The 2019 National L Club Spring Game did not differ too much from spring games of the past, with the offense not showcasing too much, and the defenses playing to their typical high level.
The final score was 17-14 in favor of the Purple squad, indicative of how the offenses struggled to put together sustaining drives after the first quarter. Each team scored at least a touchdown (Purple scored two) in the first quarter, but there wasn’t another score by either team until a 43-yard Connor Culp field goal for the Purple team halfway through the third quarter.
Offense showed a glimpse of what fans want to see
The offense did show some of the “spread” packages fans have fawned over, featuring three, four, and sometimes even five receivers. Which is exactly what LSU coach Ed Orgeron has stated he wants the offense to look like by August 31 when the Tigers take the field for their season opener against Georgia Southern.
And yet, after the first two or three possessions for each offense, the defenses settled in, and took over the game. This could be a product of two things: one, that the offenses were relegated to a small number of very basic plays so not to give anything away to potential viewers of the nationally televised game, and two, this Tigers defense is really good, with playmakers across the board.
Derek Stingley Jr. showed why he was the Tigers No. 1 recruit
When Orgeron opened his postgame presser one of the first things he mentioned was the play of freshman cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., specifically a play he made in the second quarter when he made a leaping interception on a deep ball to sophomore receiver Terrace Marshall Jr., which seemed to get the biggest reaction from the small crowd congregated in the west middle section of Tiger Stadium — other than when sophomore running back Chris Curry ran over sophomore defensive back Kenan Jones.
When other Tigers have been asked by reporters how Stingley has looked during the spring, most of the answers include how he doesn’t look like a true freshman, and throughout the spring game, it was clear they were telling the truth.
Stingley shadowed Marshall for the majority of his routes, who was a top recruit in his own right in 2018, and Marshall struggled to get any separation, making only two catches for 26 yards.
Stingley looked the part, and Orgeron also said he thinks Stingley will have a big impact on the punt return game, which wasn’t really featured during the game other than Stingley catching an uncontested punt. Fans will have high expectations for the true freshman come fall, and it looks more and more like he will meet those expectations.
Both Quarterbacks looked comfortable running the offense
Sophomore quarterback Myles Brennan won the day out throwing senior quarterback Joe Burrow in terms of yardage 168 to 159, but Burrow was the only of the two to throw a touchdown.
The stats ultimately won’t mean too much in the grand scheme of things, but the big takeaway was that both guys looked comfortable running the offense.
Of course as mentioned earlier, the playbook for the offense was clearly very small and very basic, but both Burrow and Brennan looked more in tune compared to last season, and Burrow went even as far to say that he didn’t think the offense would miss a beat if he had to leave the game and Brennan replace him.
Overall, the excitement level for Tiger fans might not change too much after a low-scoring, defensively dominated game, but that’s probably a good thing. The spring game is a great opportunity for fans to get a small taste of what the LSU football team will look like in the upcoming season, and that’s exactly what they got today.