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2021 LSU Tigers: New Coaches, Better Record?
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

2021 LSU Tigers: New Coaches, Better Record?

In a very uncharacteristic LSU year, the defense was one of the worst in Tiger history. Coming off a national championship season the drop-up was expected but not to the levels it fell to. So three coaches got the ax including the defensive coordinator and the Tigers look to build on the season ending 2-game winning streak.The talent level, as always, is high and if things break correctly LSU can make a run at Alabama. The coaching staff has gotten a lot younger and have created a fresh outlook. Now, they have to mold the available talent into a more cohesive unit.

Offense: The strength of the offense will be the offensive line. Senior center Liam Shanahan played every snap last year and he will be joined by 4-year starter Anthony Deculus. They will start 4 seniors out of the five lineman. QB Max Johnson took over late in the season and guided LSU to the two late season wins. He will have competition from Myles Brennan and TJ Finley. The running game looks to improve and has leading rusher from a year ago, Tyrion Davis-Price back to lead the way. They have explosive receiver Kayshon Boutte back with his 45 catches and expect him to be a star. It’s not the offense of 2019, but it should be adequate.

Defense: New coordinator Daronte Jones has players to work with but they underachieved a year ago. The defensive line has four athletic seniors returning led by Andre Anthony and Ali Gaye. Linebacker Damone Clark led the team with 63 tackles and Micah Baskerville who totaled 55 morebis back along side. LSU has a great tandem at cornerback led by Derek Stingley Jr. who is expected to return healthy after a season filled with injuries. He is joined by Eli Hicks on the other side. The defense has potential but can they play better than last year?

Non-Conference Schedule:

9/4 at UCLA

9/11 McNeese State

9/18 Central Michigan

11/20 Louisiana Monroe

The opening game at UCLA is interesting and could set the tone for the season. While, the Bruins aren’t exactly a powerhouse, they will be a test especially at home. If the Tigers win that one they will go 4-0 in the non-conference.

Conference Schedule:

9/25 at Mississippi State

10/2 Auburn

10/9 at Kentucky

10/16 Florida

10/23 at Ole Miss

11/6 at Alabama

11/13 Arkansas

11/27 Texas A&M

The schedule is rough but they have most of their toughest games at home. Auburn, Florida, and Texas A&M are all good teams and the chances of winning go up when the games are in Baton Rouge. The same can be said about Arkansas which always gives LSU fits. Road games at Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Ole Miss are the key to the Tigers’ conference hopes. Those are all games they could lose but if they are able to win them all that would keep them in the hunt with Alabama. And, oh yeah, they go to Tuscaloosa in early November for the annual slugfest against the Crimson Tide. How much will that game mean?

Predicted Finish: 3rd Place in the SEC West

Overall Record: 9-3

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