LSU is doing everything in its power to fix its special teams but will it work?
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For the second time this year, the LSU football team earned a commitment from a top-rated kicker prospect, this time scoring one from Cade York, the No. 2 kicker/punter in the country (per Kohl’s Kicking). A Class of 2019 prospect, York joins senior graduate transfer Cole Tracy in LSU’s push for more kicking talent under coach Ed Orgeron.
— Kohl's Kicking Camps (@KohlsKicking) May 28, 2018
Of course, netting kicking commits pales in comparison to the importance of promoting Greg McMahon from analyst to full-time special teams coordinator. But between McMahon and the new kickers, Orgeron is putting a premium on special teams, one that he didn’t seem to have his first year as coach at LSU.
Which leads to the pressing question: Will this work? The kicking game was a disaster in 2017, when LSU’s kickers combined to go 16 for 27 on field goals and miss 3 extra points. The kick return game was equally bad, as LSU finished 129th out of 130 teams in kick return yardage. And, as if luck wasn’t already a huge factor, LSU finished 128th out of 130 in average opponent’s punt yardage.
It’s evident that LSU needs to shore up its special teams units. What it did last year didn’t work. Will hiring a coach and recruiting a couple of kickers make things better? That’s yet to be seen. But it’s hard to imagine things being much worse than last season.
In LSU baseball news
The LSU baseball team finished just short in its long, strange trip through the SEC Tournament on Sunday, losing to Ole Miss in the SEC Championship Game. Now, the Tigers await their NCAA Tournament destiny, which will be decided at 11 a.m. CT on Monday.
What do we know? Well, LSU isn’t going to host. The 16 host cities were announced Sunday night and Baton Rouge didn’t make the cut, as expected. And LSU won’t be going to Gainesville, Fla.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Oxford, Miss.; or Athens, Ga., since the Tigers won’t face an SEC opponent in regionals. Which leaves the following 12 candidates for LSU’s regional bid:
- Austin, Texas
- Chapel Hill, N.C.
- Clemson, S.C.
- Conway, S.C.
- Corvallis, Ore.
- DeLand, Fla.
- Greenville, N.C.
- Lubbock, Texas
- Raleigh, N.C.
- Stanford, Calif.
- Tallahassee, Fla.
Let us know in the comments where you hope LSU will end up. And be sure to check back to SEC Country on Monday for updates and info about the Tigers’ regional bid.
In LSU softball news
The LSU softball season ended on Saturday with back-to-back losses against Florida State in the Tallahassee Super Regional. The elimination ended LSU’s three-year streak of qualifying for the Women’s College World Series one win shy of making the Tigers’ seniors 4 for 4.
How will the team be next year? Still pretty good, probably. There’ll be a lot of pitching to replace with seniors Carley Hoover and Allie Walljasper graduating. But the offense is returning quite a bit; eight of LSU’s nine players who started at least 30 games in the field will return for 2019. So will Maribeth Gorsuch, the Tigers’ third starter who posted a 2.10 ERA in 80 innings as a sophomore in 2018.
Today in made-up holidays
Everyone knows that May 28, 2018, is Memorial Day. But did you also know that May 28 is National Hamburger Day? I guess that makes sense. Memorial Day is a great day for using the grill in the backyard for a cookout. Or barbecuing, if you’re from a certain part of the country.
Prefer a different type of barbecuing? May 28 also is National Brisket Day. So, there’s that.
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