A 65-17 win against Southern has helped reset the negative feelings that dwelled after the loss to Florida State. LSU begins conference play in a similar spot to where it began the season — with a lot of questions but also a lot of potential. If the team that showed up in the fourth quarter against Florida State shows up against Mississippi State, LSU will win this game.
However, I’m unsure how wise it would be to count on that team to show up. That loss was just two weeks ago, and Brian Kelly might be a good coach, but he doesn’t have a magic wand.
LSU has made adjustments. Jay Ward is now at the nickel, and Greg Brooks Jr. will slide back to safety. We saw a new-look offensive line last week with Charles Turner at the center, Garrett Dellinger at guard, and Miles Frazier bumping over to correct tackle.
On top of personnel adjustments, these coordinators should better understand these players, and we should see improved playcalling. Even after the loss to Florida State, I said this LSU team is better than the one we have seen the last two years.
It still might not be enough. This is a tough league to play in. Mississippi State is a good team, but it’s far from the best LSU will see this year. Mike Leach has his program close to where he wants it to be while Kelly is rebuilding. These programs are on different planes right now, even if the teams are similar in ability.
Nobody wants to start 1-2, especially after the way 2020 and 2021 played out, but it’s part of the process. Mississippi State has experience. It’s a group that’s well-coached on both sides of the ball.
It’s not that LSU isn’t well-coached. I have faith in this coaching staff, but it’s going to take some time for LSU to be able to compete consistently. I think the players have bought in, and this is a team committed to winning, but again, issues can’t be fixed overnight or one off-season.
I’m excited to see where this LSU team goes over the year, but we should be prepared for a few more growing pains in the meantime.