Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Dellinger was pretty open with how he thought the Tigers’ o-line held up and where there’s still work to be done.
“Jayden tells me what happened and I’m like ok, don’t let it happen again. You can’t overthink it because you’ve got the next play,” Dellinger said.
For LSU’s o-line, the communication of the play call is quite simple. The linemen hear for either “Ohio” or “Iowa,” so they know which blocking scheme they’ll be under for that particular play. Up front, it’s Dellinger who makes the protection call pre-snap, and only Jayden Daniels can override the call if he sees a shift or something else in the defense that warrants different protection.
What the Tigers’ offensive line had trouble with wasn’t necessarily in the presnap protection calls or the communication but rather the physicality of the Florida State defensive line. Early in the game, there was no rhythm to anything LSU’s offense threw out there, and the offensive line was having its fair share of trouble keeping the pocket clean for Daniels.
“It was more just our energy. We have to bring a lot more energy to the table,” Dellinger said. “It could’ve been maybe it was the first game but I don’t know we were just flat in the beginning. We’ll be ready from now on, that won’t happen again.”
Towards the end of the game, LSU started to have some success through chip blocking, improved energy, and physicality as the game wound down. LSU would score touchdowns on its final three-game drives, something the group can carry with it as the schedule starts to heat up in SEC play.
“Our energy was just there and sometimes it’s just that unspoken rhythm that we have,” Dellinger said.
Regarding on-field technique issues being hammered out this week in practice, the Tigers are focusing on spacing from an offensive line perspective. Too often, LSU wasn’t adequately spaced, allowing for penetration by the Seminoles defense, and that needs to be fixed.
Coach Brian Kelly also said the Tigers would continue to rotate guys along the offensive line this week, trying to find the best combinations. Since the game, Dellinger said that Kelly and the rest of the staff had been back to business. There’s no difference in the approach to this week because, as Dellinger described it, the “process is perfect.”
“If some guy starts falling off we might have to throw someone else in. We’re constantly trying guys to make sure we have our best five,” Dellinger said.
LSU has an opportunity this week where it must start to show some improvement against a Southern team it should handle easily. As much as this game has historical significance for the two college institutions in the Baton Rouge area, there’s a general feeling that LSU should be able to handle business this weekend.
If it proves to be harder than most expect, we could be settling in for a longer season than initially thought.
“We just have to play LSU football. We have to do what we know best. We learned a lot from this game,” Dellinger said. “We learned what we do best with how to keep the energy, what keeps the energy so we’ve learned.”