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Well, we saw four against Mississippi State out of 29 first-down attempts.
Harris was 2 for 2 for 24 yards on his two first-down throws. He was sacked once, and LSU had a 37-yard touchdown pass to Travin Dural negated by penalty.
Thing is, it’s not like LSU was bad while running the ball on first down. Here are a few numbers:
- Rushes-Yards: 25-128
- Leonard Fournette: 14-70
- Darrel Williams: 7-29
This is a concern. We wrote about it in Monday’s Advocate. The Tigers depth on the defensive line is not great, and that might have had something to do with LSU giving up chunks of yards late. They didn’t have much pressure. They were tired. In fact, DT Davon Godchaux said he was gassed late in the game.
LSU replaced Godchaux and Christian LaCouture with backups Greg Gilmore and Frank Herron to start State’s two touchdown drives. What happened? When the Bulldogs drove inside the 20 or 30-yard line, coaches pulled Gilmore and Herron for the starters.
Another note here: During State’s final two or three drives – when the Dogs were rolling up the yards – LSU was in its Dime package. It’s three down linemen, two linebackers and six defensive backs. The Tigers seemed to have more success in their Nickel defense, but State’s personnel forced that change to the Dime.
- LT Jerald Hawkins
- LG Maea Teuhema
- C Ethan Pocic
- RG Will Clapp
- RT Vadal Alexander
Boutte really struggled in the first half against Mississippi State. He didn’t see the field in the final two quarters, and Miles said afterward that Boutte needs more “coaching” and “seasoning.”
LSU ran about 16-18 passing plays in the game. Harris scrambled a couple of times and was sacked another time. Harris said LSU actually called more passing plays than that. The QB said OC Cam Cameron called “well over” 25 passing plays in the game. LSU checked out of the passes for runs based off State’s defensive front and blitzing.
So to answer your question, I do expect LSU will throw more than 14 passes in nearly every game for the rest of the season. I’ll say they average around 20-25 pass attempts a game this year.