Lane Kiffin recently reviewed the film on the 2017 LSU offense. And it is safe to say he didn’t like what he saw.
In true Kiffin fashion, the Florida Atlantic coach and former Alabama offensive coordinator had the hosts on ESPN’s 104.5 FM morning show belly laughing when he offered his thoughts on the LSU offense during an interview on Thursday morning.
The whole thing started innocently enough for Kiffin, who is good friends with LSU coach Ed Orgeron, but it trended toward a not-so-subtle jab at former LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Kiffin was in the midst of explaining what college football coaches try to accomplish when they visit with other coaching staffs during the offseason when he offered up gratitude and a revelation on how the LSU and FAU coaching staffs worked together leading into the 2017 season.
“I sent our defense staff there with Coach O and Dave Aranda. They spent some time there and I’m thankful to LSU for helping our guys,” Kiffin started. “And, you know, Coach O sent their offensive staff here, and, obviously, I didn’t help too much.”
Laughter ensued, but Kiffin wasn’t going to stop at self-depreciating humor when it came to the Tigers’ performance last season.
“You’ve gotta understand, I just watched that bowl game [on Wednesday],” Kiffin said of the Citrus Bowl between LSU and Notre Dame. “I was watching LSU’s offense, and I left Orgeron a message. I said, ‘Hey, did you have like a bonus in the contract for your offensive coordinator? For every shift he got extra money? You guys had a shift every play. You guys were shifting players all over the place on offense.’ ”
More laughter. And it was clearly at Canada’s expense.
The Tigers are on to life without Canada, as Steve Ensminger became LSU’s third offensive coordinator in as many years after Orgeron and Canada decided to part ways following one season during which the Tigers ranked No. 7 in the SEC in total offense (411 yards per game) and No. 9 in points per game (27.2).
Kiffin offered his thoughts on Orgeron’s decision to promote Ensminger.
“I don’t know him all that well,” Kiffin said. “I know Steve was there when the staff came here [FAU] last year. I know Coach O has a great background with him and great faith in him. I know during the interim time after Coach [Les] Miles left, [LSU] went on a pretty good run there when he was calling the plays. [LSU] put up some big numbers.”
We soon will find out if Ensminger is able to replicate that short-term success full time.