the season. Gordon played in part of three games, and the Tigers played their sixth game against Florida in an 11-game regular season.
Moving on up
The final polls before bowl season are out.
LSU moved up two spots to No. 21 in the coaches poll, one spot to No. 22 in the Associated Press Top 25 and one spot to No. 20 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Ross Dellenger contributed to this report.