Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Avoiding a disaster in Dallas: what the Ducks must do to counteract the LSU formula

Today Ted Miller of ESPN ran predictions of Oregon doom at the Cowboy Classic. His expert of the day, Brian Fremeau of ESPN's Football Outsiders, says LSU losing starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson won't hurt them much, because LSU wins games with defense and special teams. They overwhelm opponents and force mistakes. They get big plays in unexpected ways:

For the season, LSU defensive and special-teams units created more short-field opportunities than any other units in college football last season. The Tigers started 24 percent of their drives in opponent territory in 2010, and only 11 percent of its drives from inside its 20-yard line. Those were the best marks in the country and the main reason why LSU was able to win 11 games last season with a less-than-stellar offense.

photo at left: Swarming and opportunistic, the fast, athletic Tiger defense forces mistakes and makes big plays. ( photo)

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