You’ve made it! It’s Friday, and that means only one more day until game day. Sadly, it also means only one more edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing before we have to take a couple days off. So let’s make this one count. Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of Auburn quarterback Sean White, explain how you can maximize your football viewing on Saturday and resolve once and for all who the greatest fictional tiger in pop culture is. If you’re not already on the edge of your seat, position yourself there. Let’s go.
Friday Film Study
Last week in our first Friday Film Study, I took a look at Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and made the not-so-bold claim that in order for LSU to win, they’d have to contain Fitzgerald from beating them with the read option. LSU did, holding Fitzgerald to 13 yards on 13 carries. Let’s see how the crystal ball works this week.
Today, we’re going to take a look at announced Auburn starting quarterback Sean White. White is a quarterback who definitely has his moments, as the above video shows. When he’s allowed to stand upright in the pocket and survey the whole field, he can be deadly. White has an extremely strong arm and he uses it well, even in the face of pressure.
If you watch that second throw closely, you can see that all-world defensive end Myles Garrett is breathing down his neck, but he stays calm and delivers a strike to the sideline to an open receiver. The third throw might be the most impressive, however, as White showed his ability to push balls through as many as three defenders at once.
That said, as with all college quarterbacks, there’s a somewhat obvious flaw LSU can expose.
A lot of Auburn’s offense is predicated on timing routes, or short, sometimes scripted throws that get the offense into a rhythm by getting the ball into the hands of playmakers out on the edge quickly. Executing these throws is easy for players at this high of a level of football, and White is no exception.
Of the nine SEC quarterbacks who rank in the top 100 players in the FBS in passing this season, White ranks second in completion percentage at 63.4 percent. But he ranks second-to-last in yards per completion with just 11.3. To put that in perspective, that’s just barely better than what much-maligned LSU backup Brandon Harris was able to do in his brief time on the field this season.
These clips above show how defenses can and have exploited White, and the rest of the Auburn offense. Sit on the timing routes and force White to make a great throw. More often than not, if these clips are any indication, he either misses or his receiver gets blown up. Sure, there are times when receivers have broken free, but a good tackling and well-disciplined secondary should be able to take this phase out of the Auburn game plan.
Your non-revenue sports update
There’s more going on in LSU sports this weekend than just a football game against Auburn. Here is a list of all the other sporting events going on in the athletic department, starting with last night and heading through the weekend:
- The soccer team kicked off the weekend last night in Columbia facing off against the No. 8 Gamecocks. Though the game was tied 1-1 through 70 minutes, South Carolina proved too much and the Tigers lost 3-1.
- The men’s tennis team started in the Cajun Classic in Lafayette, La., last night. The tournament will last through Sunday. Kentucky and Ole Miss join LSU as the SEC teams competing in the tournament, alongside Big 12 competitors Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State and USC representing the Pac-12. The championship match will be broadcast Sunday at noon on ESPN3.
- The men’s golf team is out in Arizona this weekend for the Maui Jim Intercollegiate. No. 7 LSU is the highest-rated team in the field and is competing against No. 11 California, No. 17 South Carolina, No. 22 South Florida and No. 24 Baylor.
- Swimming and diving kicks off its season in Nashville on Friday against Vanderbilt.
- Volleyball has two matches this weekend, the first of which Friday at Auburn before returning home Sunday night to host Arkansas.
- The women’s golf team starts its weekend Saturday in Norman, Okla., in the Schooner Classic. Fellow SEC competitors Alabama, Texas A&M and Mississippi State also are in the field.
- Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams head out to College Station, Texas, to take on the Aggies in the Texas A&M Invitational Saturday. The men will run at 8:15 a.m. and the women at 9 a.m.
- Finally, just as it started the weekend, the soccer team will also end the weekend, heading to Nashville to match up against Vanderbilt.
Maximize your SEC Saturday
There aren’t too many bad weekends of SEC football, but this one definitely is one of the good ones. And, if you’re unable to make the trip to Auburn this weekend and are looking for an adventurous armchair itinerary, here are some of the best options you have for your watching pleasure. (All times are Eastern unless otherwise specified.)
The 12 o’clock games:
- Freshman quarterback Jacob Eason and the No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs head to Oxford to take on Chad Kelly and the No. 23 Ole Miss Rebels, still reeling from last week’s loss to Alabama.
- No. 1 Alabama hosts Kent State, Nick Saban’s alma mater. If ever there was a game that Saban was going to show his sentimental side, it might be this one.
- If you’re looking to venture outside the SEC, the game of the week is No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 8 Michigan State. Whether you want to see Wisconsin win to further validate LSU’s loss or are just looking to see them lose for some sick satisfaction, this might be your game.
The 3:30 games:
- All eyes will be on Neyland Stadium as Tennessee tries to break its 11-year losing streak against their rival Florida Gators. Tennessee enters ranked No. 14 and Florida is ranked No. 19.
- Mississippi State is playing UMass at that same time too, and while the game isn’t that exciting, it’ll be played at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, so that’s kind of cool.
- Outside the SEC, Notre Dame hosts Duke, looking to recover from a devastating loss to Michigan State last week and No. 4 Michigan hosts Penn State in a game the Wolverines are currently favored to win by 18.5 points.
At 6 o’clock:
- You’ll be watching LSU play Auburn. If, by any chance you’ll be at the game, click here for the schedule of activities.
- After the LSU game has ended, you’ll likely be able to catch No. 17 Arkansas visit No. 10 Texas A&M. The game will begin at 9 and be televised on ESPN.
- At 8, Heisman front-runner Lamar Jackson and the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals take on Marshall, so there’s a good chance if you don’t see the first half, you won’t get to see much of Jackson.
- Late in the evening, Chris Petersen’s No. 9 Washington Huskies visit Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats. That game begins at 10:30 p.m.
Let’s get you ready for this weekend’s game. Here are some LSU stories from across the web that you should read in advance of tomorrow’s game:
- Ross Dellenger of The Advocate caught up with Danny Etling’s mentor and his former offensive coordinator at Purdue to ask how he got to where he is now.
- NOLA.com’s Jim Kleinpeter broke down the edges and keys to this week’s game, ultimately giving LSU a slight edge.
- Former LSU running back Jacob Hester reached out to Brandon Harris about the death threats he’s received on social media, writes USA TODAY Network’s Glenn Guilbeau.
- Remember what happened last year when Auburn tried to stop Leonard Fournette? LSU’s players do, and they remember it fondly, says ESPN’s David Ching.
Arbitrary Analysis, part 5
All week, we here at the Briefing have been honoring this weekend’s “Tiger Bowl” between Auburn and LSU by counting down the five best fictional tigers in pop culture. Over the past four days, we’ve unveiled Nos. 5-2. Before we get to No. 1, here’s a quick refresher, complete with a quick description of why that Tiger ranked where it did:
5. Shere Khan, The Jungle Book: Shere Khan got bonus points for being a great villain, but ultimately got dinged for, you know, being a scary villain.
4. Richard Jenkins, Life of Pi: Richard Jenkins was put on the list because he looks really cool. But that’s about all we know about him.
3. Tigger, The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Tigger is the life of the party, but might be a bit of a handful if you have to spend all of your time with him.
2. Tony the Tiger, Frosted Flakes: The cereal mascot to end all cereal mascots made it this high on our list because he is a downright icon, but got taken down a peg for just being a little too intense.
Now that we’re caught up, let’s finish off the countdown. Special honorable mentions go to the nameless (I think) tigers from The Hangover and Gladiator. You sure are memorable, but you don’t really have personalities, and that’s a hard obstacle to overcome. Also a shoutout to Tigress from the Kung Fu Panda series. I assume you’re pretty great, but I am of the exact right age group to have not seen Kung Fu Panda for pleasure or to entertain children, so I know nothing about you.
So here we go. Our winner:
No. 1: Hobbes, Calvin and Hobbes
We’ve had a villain. We’ve had a silent threat. We’ve had an energetic friend. We’ve had an enthusiastic personal trainer. But we end with a companion.
That’s right, the winner of our countdown is Hobbes, the (possibly) plush toy and anthropomorphic best friend to 6-year-old adventurer Calvin. More so than any other tiger on our list, Hobbes has a truly fleshed out character and a biting sense of humor, which is a huge plus. There are just so many Calvin and Hobbes strips that end on Hobbes killing it with a hilarious one-liner. Like this one. Or this one. Or this one. Or this one. Or this one. You get the point.
But Hobbes was also a gentle and nurturing character. Whether you think he was imaginary or Calvin was just the only person intelligent enough to perceive him for what he truly was, Hobbes was great. And, as a side note, Calvinball should be an NCAA sport.
Do you agree with my tiger rankings? Did I leave someone out? Are you incapable of feeling emotions and therefore feel I ranked Hobbes too highly? Let me know and maybe we’ll talk about it some more next week. After all, LSU is playing Missouri. Tiger Bowl II anyone?