The Oregon offense is lightning quick and, in this blogger’s opinion, the next evolution in college football. Auburn and Oregon both showcased this high-powered spread offense last season and both teams went all the way to the top. A fast-paced game is what to expect when pitted against the Ducks and LSU is gearing up for that momentum. What does the SEC specialize in? Well, the defensive line comes to mind and LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis knows what his guys are up against come September 3rd.
The Duck’s offense aims to roll, in under eight seconds and that can break a defense down quickly. Commenting on the speed of their next opponent’s offense, Chavis says, “That’s quick. That’s really quick. We’ll have to get a call in and get our cleats to the ground. They will wear a defense down. Our practices are going to be more demanding than the game. That way, it makes your players play the game more easily.” So the question is, when both teams are running practice hard enough to make the game seem a little easier, don’t we end up in the same situation? We should all expect to see a conditioned, over-prepared, explosive offense versus a strong, over-prepared, thundering defense.
Last season the LSU defense finished No. 2 in the SEC and 11th nationally in scoring defense. Their pass defense finished No. 1 in the SEC and 10th nationally and their total defense was No. 3 in the SEC and No. 12 in the nation, but like every college team, LSU will have to move ahead with the loss of some key components. Cornerback Patrick Peterson left as a 1st round draft pick to Arizona, and middle linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and defensive tackle Drake Nevis are also gone this season. That being said, Chavis had a fairly young defense last year so they are expected to come back strong with leadership from senior linebacker Ryan Baker and senior strong safety Brandon Taylor. The Tiger’s defense believes they will be ready to penetrate the Duck’s offense in under eight seconds, for the entire game.
Neither the Ducks nor the Tigers will have the advantage of a game under their belt before their match-up early September, but they both know what they are going up against. One of the major variables going into the first game of any college season is how the team will click in a game-time situation and that just may be the key in this game – which team will have the best chemistry on the field. Eight seconds seems to be the magic number so we will hope to see a fast-pace, offense-driven game. The Ducks had trouble with an impressive Auburn defense in last season’s BCS Championship game so this season’s opener is their time to prove they can execute against a powerful SEC defense and are contenders for the season. Both teams believe they will be ready come kickoff September 3rd but practice will always be a far cry from any game-time situation, so until then we can only speculate.