Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tiger Tale: Sam Montgomery
By Gary Laney
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, we'll take a daily look at a key LSU player. We'll examine how he has done and what his challenges are for the Clemson game.
Sam Montgomery, DE, Junior
Accomplishments: Part of one of the most-feared pass rushes in college football, Montomery led LSU in sacks with seven. This came after a sophomore season in which he was an All-American with nine sacks. A character on and off the field, Montgomery gets crowds going with his sack celebrations and is a fun quote in the locker room. He'll likely take that act to the NFL after this season, considering he's generally projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round of the draft.
Shortcomings: For all the hype surrounding Sonic Sam and LSU's defensive line in general, Montgomery actually saw his production go down during his junior season. He didn't always collapse pockets. Many of his sacks were of the second-effort variety and he sometimes gets out of position in the running game. Combined with Barkevious Mingo, he was supposed to be part of one of the top defensive end tandems in college football. But they combined for only 11 sacks, a figure many thought both would approach individually.
Against Clemson: Montgomery and the Tigers defensive line will have to step up against Clemson's high-powered passing game. If Tajh Boyd is able to sit back in the pocket, he'll likely be able to pick LSU's secondary apart; if they can pressure him, however, Boyd tends to rattle easily and could struggle. Montgomery is going to need to have a big game in what will likely be his last college football game.