With LSU's spring game approaching, Matt Canada's new offensive schemes will be on display for the first time, but the performance won't just be different, according to SEC Network analyst Anthony "Booger" McFarland, a former LSU defensive tackle.
"You're going to see the antithesis of what you saw with Cam Cameron," McFarland said Thursday in an interview with Jordy Culotta and T-Bob Hebert on 104.5/104.9 ESPN-FM in Baton Rouge.
"Cam Cameron was a coach that came out in the spring and started to throw the football alot. And everyone knew LSU wasn't going to throw the football a lot come fall. But I think ... you're going to see an offense that's gonna look similar to the fall."
The LSU spring game will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday (April 22) at Tiger Stadium, and will be broadcast on SEC Network.
McFarland went on to discuss the spring game more in-depth, as well as LSU's under-utilization of NFL talent, positional battles and some basketball philosophy with former Tigers coach John Brady.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT LSU SPRING GAME
"I think you're going to see a defense that's going to be a little vanilla. You're not going to see a lot of blitzes. You're not going to see a lot of disguises. ... offensively what you're going to see is what everyone wants to see, which is an up-tempo offense. You're probably not going to see a lot of Derrius Guice. You're going to see a lot of plays, a lot of shifts, a lot of formations. You're going to see some razzle-dazzle. ...
"They're not going to run the same plays, obviously, but from a tempo standpoint expect the spring game to go by pretty quick. .. If the game starts at 7, this game could be over with by 8:30. This game is not going to be a long game. It's going to be up-tempo, moving clock. They're going to get in and out, and that's the tempo LSU wants to play with come the fall."
On getting fans more involved at spring game
"There's some value because you're trying to create buzz. When you're in these college towns like Tuscaloosa and Auburn and Oxford and Starkville and Baton Rouge ... what you're trying to do is just create an atmosphere to get people looking forward to the fall. Right now it's kind of a dead time ... Football is king in the college towns, and you're just trying to create the atmosphere."
McFARLAND: 'I DON'T THINK YOU CAN WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP WITH DANNY ETLING'
"The quarterback battle, as much as we would like for it to be a battle, I don't really know if it's a battle. I think it's going to be Danny Etling based on everything that I've heard, and I really don't know how to feel about that. ...
"I don't know that you can win a championship with Danny Etling, especially the version I saw last year. Spring ball you can get better, Matt Canada can put him in better positions. I get all that; I want to see it. But my lasting memory of Danny Etling is the game against Alabama ... LSU had wide receivers open all day and Danny Etling couldn't hit the side of a barn. And he admitted that he didn't play well; he admitted the moment was too big for him. Well that's the kind of moment that you expect to have in Baton Rouge ... The only opportunity he's going to get a chance to prove he's grown from that is to get back in that moment again. LSU's gotta go on the road five games in the SEC this year ... I want to see what Danny Etling has become. Because if he's the same guy he was last year, that doesn't bode well for LSU.
On younger quarterback development
"Those guys have got to continue to improve, because LSU has proven over the last decade defensively, they'll be fine ... LSU has always played defense. The one issue we've always had down there is the ability to put points on the board and throw the football when need be. ... When you go on the road, in the SEC against a team of equal talent, you're going to have to throw the football. And LSU needs to be sure they're ready to do that. And they've got between now and that Florida game to do that."
CAN DONTE JACKSON BE A TOP CORNERBACK?
'He's got the mindset ... I think he can be one of the better corners in the [SEC], if not the country. When you're as fast as he is, the one thing you've gotta have is patience. ... He loves to run track, and I'm always going to tell a guy to play multiple sports. I think that track is only going to help him, because there's nobody in the SEC and maybe the country that can outrun this kid. And he's gotta know that and be patient, play the defense calm. I think that Donte is going to be outstanding this year.'
Could Jackson play on offensive side?
'It wouldn't surprise me to maybe sneak him in a little bit, give him a jet sweep. I mean, if you're going to have him returning kicks you might as well put him on offense every now and then ... If Donte Jackson give you an opportunity to score points, I expect to see him a little bit.'
HAS LSU UNDERACHIEVED WITH ALL THEIR NFL-CALIBER TALENT?
"I wouldn't say underachieved, I'd say under-utilized. Deion Jones was a pro bowler last year, and certain coaches didn't want him to play linebacker at LSU ... Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, although they had a nice LSU career, they took the NFL by storm because they were fed the football. You look at guys like Spencer Ware. He was OK at LSU ... he's the starting running back to the Kansas City Chiefs. ... You just look at some of the people that LSU's had that played minor roles at LSU, but are playing major roles in the NFL."