In case you missed it, ESPN's Summer Stock series took a look at LSU Thursday.
LaRue Cook writes about the spring improvements of senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson and the wealth of talent he has around him on both offense and defense.
But it's pretty clear that if the Tigers want to compete for multiple titles this season, they'll need Jefferson to be better than he was a year ago. Jefferson was statistically one of the worst quarterbacks in the SEC, but he did lead the Tigers to 11 victories in 2010.
Here's an excerpt from what Cook wrote:
"The way things were last year, I was in no situation to be successful," said Jefferson, whose 114.7 passer rating didn't even crack the top 10 among SEC QBs. "We were a run, run, pass offense, and on third down it was obvious that I was scrambling almost every time to make plays."
The good news for the Tigers is that Jefferson isn't the only one confident in his ability to lead his team to the BCS title game -- the metrics show an LSU team capable of winning it all, with their senior QB at the helm.
Sounds like Jefferson wasn't too happy with how the offense was run last season. Jefferson said he expects the Tigers' game to be more aggressive this season and it appears the hype surrounding him around LSU is growing.
The atmosphere in Baton Rouge certainly has a Renaissance feel, according to Jefferson, who is looking for a Vince Young-type turnaround. Former Longhorns QB Young goes down as having the largest increase in passing efficiency of any BCS champion QB who started the bulk of his team's games the previous season. Young jumped from 128.4 in 2004 to 163.9 for the Longhorns' 2005 Rose Bowl run (Ohio State's Craig Krenzel went up 36.1 points in 2002 but played in only two games in 2001) and Ridley's departure should have the same effect as Texas RB Cedric Benson's, allowing Jefferson to become the focal point of the offense. (For LSU to make it to the BCS title game, Jefferson will likely have to improve upon his 114.7 QB rating from 2010.)
"He's a guy that was underappreciated by his fans," said Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who expects the SEC West to be won by either the Tide or Tigers. "He's the type of QB you don't want to blitz the house against. One mistake could turn into a 30- or 40-yard run."