Anthony Jennings fired the pass toward receiver Trey Quinn.
The low ball hit the ground. The crowd groaned.
Later in the game, Quinn turned toward his quarterback on a short hitch route.
The well-placed pass hit the ground. The crowd groaned.
Earlier, receiver Travin Dural slipped while running a slant.
The throw hit the hands of an Alabama defender for an interception. The crowd groaned.
LSU’s passing game is in the worst funk of the Les Miles era. From the quarterback to his receivers, the Tigers are whiffing and missing through the air.
Incompletions are more common than completions, and drops are more common than touchdowns.
Jennings and Co. displayed Saturday night another head-shaking passing performance in a 20-13 overtime loss to No. 4 Alabama. He threw for just 76 yards — the fifth straight game LSU has failed to pass for 200 or more yards. That had never happened in Miles’ 10 years as coach.
The Tigers (7-3, 3-3 Southeastern), who dropped six spots to No. 20 in the AP poll Sunday, head into Saturday’s game against Arkansas (4-5, 0-5) with a bevy of corrections to make — especially in the passing game.
“We’re a team that’ll continue to get better each and every day,” Jennings said. “Going into next week, we’ll look at this game and see what we did wrong and see what we could do better.”
There were critical late-game drops — two by Quinn — and a host of misfires from the Tigers sophomore quarterback. It continued a nasty trend for a team that has become more one-dimensional than many in college football.
LSU has thrown for just 590 yards in its past five games — 147 yards per game — and the Tigers have completed just 41 passes in that stretch.
That’s the same amount of completions that pass-happy Washington State averages per game. LSU’s 107 completions this season are an SEC-worst by 18 catches. Florida is at 125, and the Gators have played two fewer games.
Maybe the most disturbing part Saturday: the drops by Quinn, normally a reliable short-distance target.
The freshman dropped passes on third down on consecutive drives in the fourth quarter. Both passes would have picked up first downs near midfield.
“I also want to look at some of the opportunities to catch balls,” Miles said. “If we catch a couple of those balls, like the opener in overtime, which hit him in the hands, and he certain wanted to catch it.”
Miles was referring to another crucial late-game drop. Fullback Melvin Jones, on the Tigers’ first play of overtime, dropped a pass from Jennings. It put LSU into a second-and-10 hole that, three incompletions later, it couldn’t recover from.
“These guys catch the ball effortlessly at practice,” Jennings said. ??Drops are going to happen in the game. We are going to continue to get better and put that in the past.”