LSU loss to Tennessee shows Tigers coaching staff has plenty of room for improvement

The LSU Tigers give up a home game to the Tennessee Volunteers in disappointing fashion. Looking at the game, all the reasons the game went the way it did led to poor training and preparation. The players are by no means entirely free from blame, but anyone watching this game and saying LSU doesn’t have the talent to win games is just plain wrong in my opinion.

LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly was quick to acknowledge blame for the coaching staff in his opening statements from Saturday afternoon’s press conference.

“Our details weren’t very good. It’s down to coaching. It’s on me. I have to coach better. We have to coach better. That’s the group we have,” the head coach said. Brian Kelly before adding “They were the best team today, they deserved to win the game. We need to train better and that’s the main thing.

The task force has been the real question mark, looking unprepared as a unit for weeks now. It’s week 5 and there has been very little movement in terms of consistency. It’s not just punts or missed kickoffs. It’s not just about blocked or missed field goals. One place on this team that isn’t talked about enough is poor punt coverage on returns on a consistent basis.

Brian Kelly was quite candid when I asked him about mistakes made by special teams units. This week, two crucial plays gave Tennessee a free 10-point lead early in this game. “I mean, it stinks, right?

He also gave a good look at those blown punt covers.

“We have exceeded our coverage. We bombed one into the wind. We give this returner a separation of about 20 yards and we don’t go down. One of our gunners doesn’t go down one block. He’s the best guy we have, so we just have to train better,” Kelly said.

Something has to change, as it seems the players in this unit haven’t been properly prepared. When an entire unit, not just one player, makes the same mistakes week after week, it just points to the guy in charge of growing that group. Brian Polian has some soul-searching to do, as his unit has been a net negative on the year for the team.

Kelly mentioned that they will go back to the drawing board and see what they need to change.

“Maybe we need to simplify some things. So we’ll go back and we’ll look at special teams,” Kelly said. “We’ll see if there are things we need to simplify even more to make sure those mistakes [don’t happen again]. You can’t spot someone 10 points and expect to win football games.

That 10-point deficit led to some aggressive decisions that LSU probably didn’t want to make at first, but poor play designs on crucial downs also led to errors that quickly accumulate and make this one too difficult to handle. to resume.

LSU’s offense doesn’t seem to be adjusting well to pressure from Tennessee. Whether it’s routes called or protections called, the offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock put a poor effort to the adjustments made in this one.

Execution-wise, I actually think that was Jayden Daniels’ best game as a starting QB at LSU. He missed a few games, but at this point I don’t think it’s fair that he should be blamed for the final score of the game.

“I think starting the passing game, finally getting the ball to our receivers and giving them more time for Jayden to throw the ball was all positive,” LSU running back Josh Williams said after the game.

Unsurprisingly, Williams said the team was not in good spirits after the loss. Maybe that was the nudge the staff needed to approach things differently. “Coach Kelly said we’re going to step it up this week. I’m going to go deeper, I’m going to focus on the details. We’re excited to go to Florida.

The defense is not immune to fouls in this game, but house mate won some leniency. It hasn’t been a constant struggle for him this season and they were facing the best attack in the country after being placed in bad positions.

Cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse gave the staff a vote of confidence after the game. They know there is a chance to bounce back in just one week.

“I mean, we’re not going to disbelieve in them, you know? A loss doesn’t define our season,” Bernard-Converse said. “We’ll come back next week focusing on the little things, communicating more, trusting the game plan and working with them. work with them. On and off the field. We will be good.

The Tigers travel to Gainesville next Saturday to face the Florida Gators. Two new coaches will face each other. A lot of storylines point to this one. How will be Brian Kelly and the coaches respond?