This week we asked Glen West, publisher of our Sports Illustrated site LSU Country five questions about the Tigers to get a closer look from someone covering the team daily. Here are five questions we asked and West's answers to those questions.
1) How would you assess the performance of Myles Brennan in his first start at quarterback?
West: It was an inconsistent week one performance for Brennan, one that showed great signs of promise and where he also showed that he was a first-time starter. Let's move past the stats, the 345 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Brennan was tentative in the pocket at times and missed some receivers down field but in past seasons, LSU fans would've gladly taken this performance. The expectations on Brennan should be tempered and while there is plenty to work on, the next few games will be integral in his development.
2) With so much talent lost either to the draft or to opt-outs this season, how disappointing was the loss last week for the fanbase?
West: The loss last week was certainly a surprise, but I do think it was the ultimate indicator for the fanbase that this is a team that needs to find its identity separate from last year's team. The fanbase realizes this and while the loss was disappointing on many levels, it'd take a lot for the fans to really lose faith in this team. There are still many game-changing players on this roster and the return of Derek Stingley will provide a spark.
3) The Tigers pride themselves on their defensive backs, so after watching last week's game, should the Commodores try to attack them through the air, or was that more of an anomaly and we will see the old Tiger secondary on Saturday?
West: The loss of Derek Stingley was the real turning point in last week's loss to the Bulldogs. Mike Leach and the Mississippi State offense was the perfect storm against LSU and its young secondary. With Stingley expected to return to the LSU lineup and a week for the young guys to really study their mistakes, I do think LSU bounces back this week against the Commodores. With Stingley in the lineup, it really takes away an entire side of the field. That means freshman quarterback Ken Seals will likely attack Elias Ricks, Cordale Flott and Jay Ward, all young players who struggled but also had some good moments a week ago. It'll be an important game for confidence for those young players.
4) Obviously Joe Burrow had a career in one season in 2019, but who was the one player other than him that might prove to be the most difficult to replace this season?
West: Good question. After last week's performance from the secondary, you could certainly make the argument that Kristian Fulton is the most difficult to replace. For me, the most important player to replace, outside of Joe Burrow, is Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Burrow was the key to making the engine run but Edwards-Helaire was that spark plug, x-factor that is just extremely hard to replace in this offense. Chris Curry, Tyrion Davis-Price and John Emery are all capable backs but Edwards-Helaire's versatility as a pass catcher and pristine running ability is something that those three backs are still looking to perfect. LSU getting the run game going against the Commodores should be a priority this weekend.
5) What can we expect to see from the Tigers when they take the field here Saturday night?
West: LSU was hit in the mouth last week so this week, Ed Orgeron and players have primarily talked about being a more focused and fundamentally sound team for this weekend's matchup. The Tigers aren't taking the Commodores lightly. They know what happened last weekend to Texas A&M and don't intend on letting it get that close. I do think the front seven on defense has an advantage in this game, as it forced three turnovers and disrupted Mississippi State quarterback KJ Costello plenty in week one. It'll be important that Seals remains poised and doesn't let the Tigers pressure get to him early in this game.