LSU’s Greatest Challenge: Complacency
Perhaps LSU’s greatest opponent this weekend won’t be Kent State, but a sense of complacency mixed with the anticipation of opening their SEC schedule next weekend against Auburn. So far, the Tigers have met and exceeded expectations. We’re only two weeks into the season, yet LSU has looked just as dominant on offense as it has on defense which has led to a Top-10 ranking in both major polls.
Remember, no one knew what to expect from this Tigers team. All the talk centered on the departure of a record 11 underclassmen, mostly from the defensive side of the ball. Also, fans were curious to see how Cam Cameron, LSU’s new quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, could influence senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Through two games, Mettenberger has completed 63 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no interceptions for 533 yards. What's more, he's looked poised and confident while doing so.
LSU beat its first two opponents by double digits and should continue that streak this weekend. Kent State is 1-1 with a seven-point victory over Liberty from the FCS and a 19-point loss last weekend to Bowling Green. Both of those games were at home for the Golden Flashes. If they barely beat an inferior opponent in week one and got blown out in week two, then what chance do they have in Death Valley against the No. 8 team in the country?
And there lies the problem. How do Les Miles and his staff keep their team motivated and not peeking ahead to a much larger showdown next Saturday? It will be easy for LSU’s young team to overlook Kent State and start gearing up for Auburn’s visit to Baton Rouge. The coaches and the leaders on the field must keep this team focused on the task at hand.
LSU’s defense will need to be mindful of Golden Flashes quarterback Colin Reardon. He is only a freshman, but has completed 64 percent of his passes for 358 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Similar to the Bayou Bengals, Kent State has two receivers with big-play ability. Senior Tyshon Goode is Reardon’s favorite target with 12 catches for 99 yards. Chris Humphrey, a junior, compliments Goode with 10 receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back Dri Archer (ankle) is the team's star, but he's played just a handful of snaps and is day-to-day.
Ideally, LSU will be up big at halftime so they can pull their starters and start thinking about their conference opener. The players can’t go into this game with that mindset, though, or else they may be the ones getting embarrassed.