Photos: Wild, wacky, emotional game day ends with victory, LSU coach Les Miles carried off field by players _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU quarterback Brandon Harris (6) runs for yardage as Texas A&M defensive lineman Qualen Cunningham (9) and defensive back Justin Evans (14) give chase during the second half Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Tiger Stadium. LSU won 19-7.

Welcome to Film Room, our weekly analysis of LSU’s last football game. Have a seat. No talking. No tweeting. No texting. Pay attention.

(click photos to enlarge)

How They Happened (big-play analysis)

Around the end: On first-and-10 from the 50, RB Derrius Guice, aligned in the slot, ran 50 yards for a touchdown on an end-around play.


  • So many things happen on this play that lead to its success, but the biggest might be something we’ve seen so many times this season: an opponent’s linebackers bite on the fake to RB Leonard Fournette (black square). Check out the three red circles. They all take steps towards the middle of the line as Brandon Harris fakes to a run play to Fournette.
  • Two LSU players get key blocks: RG Will Clapp (black circle and line) and TE/FB Foster Moreau (yellow circle and line). Clapp blocks the A&M safety (a block that probably could have been called a hold), and Moreau actually misses his initial block of A&M DE Jarrett Johnson. Johnson bolts into the backfield so quickly that Moreau can’t get to him. Johnson (top red circle) misses Guice because he’s preoccupied with Fournette. Later in the play, Moreau, his target defender out of the play, walls off the end with a block on an A&M linebacker, helping creating a spacious lane for Guice.

The ole pick play: On third-and-11 from the A&M 34-yard line with about 5 minutes left in the game, Brandon Harris threw a swing pass to RB Leonard Fournette for the first down, extending a drive that resulted in a game-sealing touchdown.


  • LSU WR John Diarse executes this pick play to perfection. A pick is an illegal block from a receiver on a pass play, but it’s rarely flagged and is tough to enforce. Diarse (red circle) actually takes care of two defenders (red arrows). The one closest to him is in man-to-man coverage and follows Diarse on a hook route. The other red arrow in the middle of the field is A&M LB Richard Moore. Diarse delays Moore with a pick as the receiver makes his break on the hook part of his route (red line). The nudge is just enough to keep Moore from reaching Fournette before the RB reaches the first down marker.
  • Two more defenders are taken out of the play by LSU players running routes. Malachi Dupre (yellow circle) runs a go route down the field to eliminate DB De’Vante Harris (yellow arrow), and TE DeSean Smith and WR Tryon Johnson (blue lines) run crossing patterns to remove a safety (blue arrow) from getting involved.

Video of Diarse’s pick:

Mustang vs. The Chief: On third-and-8 from the LSU 45-yard line, DEs Lewis Neal and Arden Key combine for a sack on A&M QB Kyle Allen, forcing a punt in a one-score game late in the third quarter.

  • Fournette’s swing pass reception could be referred to as LSU’s offensive play of the game. This play is the defense’s version. A&M, down 13-7, is inching closer to the end zone before this third-down sack. LSU sacked Allen four times, getting pressure consistently.
  • LSU is in its Mustang set for this play: three D-linemen, two LBs and six DBs. Former LSU defensive coordinator and current A&M DC John Chavis made the pass-rushing formation a thing during his six years at LSU. The formation is all about getting speed on the field – hence the extra defensive back and fewer linemen.
  • Speaking of speed, LSU gets great pressure from athletic, speedy ends Key (yellow circle) and Neal (red). Neal out maneuvers A&M RB James White (blue circle), and Key beats his man on the edge.


Position Analysis

Big Ugly Blips and Booms (O-line analysis)

  • After three straight games of losing the line of scrimmage, LSU won it. The line only had 4-5 Blips (missed blocks to the play-side), and, as you’ll see later below, LT Jerald Hawkins and TE Colin Jeter contained DE Myles Garrett.
  • The line also opened holes for Leonard Fournette better than it has recently. Fournette’s first contact came 3 or more yards down field on eight of his first 28 carries. Here’s an example of the difference between the fronts of Bama and A&M. Against the Tide, Fournette had one run in which his first contact came 3 or more yards downfield.
  • Still, Fournette was hit at or behind the line on 10 of his first 28 runs. That’s probably a high numbers that O-line coach Jeff Grimes wants to see lowered.
  • Now, for those Myles Garrett numbers. Garrett fared best against LSU’s true freshman left guard, Maea Teuhema. Hawkins and Jeter really did a nice job against Garrett. Here’s the breakdown of the first 31 snaps in which Garrett played (late in the fourth quarter). We broke things down based on his W-L during these matchups. For instance, Garrett was 5-9 against Hawkins in 14 total one-on-one matchups. Keep in mind when reading these stats that, for Garrett to win, he often had to make a play on the ball. LSU ran and passed away from him a ton. That lowers his win total considerably.
  1. vs. Hawkins: 5-9
  2. vs. Jeter: 0-6
  3. vs. Hawkins-Jeter double: 0-2
  4. vs. Teuhema: 4-1

Monday Morning Quarterback (QB analysis)

  • Here’s Brandon Harris’ 21 attempts broken down by result:
  1. Misfired: 8
  2. Completions: 7
  3. Drops: 3
  • So, Harris threw inaccurate passes on more than one-third of his attempts – believed to be a season high. He now has at least 16 Misfires in the last two games (had eight against Ole Miss before the game became a blowout in the fourth quarter).
  • What’s wrong with Harris? We’re not completely sure, but the main issue is definitely accuracy. A good example is the video below. John Diarse gets wide open on a flea flicker and Harris misses him high. He overthrew Diarse in the end zone, too. Does this have anything to do with missing Travin Dural? Maybe. Diarse and Harris certainly don’t have the chemistry that Dural and Harris do.

Backing It Up (RB/FB analysis)

  • Fournette broke eight tackles in the game. That brings his total for the last 10 games to 81 broken tackles. We still haven’t gotten around to charting his broken tackles against Mississippi State in the season opener.
  • As mentioned above, LSU and Fournette often ran away from Myles Garrett. That was something obvious from the very start of the game. Garrett only made about 2 tackles on Fournette.
  • Bry’Kiethon Mouton had one of his better games, but he injured himself in the first quarter on what might have been his best block of the season. Here it is:
  • Freshman David Ducre replaced Mouton over the next few drives before Mouton made his return. He was really never the same after that injury, though. Appears to be a right shoulder injury. Maybe a stinger. It wasn’t too serious since he returned.
  • Without Mouton for much of the second and third quarters, LSU really used the shotgun (no fullback). For the game, LSU ran about 30 plays out of the shotgun. The Tigers ran 68 plays overall.
  • Each Mouton and Fournette dropped a pass from Harris.
  • Ah, now for Derrius Guice. You saw his 50-yard end-around in How They Happened. Here’s his 75-yard kickoff return that included 6-7 broken tackles:

Five-yard Out (WR analysis)

  • John Diarse had the only drop among the group. It wasn’t the easiest pass – high and a tad behind him – but it probably should have been caught. Harris’ struggles made the receivers non-existent in many ways. Several of them got open several times but the quarterback just missed them. Dirase found himself open at least twice, and Harris missed. Dupre got open once or twice but was missed. Tyron Johnson was open, too, but Harris threw low.
  • DJ Chark saw more playing time than he has all season, stepping in as LSU’s No. 3/4 receiver with Travin Dural out. I’m not sure Chark was even targeted.

Front Seven (D-line/LB analysis)

  • Here’s where LSU won the game. The Tigers dominated A&M’s offensive line, getting relentless pressure on a consistent basis, especially from ends Lewis Neal and Arden Key. Here’s how the QB Pressures broke down:
  1. Key: 5
  2. Neal: 4
  3. Adams: 2 (in the Dime)
  4. Bower: 1
  • That’s 12 Pressures. A&M QB Kyle Allen had about 32 dropbacks. Getting to him more than one-third of the time is a good ratio.
  • LSU DC Kevin Steele did some tinkering ahead of this game. The Tigers showed a defensive front that they haven’t shown all season (at least not much, anyway). The new defense: a 4-1-6 (4 DLs, 1 LB, 6 DBs). How is this different from anything LSU has showed this year? The Tigers’ have three base defensive formations:
  1. 4-3-4: They play “4-3? D seldom, aside from vs Arkansas & Bama
  2. 4-2-5: They play the “nickel” D probably two-thirds of the time.
  3. 3-2-6: They play this on passing downs. It’s essentially “Mustang”
  • Why did LSU switch to a 4-1-6? Maybe because the Tigers were playing against a team whose defensive coordinator, John Chavis, coached at LSU for the previous six seasons. In the 4-1-6 (which is shown below), MLB Kendell Beckwith is removed and the Tigers’ play with just one LB, Deion Jones, and their regular four down linemen.


  • Here’s how the Tigers’ split up their defensive formations against A&M through most of the first 3.5 quarters:
  1. 4-2-5 Nickel: 23 snaps
  2. 4-1-6 Dime: 18 snaps
  3. 3-2-6 Mustang: 12 snaps
  • Here’s an example of how LSU uses a variety of fronts with its linebackers and defensive linemen in the Mustang package. The left photo shows the LBs on one side of the line with LSU’s D-linemen grouped right. The right photo shows just one LB at the line and the D-linemen spread out.


  • Something else LSU changed: the infusion of DT Frank Herron. He started on six drives and entered in the middle of another. He played more and better in this game than he has all season, and here’s a few videos to prove it:
  • Deion Jones finished the game with 11 tackles. Inspired in his last home game as a Tiger, the senior played his best. Example:

Break It Up (DB analysis)

  • LSU continues to rotate Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver at the cornerback spot opposite Tre’Davious White. Meanwhile, Dwayne Thomas has not played a single snap in two straight games. He began the year as a starter in place of the injured Jalen Mills. He rotated in at cornerback when Mills returned but has now been completely removed from the lineup. Jackson and Toliver got about equal reps, each starting 5-6 drives.
  • Rickey Jefferson and Corey Thompson continued to rotate at safety with John Battle as the Tigers’ Mustang/Dime safety opposite Jefferson or Thompson.
  • This is a rarity, but … there were zero coverage busts against Texas A&M. None. A few DBs didn’t quite cover their men as well as Corey Raymond would like, but none of them busted any coverages.
  • Who was targeted the most? Here’s a breakdown of targets and catches against over the first 3.5 quarters (did not include A&M’s final two drives in a two-score game):
  1. Tre White: 0-3 (0 catches-3 targets)
  2. Jamal Adams: 2-3
  3. Kevin Toliver: 1-2
  4. Corey Thompson: 1-1
  5. Jalen Mills: 3-5<</ol>