LSU Football Left Still Searching for Answers with Running Attack

Tigers' freshmen show flashes of potential in offense, unit still searching for consistency
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When freshman Armoni Goodwin burst through in the first quarter with a 21-yard run, the longest of the season, it really looked like LSU had found a different dynamic with its running attack. 

Goodwin, who missed the first game against UCLA with an injury, had that extra burst to hit the outside with conviction and head downfield. The only issue was he came up after the play severely hobbled and would not return the rest of the evening. 

It was a slight glimmer of what this offense could look like with a more diverse running attack and it quickly reverted back to last weekend's playcalling. The inside zone was a heavy utilized play once again and the LSU offensive line struggled to open holes for Tyrion Davis-Price, who had one successful run but mainly picked up 16 of his 37 total yards on seven carries.

Simply put, this offensive line needs to develop into a more consistent run blocking unit at the very least. LSU was without John Emery for a second consecutive game for academic issues, opening a door for freshman Corey Kiner. 

Kiner would carry the ball 10 times for 53 yards, including this 23-yard touchdown, which is the longest run of the season by an LSU back. He looked shifty and strong, breaking tackles on his way to the touchdown run.

Orgeron has been a little surprised with how the Tigers' offense has looked so inconsistent at the start of the 2021 season, mainly because of the protection issues up front. But for this offense to find any kind momentum, the run game can't keep starting off so weak. 

Because of some of the struggles that have cropped up, LSU has also had to look very hard at changing the identity of this offense. Initially the Tigers wanted to spread the defense out as much as possible but Orgeron mentioned the team has adjusted by having a tight end or a running back block on nearly every play to help the protections. 

"We had a variety of runs, sweeps, tosses, counters, outside," Orgeron said. "We want to get our athletes in space but it's just not working."

Orgeron is right, there was more of a dedication to various types of runs but throughout the evening the offense felt very clunky as far too often the Tigers found themselves in third-and-long or fourth down situations. 

The purple and gold went just 4-of-16 on third down, even leaving Orgeron a little perplexed at just how slow of a start it has been for this offense. 

"It's not good enough," Orgeron. "Gotta protect the quarterback, stay ahead of the chains and continue to make improvement. We got beat one on one but getting some guys back next week should hopefully help us."