LSU Twitter Mailbag: Is it time to change offensive, defensive schemes? Or time for a bigger change ... _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG --LSU head coach Les Miles watches warmups before the game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, in Tuscaloosa. Alabama won 30-16.

Twitter Mailbag is a blog series running each Tuesday or Wednesday answering readers’ questions about the LSU football and baseball teams. Readers submit their questions through Twitter each Tuesday, and the best are posted here with answers. Follow us on Twitter at @DellengerAdv to submit a question.

I assume you’re referring to Les Miles’ “stubborness” on the offensive system? If so, we wrote about that toward the bottom of this story published last week.

Basically, it’s gonna take losing. Coaches who have changed their offensive systems have done so, often, when the losing starts. The one most closely similar to Miles’ situation would be Tommy Tuberville’s last couple of seasons at Auburn. The Tigers recruited for an I-based, run-centric offense and ran it for the first nine of Tuberville’s 10 seasons.

Tuberville hired spread guru Tony Franklin after a 9-4 season in 2007. Tuberville fired Franklin during his first full season with the Tigers in 2008. Tuberville resigned after that season – a 5-7 year.

So, if you do change your system, better make a good hire.

LSU players have said in the past that Cam Cameron’s offensive scheme is a pro-style, complex system that can be difficult to digest. Cameron, during the off-season, blamed himself for Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris’ trouble last year. He said he simplified things for the quarterbacks this season.

Kevin Steele said before the season that he didn’t plan to make any wholesale changes to the defensive system run by his friend John Chavis. In the secondary, though, it appears that Steele changed things because the Tigers defensive back have been on the wrong end of a handful of coverage busts this season (six that have led to touchdowns).

Dwayne Thomas mentioned that he had to learn a new defensive scheme once Steele arrived. Is the scheme too complex? Maybe.

I think the answer is swinging more to “yes” than to “no” at this point. You’ll read more about this in a column from Scott Rabalais to be posted later Tuesday.

Well, LSU tried to do something like that in the first half against Arkansas. The Tigers ran 14 of their first 17 plays out of the shotgun with, usually, three receivers.

It resulted in two three-and-outs and about 44 yards of offense for a 2.5-yard per-play average.

Now, that’s just one game, just one example and all. I see your point, and I think, probably no matter what else happens the rest of the season, that LSU’s offense might be in for a complete overhaul.

See above about the shotgun against Arkansas. The Tigers tried.

LSU would owe Steele $1 million, depending on the date of termination, if the school did fire him.

LSU’s defense hasn’t been terrible this season, but it’s headed for its worst year, stat wise, since before John Chavis took over as coordinator in 2009.

LSU’s defense is currently ranked 29th nationally giving up 342.8 yards a game.

LSU’s rank nationally in total defense under Chavis (yards per gm):

  • 2009: 26th (327.6)
  • 2010: 12th (307.2)
  • 2011: 2nd (261.5)
  • 2012: 8th (307.6)
  • 2013: 15th (340.7)
  • 2014: 9th (316.8)
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