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LSU gets its ‘Leedership’ from QB Lee

James Stampley, Jarrett Lee

LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee didn’t need to win the fourth-ranked Tigers’ season-opening game against No. 3 Oregon.

And, sure enough, he didn’t. The senior went a subpar 10-of-22 for 98 yards and a touchdown; his best play was the halfback toss to running backs Spencer Ware and Michael Ford.

But Lee was able to do the one thing Oregon collectively could not: be mistake free. Although Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas only threw one interception, UO was sloppy in committing four turnovers tonight, with almost all of them coming in their own territory.

For a program that prides itself on solid game plan execution, Chip Kelly‘s team was uncharacteristically disheveled. Lee, on the other hand, was not. LSU coach Les Miles allowed his athletes to make plays. All Lee had to do was take the snap and keep his team from falling apart.

“Coming into tonight, we knew we had a lot on our minds,” Lee said after the game. “We knew we just had to stay focused.”

And, in the end, it worked out in favor of the Tigers, who defeated UO 40-27 in a game where beauty and grace were hard to come by.

Thankfully for the Tigers, the abundance of team speed isn’t as hard to find. If Lee can manage to play relatively mistake-free, that LSU defense and running attack can win a lot of games this year. For Lee, it’s about trusting the offense and the athletes around him.

Barring any late-game time management blunders, Miles usually puts his team in a pretty good chance to win.

Looking around to other members of the SEC West, Alabama’s quarterbacks A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims didn’t play particularly well against Kent State, and Arkansas, despite a huge win over Missouri State, is still breaking in a new starting quarterback in Tyler Wilson. LSU matches up well with both of those teams.

And for a program that’s faced so much off-the-field adversity, it’s nice to have something go their way for a change.

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18 Responses to “LSU gets its ‘Leedership’ from QB Lee”
  1. sportsmediacritic says: Sep 4, 2011 12:04 AM

    LSU won DESPITE Lee, not because of him lol. If “leadership” means handing off the ball to RBs and staying out the way, then yea, I suppose he was a leader.

  2. buckeye044 says: Sep 4, 2011 12:14 AM

    @boisestatewhodat

    also nothing about the domers being the only ranked team to lose to a non-ranked team. How lame is that?

  3. Ben Kercheval says: Sep 4, 2011 12:19 AM

    buckeye, if you’d like something on Notre Dame, check out ND Central’s write up

    http://irish.nbcsports.com/2011/09/04/five-things-we-learned-notre-dame-vs-south-florida/

  4. Ben Kercheval says: Sep 4, 2011 12:21 AM

    sportsmediacritic,

    Never said LSU won because of Lee. He did what they asked him to do.

  5. fatfreddystubbs says: Sep 4, 2011 12:23 AM

    I’m a Penn State guy (great win over Indiana State..cough..cough…), so i have no loyalty to Oregon or LSU, but the officiating in that game, both ways, was absolutley terrible.

  6. burntorangehorn says: Sep 4, 2011 12:23 AM

    buckeye044 says:
    Sep 4, 2011 12:14 AM
    @boisestatewhodat

    also nothing about the domers being the only ranked team to lose to a non-ranked team. How lame is that?
    ===========================
    TCU?

    Auburn came really close as well.

  7. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 4, 2011 12:45 AM

    sportsmediacritic: Despite? That is a stupid posting. Lee did what he was asked to do, checked off numerous times, did not cost LSU the game with interseptions or other problems. He kept his cool and made the passes he needed to make. He will get better. He executed LSU’s plan and so his coaches and players are thrilled with him, and we fans are happy also.

    LSU proved their defense was even faster than the Ducks. Team speed? LSU won. Line of scrimage? LSU won. Poise? LSU won. Game plan? LSU won. Penalties? Oregon won Turnovers? Oregon won.

    Good game. Good start for LSU with a whole lot to lose, a risky game with the recent problems. Lee did well. Lee did what he was supposed to do, at least that is what this fan saw.

  8. paulbrownsrevenge says: Sep 4, 2011 12:55 AM

    Oregon will hold the all time record for most losses in different uniform combinations. Football games are won and lost in the trenches.

  9. sportsinhd says: Sep 4, 2011 1:03 AM

    >Ben Kercheval says:
    Sep 4, 2011 12:19 AM
    buckeye, if you’d like something on Notre Dame, check out ND Central’s write up

    Notre Dame has been irrelevant for years, the only people who haven’t gotten the memo are NBC and Notre Dame. They Fighting Irish certainly don’t deserve their own “talk” page, and I’m certainly never going to click on it. Post Notre Dame analysis with the rest of 1-A College Football (or whatever it’s called now).

  10. cometkazie says: Sep 4, 2011 8:19 AM

    On top of that, they appeared poorly coached, distinctly so compared with the Ducks and the Tigers.

  11. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 4, 2011 8:28 AM

    cometkazie: It is so puzzling about the Irish. Great name recognition. Huge profit and banked cash. Able to schedule just about any team at any time. Good recruiting from any where. Coach after coach after coach hired is not a good fit and mismanages talent and game calling. Why? What is causing their coaches to be so inept? Is it the good Rev.’s fault in hiring these men or what is it?

  12. polegojim says: Sep 4, 2011 9:57 AM

    Great win for LSU and Miles under duress. Showed what they’re truly made of. Great Job.
    Next to Michigan, this is my second favorite win of the day. One of the only ‘meaningful’ wins.

    Re Notre Dame… I called this one a month ago.
    Same question I axed a month ago – other than starting a new season, what have the Irish done to elicit this new found media and ranking confidence? Nothing. These ‘media darlings’ need to earn a top 25 ranking for a change, not have it gifted to them on an annual basis.

  13. icelovinbrotha215 says: Sep 4, 2011 1:05 PM

    The Mad Hater and Bayou Bengals find a way to win…again! Geaux Tigers!

  14. skinnypigeon says: Sep 4, 2011 2:42 PM

    That game was all about the defense of LSU. They shut down Oregon time after time.

  15. Deb says: Sep 4, 2011 3:23 PM

    @alligatorsnapper …

    It’s Parseghian karma.

  16. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 4, 2011 7:07 PM

    Deb: smile! I knew there was an answer!

    skinnypigeon: I agree. Lee and the offense did what they needed to do.

    I read a posting of southernpatriots some months ago that if LSU could score more than 33 points a game that the defense could hold just about any team below that and LSU should win. I think I may have seen the best secondary in college ball today in LSU. The big guards and tackles were faster off the snap. Several players for LSU surprised and greatly pleased me. They really seemed dialed in and focused. That game meant something.

    The senior LSU assistant athletic director was interviewed on Saturday and he was the one that arranged the game with Oregon. He said after the recent player curfew violations and resulting situation, he was greatly concerned, wondering if this was the right thing to do. He thought, “no other top 5 team is playing a team above them, why are we doing this at this time?” He said he was so nervous it was hard for him to do anything. He was so glad when the game was over. He had the same thoughts I had and I know many thousands of other fans. Nerve racking and thank Coach Miles for keeping the players focused.

  17. webfootdoug58 says: Sep 4, 2011 7:08 PM

    Well, it’s Doomsville here in Eugene, now that reality has set in after the Duck’s dreams of another top BCS game were trampled down in Texas.

    Here’s some of the headlines from the Eugene Register-Guard today:
    “Geauxing nowhere– The gap between the good and the great just got bigger”
    “Ducks: Oregon commits 12 penalties”
    “Simply put, the SEC is just better”
    “Suspended players leave void”
    “UO’s run game is slowed to a walk”
    “Depleted defense can’t handle the pounding”
    “Duck’s speed exceeded by top team’s athletes”

    These pretty well say it all, don’t they?
    And other comments here:

    -paulbrown’s revenge– you said it, our continuous switching of uniforms at Nike’s insistence is ridiculous, and these black things were worst of all. We pray we never see them again and we can get back to our beautiful green and yellow.
    And you are right, this game was won in the trenches by that big LSU line.

    –skinnypigeon– and you are also correct, the LSU defense was terrific, and even with our great backs like James, we got almost no rushing yards.
    And yet, in spite of this, Oregon still ended up with considerably more total yardage than LSU. Think about it.
    It was the turnovers and penalties that killed Oregon’s chances.

    Our defense actually played well in spite of the short field our offense kept leaving them, mostly shutting down Lee. Could we have stopped Jefferson as well? We’ll never know.
    But we do know the UO was hurt badly by the absence of our suspended all-American cornerback and kick returner Cliff Harris. You saw the fumbles.

    –alligatorsnapper– You were “right on” with your summary:
    “LSU proved their defense was even faster than the Ducks. Team speed? LSU won. Line of scrimage? LSU won. Poise? LSU won. Game plan? LSU won. Penalties? Oregon won Turnovers? Oregon won.”
    Yup, I’m afraid you were right about that, which is why we Oregon fans are feeling pretty blue today.
    But LSU fans should be feeling great.

    –fatfreddystubbs– I think you are right, the officiating was pretty poor. While all those offsides and movements by Oregon were obvious calls and showed how poorly prepared we were for this game, the leg whipping penalties and pass interference call in the end zone were highly questionable.

    With all this, it is a good reality check for Oregon about how really great the rest of the Big Teams in the country are, and that our chances of finishing near the top every year are pure fantasy.
    Oregon is just not a state made for top tier athletic excellence; our recent success has been artificial, fueled by Nike money. Of the 45 FB players highlighted in the recent RG media guide, almost as many are from Texas (5) as Oregon (6). The majority are actually from California.
    This desperate national recruiting is how we got messed up with Lyles, and that controversy has ruined our focus, resulting in that uncharacteristic bumbling and confusion.

    Thus, in a way, this loss in our first game was a good thing, as now we can get back to work on real issues instead of this athletic escape from reality. The UO has hurt itself a great deal by trying to match the FB superpowers, instead of taking care of the academic business we used to be noted for.
    Ideally Uncle Phil and Nike can be put aside for a while and Oregon can turn the reigns of the university back to the faculty.

    A letter to the editor in today’s RG says it all:
    “….some Oregon players, and it would appear coaches, have led the way in a race to the ethical bottom. That’s not the Oregon I fell in love with. As for the USCs and the Miamis of the world, they can keep their wins and their scandals, I want my Oregon back.”

    Well said, brother, and now it’s time to get back to the things that really count, such as rebuilding our economy and educational institutions, and helping out those states like Louisiana which just got clobbered by the storm.

    If we could do that, this Webfoot would be satisfied if we win enough games to go to a good bowl again this year.
    Wearing green and yellow.

  18. duklover says: Sep 4, 2011 9:34 PM

    Forget the crazy uni’s. If you want to play with the big boys, you half to take your lumps. Beat the Bevo’s !

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