Florida coach Will Muschamp is a plagiarist.
He didn’t merely take a page out of LSU coach Les Miles’ book — Muschamp copied the whole thing, put an orange and blue cover on it and made Miles read the handbook he’s made his namesake for 60 minutes.
Simply put, Miles got “Miles’d.”
There’s no more excuses or ugly wins to hide behind. LSU got what was coming to it after two straight, uninspiring performances.
Forget about a wakeup call or an eye-opener— what happened in The Swamp on Saturday was a disaster.
Muschamp reminded Miles what it looked like to dominate the line of scrimmage, control the clock and capitalize off turnovers.
Muschamp made adjustments. Miles didn’t.
Facing a 6-0 halftime deficit with no offensive rhythm, Muschamp made a conscious decision — pound the rock until the Tigers proved they could stop it.
The Gators made up for their offensive deficiencies in the first half, piling up 190 yards after halftime.
Of the 38 Florida offensive plays run in the second half, 34 were on the ground, including 25 straight rushes to end the game. The Gators took control of the game with an
11-play, 77-yard touchdown drive early in the fourth quarter.
All 77 yards were gained through the run.
It was the beginning of the end for LSU’s hope of an undefeated season.
I don’t blame the defense. It held Florida to 237 offensive yards. It’s the offense’s fault for not being able to stay on the field and let the defense catch its breath.
Jan. 9, 2012 ring any bells? The LSU offense could barely muster more than a three-and-out in the BCS National Championship Game loss to Alabama, forcing the defense to stay on the field for much of the game.
The LSU defense spent 11 minutes, 27 seconds on the field in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss.
LSU was unable to get any kind of momentum going on offense. It wasn’t until the early fourth quarter that the LSU offense finally converted a third down.
Take away wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s 56-yard reception, which he fumbled away, and Florida running back Mike Gillislee outgained the Tigers 146-144.
If there’s a panic button
anywhere near offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa, he can feel free to press it.
Instead of remembering the Tigers’ 2012 trip to Gainesville, Fla., as junior linebacker Kevin Minter putting together one of the best individual defense performances in program history, LSU fans will only recall a lethargic, predictable offense that hasn’t changed a bit even with a new signal caller.
“It’s pretty difficult because we can’t keep them on their heels,” LSU junior running back Spencer Ware said after the game. “When we line up in regular [offensive formation] with two receivers, they know its run.”
This is an offense still searching for an identity after six games. And if Miles thinks the Tigers are suddenly going to find one, he’s watching too much of last season’s game film.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier. His players aren’t getting any healthier. More importantly, a blueprint for how to take down the Tigers was put on display — put nine defenders in the box and force quarterback Zach Mettenberger to beat you with his arm.
Muschamp begged Mettenberger to throw the ball. In the second half, the Gator defense was content to load up against the run and leave their cornerbacks one-on-one with LSU’s receivers.
Studrawa responded by calling the same conservative play calls Tiger fans groaned about with Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson behind center.
When asked why the offense is struggling so much, Ware pondered his response for a good five seconds.
“I don’t know,” Ware finally answered.
Don’t worry Spencer, Studrawa and Miles don’t know either.
They might want to figure it out quickly before South Carolina visits Tiger Stadium this weekend. If the Gamecocks were able to hold Georgia’s potent offense scoreless until the fourth quarter, what does that mean for an LSU offense who has scored one touchdown in eight SEC quarters?
Maybe it will force Miles to play to win instead of not to lose.