The past three years of LSU football have seen the Tigers regain their form from the first three years of Les Miles' tenure. After posting two sub 10-win seasons, the Tigers have rebounded to post 11, 13 and 10 win campaigns. One part of that resurgence was the phenomenal hire of John Chavis in 2009, who brought swagger back to the LSU defense.
The offense, then, became the lynchpin upon which the LSU teams of 2009 and beyond would be judged and would be measured by. With a stout defense to depend on yearly, all the offense had to do was get it out of its own way, right?
This infographic is a snapshot of the LSU offense over the past three years and demonstrates why it's had so much to do with LSU's success, or lack thereof relatively speaking. See it after the jump.
Click the image to view full size.
At first blush, it seems there really wasn't a ton of falloff from 2011 to 2012. Indeed, had the 2012 team played an extra game to even it up with 2011 it would have crested 5,000 yards of total offense, besting the 2011 club. It's not until you get to the bottom, at the table, where you see that 2012 didn't really stack up. (While we're here, let's be honest, 2010 had no chance in this comparison.)
Let me say, though, none of these three teams were bad by any stretch of the imagination. They won a combined 34 games. These team were good, very good.
2011 was stupid, crazy good.
With Mettenberger at the helm, the passing offense improved appreciably over past years (but didn't move the needle in SEC rankings) throwing for more total yardage and YPG since the mid-aughts.
The difference between 2011 and 2012 was efficiency. What you think of Lee and Jefferson aside, what they did in 2011 was not make mistakes and that made LSU the most efficient it's been at that position since 2006. The '11 team also never once let opportunities go by the wayside, to the tune of a 93% red zone scoring percentage, best in the conference. They were second in the SEC in red zone scoring percentage, while '12 and '10 were middle of the pack. The 2011 team is something we might not ever see again at LSU. Just look at the table. It mops the floor with 10 and 11 win clubs.
There's a lot for the 2013 team to build on. There's immense talent there and all the major pieces come back. It would not surprise me to see the 2013 offense be better than we've ever seen under Les Miles.
Also heed a cautionary tale in the numbers, though. As the passing opportunities rose, the efficiency suffered. If LSU continues to rely on the pass in situations where it shouldn't, it could cost the Tigers more games down the road.
Ok first I understand that you have to look at the football team as a whole to understand the success that LSU has had over the past few years. Offense, Defense and Special teams all encompass the success of the team and the 3 are the reason LSU has won 34 games in the past 3 years. That being said no matter how you look at it LSU's offense seems broken at times and it is not because of the skill of the players on that side of the ball, it is because of the coaching on the sideline. Can anyone sit there and state that LSU does not have the talent on the offensive side of the ball to compete game in and game out with the rest of the country? When you look at the 2 bowl games in 2012 it was painfully clear that the LSU offense was not properly prepared for what the Bama and Clemson's defenses were going to do. That blame lies squarely on proper preparation, which in turn lies squarely on the coaches. When your game plan is not working because the defense as prepared for what you are going to do, you have to make adjustments when you don't make those adjustments that lies squarely on the coaches. There have been too many games in just this season alone that proper adjustments were not made or even attempted "Clemson, UF & Bama - BCSNC" not too mention any other games that the coaches did not adjust to what the defense was trying to accomplish. If you keep beating your head on a brick wall all that will happen is that you will get a bloody head and a headache.
Regarding our offense the last 3 years what helped our offense out tremendously regarding attaining the numbers that they did were two things. First field position from special teams "just think about the Clemson game and does anyone think the game would have been that close if it were not for our punt and kickoff returns, punt & kickoff coverage along with our punting." And two, you couple that with the turnover margin in those 3 years "+16, +20 and +8" for 2012, 2011 & 2010 respectively and you can understand what helped our offense numbers to get to where they were. So with the skill we have on offense and the help from the special teams and the turnovers the defense has forced to help the offense, our offense "no matter what the numbers show" have woefully underperformed what they should have done. That can only be laid at the coaches feet on offense, which in reality that rests solely at the feet of Les Miles because I think everyone knows by now that the offensive play calling is all about Les Miles no matter who as the fictitious title of Offensive Coordinator at LSU. By now does anyone really believe that Les Miles is not wearing both hats Head Coach and "actual" Offensive Coordinator.
Until Coach Miles hires a true Offensive Coordinator and allows that individual to actually call the games without interference like he does with John Chavis, LSU will always underperform on offense compared to the position that the rest of the team helps put the offense in.
@dudebro2 Well said. As others have mentioned elsewhere the problems have been planning and not panicking when the gameplan goes awry. I don't even know if the answer is letting Stud go, he could still be the answer. But the offense still should not be where it has been. No reason why it cannot be a top-30 unit.