What Did LSU Football Players Learn from 2021 Spring Game?

Tigers players encouraged by what they saw Saturday but still plenty left up their sleeve
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LSU by in large accomplished the goals it set for itself during the 2021 spring game. The defense limited the explosive plays and improved its communication while the offense set the foundation for what the schemes will look like come fall.

Offensive lineman Austin Deculus said it best after the game. This is a team that's setting the building blocks for the months down the road, reigniting the core values of that historic 2019 offense.

"You see the long passes, you see the big runs and you see the energetic, fun offense that everybody grew to know and love from the 2019 season," Deculus said. "You see those flashes and we're not gonna show everybody all our tools, we're just scratching the surface. Boutte had the long touchdown pass, Ty had a couple of breakout runs and that's all you would see in 2019. We're just going to continue to build on it."

That 2019 offense is likely one that will never be seen again. Not only is it the blueprint for the modern college football offense but it had the perfect blend of offensive players. This 2021 group still has so many uncertainties that need to be ironed out during fall camp, including a starting quarterback, running back and which skills players at receiver and tight end will be consistent parts of the rotation.

Ed Ingram was a part of that offense two years ago much like Deculus was and knows how much work it takes to get to that level. The installations are nowhere near completed as the Tigers hope to add more to the offense this summer. 

"I think we kind of wanted to show people we can be that same offense again, we could possibly be better," Ingram said. "But we got some stuff to work on, we didn't do everything we wanted to today, had a couple of mistakes. But it was different offense and we showed signs of life, made some big plays. "We have a lot of stuff coming so that was just a taste of where the offense is."

As for the defense, goal No. 1 was tightening up those communication and explosive play issues but linebacker Damone Clark was impressed with the way the unit responded to all of the offseason critics of this defense. He knows the last time that fans saw this unit it didn't live up to the high standards of years past.

"It's a mindset, you've gotta have that mindset to not be messed with. If you've got that mindset, half the test is won already and we just have to have that mindset we can't be messed with," Clark said. "I'm proud of how the defense fought. Overall I feel like we did a good job.

The genesis of this defense will continue to be to apply pressure on the quarterback in the 4-3 but there will also be more of a mixture in coverages, which is something we also saw on Saturday. 

Clark said he looks forward to continue adding more and more to this defense in the coming months and thinks the players have already shown a little more understanding of what's being asked.

"We got some more stuff up our sleeve, this was just the bread and butter stuff," Clark said. "We just had to execute today and we did good for the most part but there's still ways to improve, still not the LSU standard."