Welcome to Film Room, our weekly analysis of LSU’s last football game.
Have a seat. No talking. No tweeting. No texting. Pay attention.
How They Happened (big-play analysis)
Going once: On a first-and-10 in the first quarter, Leonard Fournette runs for his first of three touchdowns - this one from 59 yards out.
- All three of Fournette's touchdowns came on the right side of LSU's offensive line, away from left guard Will Clapp, who is nursing an injured left shoulder and does not appear to be fully healthy.
- Four LSU players win their 1-on-1 battles on this play: TE Colin Jeter (yellow circle), RT Maea Teuhema (red circle), RG Josh Boutte (blue circle) and FB Bry'Kiethon Mouton (black circle). The two key blocks are from Teuhema, who pulls around Jeter to push Ole Miss DE Marquis Haynes out of the play, and Mouton, who takes care of LB Detric Bing-Dukes.
- QB Danny Etling changes this play just before the snap, possibly seeing Ole Miss safety Zedrick Woods creep to near the line of scrimmage on the backside of the play. Center Ethan Pocic then signals the new blocking call to his line, specifically to Boutte. Pocic points to Ole Miss LB DeMarquis Gates, who Boutte eventually blocks in a way that could have been called a hold.
Going twice: On second-and-2 in the second quarter, Fournette races 76 yards for a touchdown for his second score of the night.
- This is not the same play as the first touchdown. For instance, there is no fullback, and Pocic pulls on this play, leading Fournette into a whopper of a hole. However, this play involves many similar blocking assignments from Jeter (red circle) and Teuhema, to Jeter's left.
- First, though, let's talk about the amount of space between Ole Miss defensive tackle D.J. Jones and Haynes on the outside (black bracket). Bing-Dukes is responsible for that massive, three-man gap, says ESPN color analyst Jesse Palmer. Jeter takes care of him immediately at the snap. Also, Haynes takes himself out of the play (yellow circle), darting to the outside at the snap.
- Pocic (black blocking arrow) records what coaches refer to as a "pancake" during this play. He flattens Ole Miss cornerback Tony Conner to open up an already large hole for Fournette.
Gone: On LSU's first offensive snap of the second half, Fournette runs for his third and final score, this one from 78 yards.
- This touchdown comes out of the same formation as the first, but it is blocked differently. Boutte (red circle) is the pulling man, and he gets a key block on Bing-Dukes. Also like the first TD, Ole Miss has crept up safety Woods (yellow circle) at the linebacker level, all but taking him out of the play. Pocic said after the game that this is something LSU saw during the week of studying Ole Miss film.
- Despite the injury and all, Clapp (blue circle) makes a solid block on Gates at the second level, moving him out of the play completely and trapping Woods to the backside portion of the play. The Rebels' other safety, Anderson, is shaded to the two-receiver side of the field and can't get to Fournette in time.
- The last block on the play comes from Mouton (black circle), the Tigers' backup fullback in for injured starter J.D. Moore. Mouton seals off Haynes, who LSU ran directly at on all three of Fournette's scores.
Open Chark: On second-and-10, QB Danny Etling hits a wide open D.J. Chark for a 40-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
- Ole Miss DB A.J. Moore (top red circle) appears to be locked in man coverage against Chark (wide circle), but his eyes follow TE DeSean Smith (black circle), who runs a route to the flat.
- Smith not only draws Chark's man-to-man defensive back. He gets Ole Miss safety Myles Hartsfield (bottom red circle) to run to the flat, too. One of those two players, Hartsfield or Moore, did the wrong thing, obviously.
Big Ugly Blips And Booms (OL analysis)
- We've got a good stat to sum up the offensive line's play: 189. That's the amount of yards Leonard Fournette rushed for before being contacted. Remember, he had 284 for the game. The line opened holes for Fournette early and often, beating a group of struggling Ole Miss linebackers, as you see above in the big-play breakdown section.
- There weren't many glaring Blips (a missed block that resulted in a negative play). LG Will Clapp, still clearly hurting from that right shoulder injury, missed a block on a swing pass to Fournette. There were two pass block Blips, but one, as you'll see below, wasn't necessarily all LT Maea Teuhema's fault.
- As you saw, TE Foster Moreau ran out for a pass, leaving Teuhema with two men to block. We don't know the play call or assignments so we can't say what should have happened here. Best bet: RB Derrius Guice could have stayed back and picked up the rusher.
Monday Morning Quarterback (QB analysis)
- We charted QB Danny Etling for five misfires in his 28 attempts. We broke each down.
Underthrown and late (intercepted)
- Etling's worst pass was, by far, the interception intended for Chark. ESPN color analyst Jesse Palmer says Etling not only underthrew Chark, but he threw the pass too late. Chark ran an out route to the sideline.
- Etling continues to flash strong pocket presence and good footwork. Here's a great example of that, capped off with a perfectly placed ball to Dural.
Five-yard Out (WR analysis)
- There were no drops, at least none we recorded. Etling targeted Dupre more than any other receiver at six times. He caught five passes. Here's a chart of all targets:
- An injury note here: Just before his 40-yard touchdown catch, Chark injured his left hip flexor, ESPN said on the broadcast. He injured the hip during that reverse in which he fumbled.
- Have you ever wondered how LSU groups its receivers? Like, who plays on the field at the same time? Well, we charted each receiver group each play (outside of LSU's final drive):
Dural and Chark
Dupre and Dural
Dupre, Dural and Chark
Anderson and Dupre
Gauge and Dupre
Gauge and Chark
Gauge, Dupre, Chark and Dural
Anderson and Ferguson
- You can see from this chart that we have not accounted for all 64 plays that LSU ran. We did not chart the final two series, when the game was out of reach and we did not chart one-receiver sets (there were only 4-6 of those). You can also see from this that Dupre and Dural led all receivers in snaps at about 31. Dee Anderson, a true freshman, saw just as much playing time as he has all season, with eight snaps.
- Dupre is rounding into shape, and he probably had this group's best catch on a third down in the third quarter that set up Derrius Guice's game-sealing touchdown run. The ball was thrown behind him, but Dupre made an adjustment.
Back It Up (RB analysis)
- Brent Musburger, the ESPN play-by-play man covering the game, said Friday on the Paul Finebaum Show that Leonard Fournette would only get about 30 snaps against Ole Miss as he recovers from that lingering ankle injury. We counted Fournette's snaps: 29. Remember, the TV crews normally meet with the coaching staff Fridays before games.
- LSU did not wait long to put Fournette and Derrius Guice in the game at the same time. On the game's first play, Fournette lined up at running back and Guice in the slot receiver. QB Danny Etling fakes a run to Fournette and then throws to Guice. We think this is a run-pass option for the QB. We can't be for sure, but that's the way it looks. Etling must decide pre-snap, based on the defense's alignment, what to do.
- We only saw the two running backs in the game at the same time just two other times. Guice lined up at running back with Fournette at fullback both times. One of those times, Fournette took a swing pass 22 yards and ran over Ole Miss DB Deontay Anderson. Here's the thing with that play: Guice crushes a pass block that makes it possible.
Front Line (D-line analysis)
- LSU got serious pressure in the second half, and the Tigers did it without rushing more than four most often. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda continues to hold off on blitzing. Excluding the final few minutes of the game, he sent more than four men just five times. Here's a chart:
S Jamal Adams
LB Donnie Alexander
S Jamal Adams
LB Duke Riley
S Jamal Adams, LB Duke Riley, LB Kendell Beckwith
- Now, what's not in that chart are the handful of times that Beckwith and/or Riley rushed, while Arden Key and/or Tashawn Bower dropped. That actually happened quite a bit, and it's shown in the photo below:
- The point in all this: Aranda doesn't necessarily blitz a ton of guys, but you never know which four are going to rush. You see the last line of the chart that six guys rushed but there are three extra players listed, leading you to believe that LSU rushed seven. Bower, on that play, dropped into coverage.
- Speaking of Bower, he played a lot. He recorded around 20 snaps for the game and played about 13 snaps in the first half alone, entering the game to either spell Key or play as a defensive end on LSU's pass-rush package (Key-Godchaux-Neal-Bower).
- For a second straight game, we did not see Travonte Valentine play a snap. He was also not listed in the participation chart.
Backer Bites (LB analysis)
- Duke Riley had one of his better games, and Kendell Beckwith continues to shine. There's really not much else to say. The pair played well. A good example is Beckwith here evading a block and making a strong tackle at the line of scrimmage:
Break It Up (DB analysis)
- For a group that busted two coverages on Ole Miss' very first drive, the defensive backs got it together and played a pretty good game against an explosive offensive team who loves to pass. But let's get to those busts. Kevin Toliver had one (that 50-yarder) and then Ole Miss runs a play many might call a "pick" to score a touchdown. Both Tre White and Jamal Adams cover TE Evan Ingram, leaving Jefferson open for the score.
- Ole Miss really targeted LSU's outside cornerbacks, Kevin Toliver and Donte Jackson. Here's a chart of targets, catches and yards each defensive back gave up. We didn't chart the last couple series of the game.
7 (3 PI penalties)
- Let's briefly spend time on Jackson's three pass interference penalties. Color analyst Jesse Palmer agrees with the first and third and not the second. You be the judge:
- We'll finish up with one of the more remarkable parts of the game: LSU's ability to stop Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram. He entered the game as the SEC's leading receiver. He exited with 3 catches for 15 yards. How did LSU do it? Mostly with safety Jamal Adams, but White also covered Engram a good deal, and the Tigers often double covered him, too.
Photos and video courtesy of ESPN.