The Tigers offensive line knows they need to be better in order to achieve success this 2021 season. Quite frankly, as the muscle of this offensive scheme, the big guys up front need to do a 180.
At this point a year ago, the Tigers were coming off of a devastating loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in week one, just as LSU did in its season opener against UCLA last Saturday.
After suffering a loss to the Bulldogs last season, the life of the Tigers was sucked out of them. The players turned on each other, the locker room energy was nonexistent and the team couldn’t seem to shake out of their funk.
This time around, things have changed. The locker room is staying together after their shocking loss to the UCLA Bruins and making sure a repeat of last season doesn’t occur.
"I was talking to a couple of my teammates about this, it's a very different energy this year," offensive lineman Ed Ingram said. "After we lost to Mississippi State, a lot of us kind of turned on each other, but this year everybody is holding each other. Just stay according to plan, trust the process and get it fixed this next weekend."
The veteran offensive line is a piece of the puzzle that can be fixed. With a group that has some experience under their belt, it’s only a matter of time until their chemistry and continuity hits full stride.
As the leaders of this offense, it’s those veterans in Austin Deculus, Liam Shanahan, Ingram, among others to make this unit go. There were simple schematic issues made in their season opening loss that Ingram knows can be fixed in the blink of an eye.
“There were a lot of mental errors we had during the game,” Ingram said. “There were times we didn’t know what to do or how to block the right person. We also have to help out the quarterback with the protection calls when we know it should be turned.”
For Shanahan, the Harvard transfer looks to get a taste of what a packed Tiger Stadium feels like this Saturday against McNeese St. In order for the Tigers to have success, they’ll need to open up the run game where the offensive line struggled to provideholes for both Tyrion Davis-Price and Josh Williams last weekend.
"Obviously, we struggled to get the ground game going,” Shanahan said. “I think we struggled early on and came out a little slow out the gates. And I think that kind of hurt our confidence, play-calling confidence in getting the ground game going."
This weekend Tiger fans will get a taste of a few young linemen with both Deculus and Cam Wire out after getting banged up in the season opener. The chance for some young guys to get playing time is crucial for the success of the offensive line and Ingram believes that.
"Next man up mentality,” Ingram said. “Just those younger guys are going to have to step up and just play. Guys came here for a reason."
With the offensive line prepared to stick together and figure this out as a unit, there’s hope in the Tigers locker room. As veterans Ed Ingram and Liam Shanahan look to rally the troops in order to lock in for SEC play, this entire Tigers group is ready to stick together and make sure a repeat of last year does not occur.