Monday, February 27, 2017

Farewell to 2016: LSU Tigers

The SEC had a down year compared to other years, as Alabama was the lone team to win 10 games or more in 2016. That is an unusual turn of events for the self proclaimed best conference in college football. The East was still down, as Florida and Tennessee continued to struggle despite having high expectations. Georgia is still trying to find themselves under Kirby Smart. LSU made a mess of the Les Miles situation. Ole Miss was clouded over by off-field issues. Here is a look back at the 2016 SEC season, on a team by team basis.

LSU Tigers
8-4 (5-3)

2016 Schedule
Lost to Wisconsin 16-14
Beat Jacksonville State 34-13
Beat Mississippi State 23-20
Lost to Auburn 18-13
Beat Missouri 42-7
Beat Southern Mississippi 45-10
Beat Ole Miss 38-21
Lost to Alabama 10-0
Beat Arkansas 38-10
Lost to Florida 16-10
Beat Texas A&M 54-39
Beat Louisville 29-9 (Citrus Bowl)

MVP Offense: RB Derrius Guice
With Leonard Fournette only playing in seven games, Guice stepped up, and unlike Fournette, played like he actually wanted to be in Baton Rouge. Guice played in 12 games, and rushed for 1387 yards. He scored 15 times, and averaged 115.58 yards per game off of just 15 carries per game. He rushed for 285 yards and 4 scores against Texas A&M, and ran for another 252 yards against Arkansas. He averaged 12 yards per carry against Arkansas, and 7.7 yards per carry against the Aggies.
MVP Defense: DL Arden Key
Key finished with 56 tackles as a sophomore, and led the team with 14.5 TFLs. He also managed 12 sacks on the season. He recorded 3 PBUs, and 11 QB hurries, and 3 forced fumbles.
Others of Note
Danny Etling took over at QB after Les Miles was fired, and turned the passing game around somewhat. He passed for 2123 yards and 11 scores, and tossed 5 INTs. He averaged 193 yards passing per game, and averaged 24.5 pass attempts per game.
Fournette played in only seven games. He rushed for 843 yards on the season. He averaged 6.52 yards per carry.
Only three receivers caught as many as 20 passes in 2016.
Duke Riley led the team with 93 tackles and Kendell Beckwith finished with 91.
LSU finished with a team 78 TFLs. The offense allowed 70.
LSU allowed just 19 sacks.
Tre'Davios White finished with 14 PBUs.
LSU finished averaging just 4.8 penalties per game.
LSU averaged 233 yards rushing per game, and allowed just 117.25.
LSU allowed 197 yards passing per game.
Josh Growden averaged 41.35 yards per punt.
Best Win: Louisville 29-9 
Louisville stumbled at t he end of the season, and that stumble ended with a massive thud against the Tigers, who dominated the Cardinals from start to finish. The Tigers destroyed Heisman winner Lamar Jackson.
Worst Loss: Auburn 18-13
Auburn finshed off Les Miles, who went 2-2 in the first month. He was about to be fired at the end of the 2015 season. The win likely took Gus Malzahn off of the pressure cooker, but it gave life to the beginning of the Ed Orgeron era. Auburn went 6-2 after that loss. The Tigers were a lost team at the time, and they found a way to push forward from a difficult time.
2017 Non Conference Schedule: 9/2 BYU @ Houston, 9/9 Chattanooga, 9/23 Syracuse, 9/30 Troy
LSU has some decent pieces coming back in 2017, and they should roll through this non con schedule with ease. I do not see another slow start coming, as I fully expect LSU to get off to a 4-0 start in non con play.

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