Reader Jason Smith sends along a scouting report on LSU that contains some key points from last season:
Running a spread offense, Auburn dominated LSU last year. Auburn's spread offense is very similar to Oregon's and they ran for 440 yards on the ground and over 500 yards of total offense against LSU. That tells me LSU's defense isn't great against an up tempo ground based spread attack. Newton ran for over 200 yards himself, which means DT should have a bunch of running opportunities.
(photo at left: Les Miles gets in the ear of quarterback Jarrett Lee, a sight the television cameras may catch often on Saturday night.)
LSU tailback Spencer Ware is a former high school quarterback. He threw a touchdown pass in that game, it was a beautiful throw. They'll throw at least one halfback pass with him against the Ducks.
Watching the Auburn-Alabama game, Alabama defended Auburn's rushing attack much better than LSU did. Auburn's passing game wasn't nearly as strong as Oregon's, if we can establish the ground game like Auburn did against them we're going to be able to hit on some huge pass plays as they suck up into the box defensively.
On film, LSU's new starting quarterback Jarrett Lee can spin it and has great touch on the ball when he needs to. Looks like he's made some pretty poor decisions throwing into double and triple coverage. Looks like he loves to just lock on one receiver, I don't think I saw him check down at all. He can move in the pocket a bit, but I'd never say he's elusive. LSU loves to throw a lot of short slants and low risk passes just to get it to their playmakers and let them run with it.
If Oregon can get good pressure on this guy, they can really jump LSU's short routes, I think the Ducks will get at least one pick-six if they do. He threw six as the starter in 2008 while a redshirt freshman, worst in the SEC, with 18 total interceptions against 14 touchdowns. They say he's improved as a 5th-year senior, but still, he's clearly prone to mistakes, especially under pressure.
Jason also notes, "I love the possibilities the dual H back formation we used in the national championship game, as detailed in Fishduck's breakdown we made the wrong decisions with it in many cases but the potential is awesome if we run the plays out of it correctly. Imagine barner and james, with deanthony thomas as the tazer? Talk about crazy speed coming at you! Awesome! I hope we keep using it."
The dual H-back and other formations that get James, Barner and Thomas on the field on the same time, or get David Paulson and Colt Lyerla in the formation, remain intriguing possibilities for the Ducks, who appear to have both a scheme and a talent advantage going into this game.