Santa Claus read his list, checked it twice and had to do a double take when he saw LSU’s christmas list. The Tigers don’t need the players, they don’t need the facilities and they don’t need a stroke of good fortune.
LSU needs a contemporary offensive philosophy just like Ralphie Parker needed a Red Ryder BB gun in “A Christmas Story.”
LSU has the pieces in place to have a special offense. Tailback Leonard Fournette is a cornerstone to gameplan around and can play in a diverse system. Fournette’s offensive line was relatively reliable despite starting two freshmen at the guard positions.
Quarterback Brandon Harris was mercurial throughout his sophomore campaign, but showed flashes of excellent play. His two wideouts, Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural, are more-than-competent wideouts who could thrive in a better system with another year of chemistry with Harris under their belts.
The problem in Baton Rouge, La., has been a system run by offensive coordinator Cam Cameron that hasn’t caught up with the evolving landscape of college football. The Tigers lack offensive tempo in a period where up-tempo, spread attacks are the hottest trend. The Tigers have shown a reluctance to shift from a conservative offense to one predicated out of the shotgun that creates mismatches using speed off the exterior of the line of scrimmage.
Coach Les Miles has a knack for recruiting dual-threat quarterbacks such as Harris, but he hasn’t utilized them properly. Harris ran only 64 times this season while Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, a Heisman Trophy finalist, and Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett rushed 163 and 92 times, respectively. Harris has a similar skill set to Watson and Barrett, but hasn’t been used in the same fashion.
The read-option offense would be a perfect compromise between college football’s trendy spread attack and Miles’ run-oriented background. Teams like Ohio State have used the offense to great success and have maximized the potential of their dual-threat quarterbacks.
LSU has enriched talent, a devoted fan base and access to every facility and advantage in the world to compete at the national level. All the program needs Santa to drop off is a modern offensive identity that can bring LSU back to national contention.