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Baton Rouge Eyes (LSU Tigers Preview)

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on August 24, 2007

A couple of years ago, while the country and the world witnessed the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, the LSU Tigers brought hope to the people of the Bayou with an impressive 11-2 record and an SEC West championship in Les Miles’ first season, as well as a Peach Bowl win over Miami.

They would follow that inspiring performance again with another 11-2 ledger and a win over Notre Dame and Brady Quinn in the 2007 Sugar Bowl, capping off a remarkable two-year mark of 22-4, the best in school history.

The constant in those two years was the fact that JaMarcus Russell’s strong arm propelled those teams to greatness and now, with Russell off to the NFL, the Tigers will have to make do with what they have to remain among the SEC’s elite.

At quarterback, fifth-year starter Matt Flynn, who saw action in 10 games last season, will have the keys to the offense in 2007. In those 10 games, Flynn threw for 133 yards on 12 for 20 passing and 2 touchdowns, good for a 60.0 percentage rate. His backup, sophomore QB Ryan Perriloux, was under investigation by the FBI for an alleged involvement in a counterfeiting ring in the city of LaPlace, Louisiana; although later it was revealed that Perriloux unknowningly passed a fake $20 bill at a convenience store in the city.

The Tigers’ receiving corps will return only one starter in senior receiver Early Doucet, who was second on the team in 2006 in receptions with 59 catches and 8 touchdowns, good enough for 772 yards. Along with Doucet, the Tigers will see an emerging star in sophomore wideout Brandon LaFell, who averaged a team-best 28 yards per catch in 2006 and scored two touchdowns in the process.

At running back, LSU returns senior Jacob Hester, who led the team in rushing with 457 yards on 94 carries as well as 6 touchdowns and sophomore Keiland Williams, whose performance last year (76 carries, 452 yards, 5 touchdowns), as well as his performance in the annual spring game, earned him a starting spot at tailback.

The Bayou was relieved when tackle Glenn Dorsey returned to Baton Rouge for his senior season after finishing third on the team in tackles with 64. He was inactive during spring drills with a shin injury but according to many pundits around Death Valley, he should be back in full force come September 1st.

With both of the safeties gone from Death Valley, it’s up to Curtis Taylor and Craig Stelz to fill the shoes that were once occupied by LaRon Landry, who exhausted his eligibilty and became a top-round draft pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Stelz saw action in the Sugar Bowl and tied for the team lead in interceptions with 4. Expect the same performance level from Stelz this season.

Final analysis: Regardless of who the quarterback is in Baton Rouge, 2007, without any question, should be another banner year in the Bayou. The schedule on the surface is very challenging as Florida, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, and Auburn visit Death Valley, with the Florida game being the make-or-break game if either school wants to make the BCS. An early November trip to Alabama will also be a must-see as Nick Saban coaches his first game against his former school. The good times, however, will continue to roll in the “Bloody Stick.”

Projected record: 11-1 (7-1 SEC)

2007 Louisiana State Tigers

August 30th @ Mississippi State

Sept. 8th Virginia Tech

Sept. 15th Middle Tennessee State

Sept. 22nd South Carolina

Sept. 29th @ Tulane

Oct. 6th Florida

Oct. 13th @ Kentucky

Oct. 20th Auburn

Nov. 3rd @ Alabama

Nov. 10th Louisiana Tech

Nov. 17th @ Ole Miss

Nov. 23rd Arkansas

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3 Responses to “Baton Rouge Eyes (LSU Tigers Preview)”

  1. Steve J said

    “LSU quarterback Matt Flynn passed for four touchdowns as second-ranked LSU (12-2) won its second national title in five seasons.”
    Way to go Matt Flynn you did us proud!!

    Tigers 2007/2008 Champs!!

  2. Matt said

    Congrats, Steve J on your teams’ accomplishments. Always glad to see the SEC prevail.

    Matt

  3. Doc Hancock said

    Congrats, Steve. Hope you guys can do it again next year.

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