LSU Tigers: Austin Seferian-Jenkins

3-point stance: First impressions

September, 2, 2013
Three-Point Stance, It’s Only One Game, But … Edition

1. … Washington backed up the confidence that head coach Steve Sarkisian placed in a team that has been 7-6 for the last three years. The Huskies moved back into their home after a $280-million renovation and looked as if they couldn’t have been more comfortable. The 38-6 victory over Boise State, the Broncos’ first loss by more than six points in six years, is evidence enough. But the 592 yards of offense without suspended preseason All-American tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a sign that the Pac-12 North may be the best division in the FBS.

2. … the union of LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger appears to be a success. Mettenberger completed 16-of-32 passes for 251 yards and a touchdown, nearly doubling his raw QBR of a year ago (74.6/3did 9.3). Moreover, Mettenberger put up those numbers against TCU, year in and year out one of the toughest defensive teams in the nation. Mettenberger made big, precise throws, putting them in places where defenders couldn’t reach them. That’s what NFL quarterbacks do.

3. … Oklahoma may be out of its long defensive slump. The team that allowed at least 34 points in four of its last five games whitewashed Louisiana-Monroe, 34-0. That’s the Sooners’ first shutout in three seasons, and came against a team that went 8-5 last season and has eight returning offensive starters, including four-year starting quarterback Kolton Browning. The Sooners allowed 166 total yards and only 2-of-16 third-down conversions. In other words, they looked like a Bob Stoops team.

Chavis: Tigers defense kept it simple 

September, 9, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU's talented defense dominated a potentially explosive Washington offense in a 41-3 win Saturday and the secret to the Tigers' success, well, wasn't much of a secret.

[+] EnlargeJohn Chavis
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireJohn Chavis likes where his defense is, but expects improvement each week.
"We didn't do anything different," said LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis after the Tigers held the Huskies to a mere 183 yards offense. "Matter of fact, we may have been a little bit more vanilla than we've been in the past. What we wanted to do is go out and improve from a technique standpoint, individually."

For a defense that's young in spots, Chavis thought that was the best approach after the 41-14 season-opening win over North Texas when the Tigers were dominant in spots, but gave up some big plays on breakdowns and were held without a sack.

LSU hoping Price, UW brings out best 

September, 7, 2012
BATON ROUGE -- Twice in LSU's 41-14 season-opening win over North Texas, Tigers pre-season all-American safety Eric Reid blew coverages resulting in both Mean Green touchdowns.

He wasn't alone.

LSU had at least seven plays where sloppy execution cost the Tigers. There was a punt return for a touchdown by Odell Beckham Jr. called back by penalty and another long return called back. There were's Reid's mistakes, both on third-and-longs. There was Drew Alleman missing what was, for him, a chip-shot 34-yard field goal. There was talented young Zach Mettenberger not seeing the blitz coming and taking a hard shot on a sack then, throwing a red zone interception later. There was a Mettenberger touchdown pass called back by penalty.

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Five storylines: LSU Tigers 

September, 6, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Here are the five big storylines facing No. 3 LSU in its game against against Washington on Saturday at Tiger Stadium:

1. An early impression: It will be hard for LSU to make an impression in any other game in a light early schedule (North Texas and Idaho are the other two opponents before a Sept. 22 trip to Auburn), and UW is the only game against a BCS opponent in the Tigers' non-conference schedule.

2. Secondary tested: UW has a 3,000-yard passer in Keith Price and talented receivers in Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. How will the Tigers' young secondary hold up against a potent Pac-12 attack?

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LSU needs better pass rush against UW

September, 5, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. -- In many preseason projections, LSU's defensive line was rated among the two best in college football, along with Florida State.

John Chavis
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireLSU DC John Chavis would like to see his unit rush the passer better.
With FSU losing its best defensive lineman, Brandon Jenkins, for the season, the Tigers' front four looks to now be considered the nation's best without question.

So that makes the Tigers' lack of defensive line production in a season-opening 41-14 win over North Texas Saturday that much more puzzling. LSU had no sacks on Mean Green quarterback Derek Thompson, the result of a UNT game-planning and things LSU wants to improve on.

"I felt like we had a good pass rush against [North Texas], but sometimes they were getting rid of it very quickly and under duress," LSU head coach Les Miles said.

On North Texas' two touchdowns, however, the Tigers blitzed and did not get to Thompson, who threw touchdown passes with the aid of mistakes in the secondary.

"Frankly, on the two [touchdown] completions, we would have enjoyed a little more pass rush," Miles said. "I think what we are doing is correct. We just need to improve on our technique and get to the passer. We need pressure."

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Tigers have their hands full with Price

September, 5, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. -- In a 41-14 win over North Texas to open the season Saturday, LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo was chipped, double-teamed and generally frustrated by a Mean Green offense whose first order of business seemed to be to avoid the vaunted Tigers pass rush.

[+] EnlargeBarkevious Mingo
Josh D. Weiss/US PresswireLSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo hopes to be pressuring the quarterback more this week, as Washington runs a pass-heavy attack.
“There was a running back and a tight end back there (blocking) most of the time,” Mingo said. “They’d release three (receivers) and got them out on routes.

“But they kept a couple (of blockers) in. They didn’t want any of that.”

Mingo said he does not expect that to be the case this weekend when Washington’s wide-open offense, led by 3,000-yard passer Keith Price, visits Tiger Stadium. Mingo and other Tigers defenders expect the 1-0 Huskies to try to spread the field and attack LSU’s young secondary with as many as five receivers.

“That’s their offense,” Mingo said. “I would assume they would do it.”

That’s good news for Mingo’s desire to get to the quarterback, but a challenge to a secondary that was somewhat protected in the opener by UNT’s preoccupation with getting the LSU front four blocked.

“I think we are going to see a lot of action this week,” cornerback Tharold Simon said. “It’s going to be fun.”

That’s a striking difference from last week, when UNT would usually send out only two or three receivers on pass plays.

“It was kind of boring,” said Simon, who said there were two passes thrown his way, one batted at the line of scrimmage, the other so far off the mark, neither he nor the receiver had a chance to make a play on it.

Thompson completed just 8 of 21 passes for 143 yards, two for touchdowns against what free safety Eric Reid said were blown coverages.

The challenge will be greater against Price, who set Huskies single-season records last season for touchdown passes (33), completion percentage (.669), and pass efficiency (161.09) while throwing for the second-most yards (3,063) in school history.

“He’s a guy who can make plays with his feet,” Mingo said. “He has a strong arm, he keeps his eyes downfield and makes plays. I’ve seen a couple of times where he gets guys jumping (with pump fakes) and then throw a pass and complete it. It’s just something he does.”

Price completed 25 of 35 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown in UW’s 21-12 season-opening win over San Diego State, a game where UW sometimes sputtered offensively. But LSU is expecting a better effort from Price and the Huskies this week.

“I like their quarterback,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “Keith Price is a very good passer.”

Price has high-level talent to throw to.

Receiver Kasen Williams, a former ESPN 150 prospect in high school, caught 36 passes as a freshman and followed that with six catches for 75 yards in the opener, including a touchdown.

He’s one of several receivers Tigers said they’ll have to contend with this week.

“They are a very good route-running team,” Simon said. “They are going to do what they have to do to get open. They run great combinations together. They have a great quarterback, a great receiving corps.”

The Huskies also have a great receiving tight end.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the Huskies’ 6-foot-6, 266-pound sophomore, presents LSU’s defense with another prime-time talent to contend with. Another ESPN150 member coming out of high school, Seferian-Jenkins is blessed with tremendous size, yet is nimble and has good enough hands to make all-Pac 12 as a freshman in 2011 after catching 41 passes for 538 yards, the second-most prolific receiving season for a freshman in school history.

He followed that with nine catches for 82 yards against San Diego State.

“He’s the type of player you don’t see that often, so you want to make sure you can get a body on him who can cover him,” said Reid, who, at 6-2, 212, will often get the task of having to cover the big tight end.

“We know he’s a guy they look to in passing situations, so we are going to have to know where he is on the field.”

By “we,” Reid means himself as the lone returning starter and three others who are in their first season as starters. That includes true freshman cornerback Jalen Mills, who will get his first major test as Tyrann Mathieu’s replacement.

“He played a good game,” Simon said of Mills’ debut against UNT. “As we watched film, I saw a couple of things he could have done better.”

He might have to do better against a potentially powerful Huskies pass attack.
GeauxTigerNation writers Gary Laney and David Helman get you ready for the season with a daily breakdown throughout August of what LSU is facing in the fall, from its opponents, to its road trips to who it's recruiting. Today, David Helman asked the questions in a Q&A with Mason Kelley of's HuskyNation, which covers Washington:

[+] EnlargeKeith Price
Gary A. Vasquez/US PresswireWashington QB Keith Price will be a focal point for LSU's defense.
Q: Quarterback Keith Price is the name the majority of LSU fans will know going into this matchup. After losing running back Chris Polk, who steps up to help Price move the ball?

A: Replacing Polk is one of the key questions Washington is looking to address early in fall camp. The Huskies have options at the running back position in junior Jesse Callier, sophomore Bishop Sankey and Deontae Cooper, who is coming off knee injuries in back-to-back seasons.

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Six NOLA players punch Opening tickets
National recruiting coordinator Craig Haubert joins Phil Murphy to breaks down top position groups and invitees to Nike's The Opening from the recent regional camp in New Orleans.