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A Look at What's Next and Where LSU Football Goes After Week One Disappointment

Tigers have two week window to make corrections before start of SEC play

Ed Orgeron acknowledtged after the game that he and the entire LSU program felt like it let down the people of Louisiana on Saturday. 

Following another devastating storm, the Tigers wanted to be a nice distraction for a few hours for all of the purple and gold fans who made the trip to Los Angeles, and especially those back home. Instead, the team underperformed against a worthy UCLA opponent and returns to Baton Rouge with another 0-1 start to a season that needs to adjust course very quickly. 

"We didn't perform like we're supposed to at LSU. It's my responsibility and I told that to the team," Orgeron said. "Obviously, we're going to look at it schematically, where we got to get better, there was a lot of areas. Physicality at the point of attack, run the football better, stop the run, eliminate the explosive plays. Those are things we have to address and get better real quick. One game does not define a season, but we do understand that was a letdown for our fans. I take responsibility for it. Got to get better."

On offense, it all starts with the line improving both in run and pass protections, getting more variety out of the types of runs called and Max Johnson continuing to develop his pocket awareness and timing. Defensively, it's about not being pushed around in the running attack and improving communication across the board, two areas that unfortunately don't seem to have improved much through one game. 

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It wasn't a great evening for the new LSU coaching staff either as the defense couldn't adjust to Chip Kelly's gameplan of attacking the middle of the field with tight end Greg Dulcich, or set the edge and keep running back Zach Charbonnet from bursting into the second level with ease. On offense, the run game was completely shut down in the first quarter and never really returned after that, making the unit one dimensional. 

The silver lining for this group is that there's a two week window to get things steered in the right direction. LSU has non-conference games set up with McNeese State and Central Michigan on Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, giving the Tigers some room to correct issues against some theoretically winnable opponents before SEC play begins.

There are still a few cards the team hasn't played yet, including transfer Mike Jones who didn't play much, if at all against the Bruins. His presence and strengths as a cover linebacker would've been perfect to stick on Dulcich or to follow Charbonnet in the backfield like a hawk. LSU was also without John Emery for academic reasons that make his return a week by week assessment. 

Orgeron said after the game that one outing doesn't define this team's season but if that's truly to be the case, the Tigers will need to find some answers fast, unlike last season. 

"I felt like we were a little rusty. Came out on offense really good. Felt our guys needed to get a game underneath their belt," Orgeron said. "I thought their was a point in the game where we settled down, but we just couldn't stop the big plays that they were making. We couldn't stop making mistakes."