LB Darry Beckwith (PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Franz/LSU Sports Information)

2007 Statistics

Coach: Les Miles
34-6, 3 years
2007 Record: 12-2
at Mississippi State WON 45-0
at Tulane WON 34-9
at Kentucky LOST 37-43 (3OT)
at Alabama WON 41-34
at Mississippi WON 41-24
vs. Tennessee WON 21-14
Ohio State WON 38-24

2007 Final Rankings
AP-1, Coaches-1, BCS-2

2008 Outlook

You could hear the cries of "Encore, encore!!!" as the Tigers held up the Waterford Crystal in the Superdome. It may seem pretty arrogant to be thinking of next year while still in uniform and celebrating a championship just won minutes earlier. But the talent levels here are well known, enough so by fans that expectations are realistic that there is more to come, possibly starting just eight months after their most recent title win. See, head coach Les Miles has more to prove since many naysayers point to how this was a team built by ex-Tiger headman Nick Saban and his amazing recruiting efforts. Three consecutive 11-2 seasons prove Miles, least of all, knows how to procure the talent in his coffers (whoever may have recruited it) for the ultimate prize they won last year. Critics have to admit this much, and the guts Miles displayed in going for it last year five times on fourth-down against prior-champions Florida has to sway even the toughest of his scrutinizers that he knows what's good for his team and when/how to play his cards.

Miles and offensive coordinator Gar Crowton have their work cut out with the quarterback conundrum now playing out. Top dual-threat hurler Ryan Perrilloux has been playing immature games, going on and off of suspension three times in one year. The future of the program seems to rest in his decision to either step up and fulfill his scholarship or keep acting like the prim Dona he has been who thinks different sets of rules apply for him. Miles has proven Perrilloux is subject to the same rules, so why this kid keeps ruining his future and the team's chances at a repeat title is baffling... but so is being a New Year's baby (b. 1-1-87) who has the pressures of rabid Tiger alums crashing down on his every move in life. Perrilloux knows what he has to do, but he is a kid…a kid who is growing up while in the catbird’s seat. The weapons around him are amazing, if not downright intimidating, and are matched only by USC and Florida for depth and speed. With a line made of last year's starters (except one), the offense only needs their heir-apparent to again soar as a balanced group, a methodical unit.

The defense has its own issues in the back seven. Fortunately, the new co-coordinators are internal hires - DBs coach Doug Mallory has gotten results all three years so far, as has the linebacking coach, Preveto. These guys will provide the coaching continuity needed from last year, but neither is as good (yet) as ex-DC Bo Pelini. Still, the LBs need the most progress before Appalachian State arrives. The DBs consistency has seen turnover, but the LBs are suddenly new at two slots with guys who haven't proven much and depth that needs to see real game reps before much will be known about their true potential(s). The one dimension that is strong, the DL, is good enough to carry the defense much of the time. Short passing and then deeper stuff will be tested early and often, and if they hold up, it will have fans knowing they have the makings for another SEC (West) crown and possible title run. That line is just too good.

The Tigers have five hard games, ones that are possible losses if they aren't sharp. Obviously, Auburn is always tough, and their new-look spread offense will test the back seven early. The trips to Florida, South Carolina and then the home tilt with the Bulldogs make for one of the toughest three-game stretches any team will face in 2008. Alabama and/or Arkansas will be more than they seem... these West Division foes know the LSU game is always huge, and each will give the champs their best shot. They always do. For SEC schedules, this one isn't so bad, but daunting, nonetheless.

Do they repeat or not? Well, this swami says no, there are just too many distractions with Perrilloux' escapades and the issues on defense. The SEC is just too brutal to think this many holes won't be exploited by even the league's intermediate teams. The bull’s-eye on their backs requires a mature, centered, well-led team to handle such pressure. Miles will be tested, his troops will be scrutinized at every little turn, and the Tiger alums will just put so much pressure on the gridiron happenings that little will alleviate the insanity. Baton Rouge is one of those crazy football towns that goes nuts come season and is unable to turn off how intense it gets...places like this do great when things are fine, but once the problems/losses occur, will the glass remain half full as Tiger fans deal with reality? It's just too much to think that all of these issues can fall into place properly so another championship is seen come January '09. More likely, they take a concerted step back and realize their few limitations, using the time to grow into the juggernaut that will take the 2009 season by storm. And they'll look good, even in their losses, so the nation will again fear the speed and aggression LSU prospers soon enough.

Projected 2008 record: 10-2
WR Brandon LaFell (PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Franz/LSU Sports Information)
QB - 3.5 DL - 4.5
RB - 4.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 4 DB - 3
OL - 4.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Andrew Hatch, 1-2-0, 9 yds., 0 TD

Keiland Williams, 70 att., 478 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Brandon LaFell, 50 rec., 656 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Colt David, 26-33 FG, 63-63 PAT, 1 TD, 147 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Colt David, 26-33 FG, 63-63 PAT, 141 pts.

Tackles: Kirston Pittman, 68 tot., 32 solo

Sacks: Kirston Pittman, 8 sacks

Interceptions: Curtis Taylor, 3 for 26 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Trindon Holliday, 19 ret., 26.2 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Chad Jones, 17 ret., 6.6 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Matt Flynn-QB, Shawn Jordan-FB, Jacob Hester-TB, Early Doucet-WR, Keith Zinger-TE, Carnell Stewart-OT, Ryan Perrilloux-QB (dismissed)
DEFENSE: Glenn Dorsey-DT, Luke Sanders-BUCK, Ali Highsmith-WLB, Jonathan Zenon-CB, Chevis Jackson-CB, Craig Steltz-SS, Patrick Fisher-P

Life without Matt Flynn may be harder to adjust to than life was without JaMarcus Russell at this juncture just one year ago. Besides winning the BCS title, the effort in '07 was to get Ryan Perrilloux in position to take the reigns for this season. But what seemed like the ultimate resume (in-state Mr. Football; Gatorade Player of the Year; National Offensive POTY - TD Club of Columbus and USA Today; National High School POTY - Ball Park; No.1 dual-threat QB - ESPN and Rivals; Parade All-American, etc.) has yet to fully pan out for reasons that don't seem to be football related. Personal issue after personal issue has this Reserve (LA) product looking like a risk, someone who doesn't seem ready for the responsibility of shouldering the hopes of the defending national champs. A fake ID in New Orleans, then a fight, then, most recently, Perrilloux missed classes and both team workouts and meetings...all of these troubles occurred in 12 months. Now back on a short leash, the job under center is probably still there for Perrilloux if he stays focused. But there area few other guys being groomed to start the first game this season – just in case - so who knows? Perrilloux looked sharp and ready to be the next great college QB in last year's 21-14 SEC title game win over Tennessee, the game that vaulted LSU into BCS title contention and the eventual crown. Jekyll, Hyde, Jekyll, Hyde…argh!!! Wisely, a stance has been taken that can work for all. "He will be allowed to compete fully for the position," Miles said in late March when Perrilloux was put back on the roster pending completion of any missed workouts. Ouch...but the proverbial carrot has been dangled in front of him and it looks pretty easy to get to. The other options are Harvard-transfer Andrew Hatch (looks hot and cold in practice) and Jarrett Lee, a strong-armed Texas hurler who sits in the pocket more than the other two. Realistically, it's Perrilloux' to win or lose. These other guys aren't capable of 'carrying his jock', so it's a struggle this season if Perrilloux messes up again and somehow misses his destiny. The ground dimension he brings is equaled only by running QBs like Tim Tebow, Pat White and Matt Grothe, affording the RBs a distraction that keeps defenders guessing until it's too late.

- QB

The big news obviously since spring ball ended has been the dismissal of projected starting QB Ryan Perrilloux. Three suspensions in the past year finally led to his downfall. At least Perrilloux did not take part in spring practice, which gave the other two candidates all the snaps. Playing time will now be divided between Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee, and neither has experience worth noting. Last season, Hatch played in two games while throwing the ball only twice while Lee was redshirted. Hatch turned in a very solid performance in the spring game, completing 13 of 17 passes for 184 yards and two TDs. Lee got off to a slow start in the spring game but finished strong, going 7 of 13 for 181 yards. But those numbers are a bit deceptive in that 110 of Lee's yards came on just two plays.

Get used to seeing the unique story on Hatch play out through the media as football season gets underway. He is from Henderson, NV where he played his high school ball. He was raised a Mormon and was set to sign with BYU while being recruited by former Cougar head coach Gary Crowton. But Crowton resigned before Hatch was done with his prep career. Crowton then convinced Harvard Coach Tim Murphy to recruit Hatch, and so he ended up signing with the Crimson in 2005 where he toiled near the bottom of the Harvard depth chart. He never played that first season, and then left to go on a Mormon mission. Hatch went to Chile for one year and injured his knee playing pickup soccer. He landed back in Nevada for rehab and it was there that Crowton, who was then coaching at LSU, got back in touch with his former recruit and convinced him to begin a new football life in the Bayou.

Jarrett Lee is, without a doubt, the more natural QB. The pocket passer ranked in the top three in the state of Texas for passing his senior year (2006) and was named the Greater Houston Offensive MVP. But the Ivy League Hatch seems to understand the playbook better, according to Les Miles. This indication was not so prevalent in the spring game, but Hatch certainly looked better in sustaining drives down the field. He does not look as good throwing the football as Lee, but his mobility and decision making was far better. So which one is currently listed as the starter for the defending national champions? ‘Neither’ was the answer given by Les Miles. The bottom line is that both are going to see the field. Until one shows he is heads above the other, and don’t expect such to happen, this will be a dual QB role.

Another guy who it's going to be tough to get guaranteed yards without is Jacob Hester (not sure if the stat is kept nationally, but Hester lost 15 yards on 225 carries, which had to lead the country). Keiland Williams looks like the same kind of runner as Hester - big, punishing to would-be tacklers, and a north-south type who gets yards every time (6.8 yards per carry). It was funny to see defenses learn that Williams was no relief this way from Hester when Keiland came in for Jacob, and he would just kill them when they let their guards down. Another Gatorade POTY and Mr. Football in-state, Charles Scott is a step slower than Williams, but offers similar qualities. Stevan Ridley had a huge spring, forcing coaches to consider his number. Ok, so that's the "Bayou Boom" they'll lower of foes... but LSU definitely has plenty of "Louisiana Lightning" to go with that thunder. Trindon Holliday is arguably the fastest player in college football, bar none. At 5'5, Holliday squirts by lunging tacklers before they hit the ground as they miss the speedster (10.02 seconds in the 100m; also a top long jumper; he earned a spot at the World Championships, but sacrificed it to prepare for the ’07 season). Foes can't see Holliday much of the time until he goes by, and he is tough enough to handle the ball 20 times a game. When Miles finally uses Holliday for his full worth at WR (where he is listed), we might see the next Heisman winner. Richard Murphy is unlucky enough to be behind all of these guys, but they still make sure he gets involved every game.

The receivers go just as deep as the backs. Brandon LaFell should be the main target after leading the team in receiving yards last year. At 6'3, he is a long target, as is Terrance Toliver at 6'5. Toliver proves to be a deep threat worth noting (Texas prep long jump champ). Dixon is an underneath guy like Doucet was, for he runs great routes and uses his size to shield the ball from defenders. Dixon played with Perrilloux in prep, so their rapport is good. Jared Mitchell is an all-around athlete who proved his worth enough as a backup to start five games last year. Chris Mitchell (no relation) needs face time, too. JUCO product Demetrius Byrd led all receivers with seven scores to state his case for reps... but incoming Deangelo Benton (five-star prospect) and Chris Tolliver will keep LSU four-deep with/in capable hands. Byrd is rumored to be solid as the second receiver. TE Richard Dickson isn't a blazer, but he was fourth on this team in catches. A second end might be Matt Branch, this year's No.6 TE prospect, or Jordon Corbin, the No.1 TE recruit out of Florida last year. Too many weapons is a good problem to have, and Les Miles has it.

The line has four starters back and a new face who is a monster-in-waiting. That new face is Joseph Barksdale, a top ex-defensive tackle who hasn’t commanded the position yet, but is getting up to speed quickly. The other four guys started every game together but one during the title run last year. Senior Herman Johnson, a preseason All-American here, is a monster every week, crushing guys in his way. Ciron Black is good, but he struggles against athletic guys who are quicker around the outside. Brett Helms is the center who can call blocking schemes well enough to win championships. RG Lyle Hitt pulls well as the fastest of the starters. Ryan Miller steps in for anyone who needs a breather and/or goes down to injury. Josh Dworaczyk and Jarvis Jones are better suited for the laterally developing plays since they both move nicely, too, like Hitt…both had excellent spring practices and look almost ready to start, if needed. It's an impressive group who can facilitate this offense as second-year coordinator Gary Crowton sees fit.

How creative Crowton can make the play calling is up to who winds up under center. It will be a shame if this much talent goes to waste because Perrilloux spins his wheels off-field.


OG Herman Johnson (PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Franz/LSU Sports Information)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Jarrett Lee-Fr (6-3, 210) Andrew Hatch-Jr (6-3, 214)
FB Quinn Johnson-Sr (6-2, 225) Stevan Ridley-Fr (6-0, 215)
TB Keiland Williams-Jr (5-11, 223) Charles Scott-Jr (5-11, 223)
Richard Murphy-So (6-1, 198)
Trindon Holliday-Jr (5-5, 159)
WR Brandon LaFell-Jr (6-3, 180) Terrance Tolliver-So (6-5, 180)
WR Jared Mitchell-Jr (6-0, 192) Ricky Dixon-So (6-2, 216)
WR Demetrius Byrd-Sr (6-2, 195) Chris Mitchell-Jr (6-0, 176)
TE Richard Dickson-Jr (6-3, 245) Mitch Joseph-Fr (6-5, 245)
OT Ciron Black-Jr (6-5, 315) Ryan Miller-Sr (6-6, 318)
OG Herman Johnson-Sr (6-7, 335) Clay Spencer-Fr (6-6, 285)
C Brett Helms-Sr (6-4, 300) T-Bob Hebert-Fr (6-3, 260)
OG Lyle Hitt-Jr (6-2, 284) Earnest McCoy-Fr (6-5, 335)
OT Joseph Barksdale-So (6-6, 315) Josh Dworaczyk-Fr (6-6, 270)
K Colt David-Sr (5-9, 175) Josh Jasper-So (5-11, 165)



The defense turns over the secondary and two starting linebackers, but the coffers are full of prospects who are eager to help defend the titles. The line is good enough to hold its own and cause the kind of pressure on QBs that will help the DBs via to hurried throws. New co-coordinator Doug Mallory has produced the No.3 pass efficiency defense for all three years he's been in charge back there. He can rebuild with ample talent to employ, as can Brad Preveto, the other coordinator who is in charge of the LBs. Glenn Dorsey's high profile injury meant reps for Marlon Favorite and Al Woods, a true terror who led the team in fumble recoveries. Woods will have a breakout year, as will Favorite. Nevis is another guy, like Woods and Favorite, who benches 400+ and runs a sub-5.0 second 40. With all of that raw talent, there are still two guys in front of them. Jean-Francois moves even better than the other two, and since he bulked up to 290lbs, he can handle the inside assignment. Breaux Bridge's Chuck Alexander (foot, knee) is like Jean-Francois in that each had an injury that was more debilitating than Dorsey's was. But each is good enough to hold his own on the depth chart. The four ends stay the same, thanks to a sixth-year of eligibility for Kirston Pittman, another super talented injury case (foot, Achilles) who is back to full strength for 2008. Jackson is definitely an All-SEC type, over-achieving nearly every down. Rahim Alem looks too good to be true, earning a TFL for every two regular tackles he makes. Expect the DL to hold foes to under 100 rushing yards per game with ease.

The linebackers look like the biggest concern on D. Kelvin Sheppard has yet to hit his stride, and Perry Riley is fast, but holding up between the tackles remains to be seen. Beckwith is decent, but he has yet to take command of these younger guys and make the corps work as a unit under his direction. Shomari Clemons moves up from safety to bolster the outside/slot matchups in defending spread teams. When Riley and Jacob Cutrera sat out spring drills, the unit didn't look very sharp. If this area doesn't develop as needed, it will be a tough year, but they should be able to concentrate on underneath coverage more since the line can hold its own. The rebuilding behind them is the other concern, but not as big of one. Curtis Taylor is the lone returning piece to this puzzle. Taylor isn't the fastest guy, but he can lay the wood. Harry Coleman was playing with the first team most of spring, supplanting oft-used nickel Danny McCray and his sixth-most team tackles from '07...not an easy task.

Chad Jones was the No.1 athlete in last year's national class - he plays a gutsy style coaches may not be ready gamble on every down (as a starter), but he has the raw talent to grow into the starter's role, if given the shot. Hawkins and Eugene are both super speedy, but Brooks and (Phelon) Jones are the freshmen who want their spots and have been pushing all to new heights in practices. Miles seems to notice the freshmen corners and talks about them to the press to motivate Hawkins and Eugene. The talent is there in this backfield to grow into a great group, but how fast that happens is only trumped by the LB developments for importance to the overall win-loss record. Trying to compare this defense with last year's wouldn't be fair since the starters were all upperclassmen in ‘07, a huge reason they stayed on course and won the championship by shutting Ohio State down. More likely, this back seven plays out like the '07 Gator’s DBs did after they won the prior year - loads of talent will still be too young to play consistently enough to challenge for their division half. With the line so strong, don't be surprised if they (instead) carry the team to new heights due to their depth and hunger.


DE Kirston Pittman (PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Franz/LSU Sports Information)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Tyson Jackson-Sr (6-5, 292) Rahim Alem-Jr (6-3, 252)
DT Charles Alexander-Sr (6-3, 294) Al Woods-Jr (6-5, 325)
DT Ricky Jean Francois-Jr (6-3, 281) Marlon Favorite-Sr (6-1, 300)
DE Kirston Pittman-Sr (6-4, 260) Tremaine Johnson-Sr (6-2, 273)
SLB Perry Riley-Jr (6-1, 225) Kellen Theriot-Fr (6-1, 228)
MLB Darry Beckwith-Sr (6-1, 225) Jacob Cutrera-Jr (6-4, 225)
WLB Kelvin Sheppard-So (6-3, 228) Ace Foyil-Jr (6-3, 229)
CB Chris Hawkins-Jr (6-1, 181) Ron Brooks-Fr (5-10, 180)
Patrick Johnson-Fr (6-1, 175)
CB Jai Eugene-So (6-0, 175) Phelon Jones-Fr (5-11, 195)
SS Chad Jones-So (6-3, 222) Harry Coleman-Jr (6-2, 205)
FS Curtis Taylor-Sr (6-4, 195) Danny McCray-Jr (6-1, 205)
P Brady Dalfrey-Sr (6-0, 207) Drew Alleman-Fr (6-0, 170)


Everyone loves Colt David. He's reliable from inside the 50, but David's career long for prep and collegiate is 50 yards (in prep). If David misses two again this year when they go to Gainesville, LSU won't likely win that game. Josh Jasper will push him, but Jasper (Mr. Football in Tennessee 5A twice) likely only holds the punting job, until next year when he’ll do both. Brad Dalfrey has the same big foot, and he is pushing Jasper, as is Drew Alleman. LSU out-punted its coverage often last year, so control is in order for '08. Trindon Holliday does amazing on kickoffs, and Chad Jones is a good choice for punts since he is a DB, but speed lives everywhere on this roster, and another return man will come from LaFell, Brooks and the two Williams (Keiland and John).


Injured players - LBs Perry Riley and Jacob Cutrera, DT Charles Alexander, DE Kirston Pittman, TE Mitch Joseph and RB Charles Scott are all ready to go for August despite spring injuries.

Miles has said that incoming players will have an immediate chance to contribute at CB. Although Hawkins and Eugene are currently listed at first team right now, coaches are not ready to name the full-time starters until fall gets here. Both had problems covering LSU's top receivers in the spring game, and coaches have expressed concern about the position. Incoming frosh Patrick Johnson and Brandon Taylor will contend for playing time.

The head coach has also stated that Drew Alleman will be handling the kickoff duties while Brady Dalfrey will be the punter. The punting situation appears fairly drastic as only one punt in the spring game covered 40 yards. Replacing Patrick Fisher is proving to be a difficult task.

RB Richard Murphy has been making a big move up the depth chart after being buried fourth on the list behind Hester, Williams and Scott last season. He has been the most consistent performer this spring and is going to see a good many reps in this offense. Fumbling is an issue that will not be tolerated. Ergo, Keiland Williams fumbled early in the spring game and never returned. He’ll be back, but any more drops will mean more shuffling.

In one of the competitive battles, Joseph Barksdale beat out Jarvis Jones for the right tackle spot. Another redshirt freshman, Will Blackwell, was moved to the offensive line from defense midway through the spring. LSU has good depth on the offensive front to allow this needed transition. It is one area at which the Tigers can even afford an injury.

Chad Jones did not earn a starting spot in the base defense, but he may see more time in the nickel package. During the spring game, Jones and Curtis Taylor were the two deep safeties when the Tigers went with five defensive backs. In that alignment, Jones replaced Harry Coleman.