Not much credit has been reserved for LSU’s offense this season.
Unlike Alabama, the Tigers have no Heisman candidate on offense. LSU’s offense is built more on bagging up yards in bulk. The Tigers have two quarterbacks, four running backs and something like four or five receiving options.
But only Alabama and Mississippi State have been able to keep LSU’s offense from going on one of its patented runs this season.
LSU (12-0) is built around making big plays in bunches.
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“It’s one of those things you can feel, a want and a desire,” LSU head coach Les Miles said. “Different spots in these games, it just appears to show.”
Everything LSU does on the offensive side of the ball is predicated off of a running game that has featured four backs -- Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard -- as its focal point in one game or another this season.
In almost every game, the Tigers have set up the pass by pounding away early with the run. Both teams that have held LSU under 20 points also limited the Tigers to less than 4.0 yards-per-carry.
“That’s the name of the game,” Tigers offensive lineman Will Blackwell said. “You’ve got to be able to run the ball to throw the ball. That’s the philosophy we’ve taken on this season.”
And with the exception of the Nov. 5 overtime win over the Crimson Tide, it has not mattered much who is throwing the ball for LSU.
With Jordan Jefferson serving a suspension through the first four games for his involvement in a bar altercation during the offseason, Jarrett Lee posted one of the highest passer ratings in the SEC. He’s second to only Georgia’s Aaron Murray.
But when Lee threw a pair of interceptions against Alabama, Jefferson stepped back into the lead role and added the threat of the option to LSU’s offense.
Both quarterbacks know to look for No. 2 when it’s time to throw down the field.
Rueben Randle, LSU’s 6-foot-4, 208-pound junior receiver, leads the Tigers with 48 catches for 889 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s averaging 18.5 yards-per-catch, and he has the ability to put LSU on a run all by himself.
Against Auburn, LSU only led 7-3 midway through the second quarter until Randle beat Auburn’s defensive backs twice for long touchdown catches that covered more than 40 yards.
“I think Rueben has great ball skills and the ability to get deep,” Miles said.