Going into the first week of college football for the LSU Tigers, we look at the UCLA Bruins matchup. In week zero of the season, the Bruins rattled off a 24-3 edge in the first quarter as they coasted to the opening win of the season. The first time under Chip Kelly the team won the opener.
Looking at the offense for UCLA, Dorian Thompson-Robinson is a dual-threat in the backfield. Against the Rainbow Warriors, he completed just 50% of his passes with 130 yards and a touchdown through the air. He added 16 more yards on the ground. He is capable of so much more, but given that the game was well in hand after 15 minutes of player, DTR didn’t have to.
The big key for the LSU defense and Daronte Jones will be limiting the damage their two-headed running back attack deals out. Former Michigan running back Zach Charbonnet made his presence felt early on. He carried the ball just six times for 17.7 yards per run. He totaled 106 yards and scored a touchdown on every two carries.
The second back to slow down will be Brittain Brown, the former Duke transfer. Last season he rushed for 6.6 yards per carry. Against Hawaii Brown accounted for 78 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown.
LSU’s two-deep defensive projection ahead of the season opener
The defensive line up front has to be able to get pressure and a push against the offensive line. The big boys for the Bruins allowed just three pressures all game, starting left guard Paul Grattan Jr was guilty of two of them. Ali Gaye, BJ Ojulari, Andre Anthony, and Neil Farrell Jr need to create a lot more pressure. They should very well do that.
When the defense has the opportunity to tackle Charbonnet or Brown, they need to finish taking the ball carrier to the ground. Against Hawaii, the duo accounted for 92 yards after contact. They forced a total of eight missed tackles on running plays.
The Tigers defense needs to slow down the run and force Thompson-Robinson to take to the air. The LSU secondary should be ready to take the ball away from receivers. Putting the game in the hands of the best cornerback duo in the country will serve this team well, provided the front seven are getting to the quarterback.