LSU Tigers: Steve Kragthorpe

LSU OL coach Studrawa out

January, 8, 2014
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Greg Studrawa, who served as LSU's offensive coordinator in 2011-12 and was the team's longest-tenured assistant coach, is out as the Tigers' offensive line coach.

Studrawa has been a member of Les Miles' coaching staff since 2007, when he first became LSU's offensive line coach. He took over as the program's offensive coordinator when Steve Kragthorpe was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and served in that role for two seasons before shifting back to coaching the line this season.

The Tigers ranked 32nd nationally – seventh in the SEC – in total offense with an average of 453.3 yards per game. The Tigers' scoring average of 35.8 points per game ranked 23rd nationally and sixth in the conference.

Studrawa coached two linemen who earned second-team all-conference honors this season: sophomore guard Trai Turner (media) and junior tackle La'El Collins (coaches).

TigerBait.com was first to report the coaching change.

LSU future power rankings 

June, 18, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Powered by its fertile recruiting ground, continued production of NFL talent and its dominant defense, LSU is No. 3 in the first college football future power rankings.

But are the Tigers destined to stay there? What could propel the Tigers even higher in the next three years? And what could cause them to stumble?

[+] EnlargeCam Cameron
AP Photo/Rob CarrThe success of Cam Cameron's new offense will play a big role in LSU's future success.
The Tigers will rise if: LSU will keep climbing if it can take advantage of an abundance of talent and a new offensive coordinator to turn around its sputtering offense.

GTN team mailbag: A better Mettenberger? 

April, 12, 2013
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Zach MettenbergerCal Sport Media via AP ImagesMuch is expected of LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger heading into his senior season.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- GTN writer Gary Laney took your questions about the Tigers as they headed to the home stretch of spring practice:

From: Tone (Denver): Gary, do you think Zach Mettenberger will be better prepared to perform at a higher level than last year?


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Opening spring camp: LSU

March, 14, 2013
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Schedule: The Tigers open spring practice Thursday and will conclude the spring April 20 with their annual National L Club spring game at 3 p.m. ET in Tiger Stadium.

What’s new: Cam Cameron steps in as LSU’s offensive coordinator after spending part of last season in that role with the Baltimore Ravens. Cameron replaces Greg Studrawa as LSU’s play-caller on offense and will also coach the quarterbacks. Studrawa remains on staff and will coach the offensive line. Steve Kragthorpe will move into an administrative role after coaching the LSU quarterbacks the previous two seasons.

On the mend: Reserve quarterback Rob Bolden (knee) and defensive end Justin Maclin will both miss the spring while recovering from injuries.

On the move: Junior La’el Collins will get first shot at left tackle this spring after starting all last season at left guard. Senior Josh Williford will shift from right guard to left guard. Junior Terrence Magee is moving back to running back after playing receiver last season and catching just one pass.

Question marks: The Tigers are replacing five of their top seven defensive linemen. Junior tackles Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson and junior end Jermauria Rasco need to take that next step and become every-down forces up front. Head coach Les Miles said sophomore tackle Mickey Johnson has lost weight and had a promising offseason. Playing with more consistency at receiver will also be important. The Tigers had too many dropped passes last season and didn't make a lot happen down the field. Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry will be counted on to make big moves as juniors. LSU also has to find a new place-kicker and punter. Sophomore Jamie Keehn heads into the spring as the punter, while junior James Hairston will have to hold off redshirt freshman walk-on Colby Delahoussaye for the starting place-kicking job.

New faces: Junior-college newcomer Logan Stokes will battle for a starting job at tight end, while junior-college newcomer Fehoko Fanaika could factor in at offensive guard. At receiver, redshirt freshman Travin Dural will be one to watch after injuring his knee last season along with a pair of early enrollees -- Avery Peterson (Patrick Peterson’s younger brother) and John Diarse. Two more true freshmen, Anthony Jennings and Hayden Rettig, will be among a handful of players vying for the backup quarterback job. The Tigers have a total of six true freshmen on campus who will be going through spring practice as early enrollees. Redshirt freshman Dwayne Thomas is a prime candidate to be the Tigers’ third cornerback on passing downs.

Breaking out: In reality, senior linebacker Lamin Barrow has already broken out. He had 104 total tackles last season, but was overshadowed by Kevin Minter. With Minter leaving early for the NFL draft, Barrow will move this spring from weakside linebacker to Minter’s middle-linebacker spot. The 6-foot-2, 232-pound Barrow has everything it takes to become an All-SEC performer. If he sticks in the middle, it just makes the Tigers that much deeper at linebacker. Talented sophomores Kwon Alexander, Deion Jones and Lamar Louis can all play on the outside along with senior Tahj Jones, who returns after missing all but one game last season for academic reasons.

Don’t forget about: Senior running back Alfred Blue returns to give the Tigers one of the deepest backfields in the league. He injured his knee in the third game last season and was No. 2 in the SEC in rushing at the time. The 6-2, 220-pound Blue has excellent speed and also catches the ball well out of the backfield. He’ll team with sophomore Jeremy Hill to give LSU a dynamite one-two punch. The 6-2, 235-pound Hill had four 100-yard games as a true freshman and led the Tigers in rushing. Following a splendid freshman season, Kenny Hilliard was the forgotten man last season. He’ll be looking to regain his form this spring, while Magee will add some speed to the Tigers’ backfield.

All eyes on: Now that senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger has a season as a starter in the SEC under his belt, can he capitalize on the improvement he showed toward the end of last season? In particular, Miles wants to see Mettenberger get better at throwing the deep ball and understand all of the throws better. Mettenberger struggled early last season, but he didn’t get a lot of help from his receivers. The best news for Mettenberger was the hiring of a veteran offensive coordinator like Cameron, who’s tutored a ton of quality quarterbacks. There’s no question that LSU has to be more consistent on offense if it’s going to return to the SEC championship picture. How much Mettenberger improves from his junior to senior season will go a long way toward determining whether the Tigers will be a part of that equation.

Mailbag: LSU 2014 class might be special 

February, 22, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- GeauxTigerNation writer Gary Laney took your questions:

From: Michael (Baton Rouge): Do you sense discontent in Coach (Greg Studrawa) and Coach (Steve Kragthorpe) getting demoted after the hiring of Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator? Do you see them moving to another job next year?


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What would Cameron mean to offense? 

February, 11, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- It's not official yet, but it looks like LSU will probably soon have a new offensive coordinator in Cam Cameron.

For an offense not known for its passing game, it's an interesting choice,

[+] EnlargeCam Cameron
Rob Carr/Getty ImagesCam Cameron could be the guy to bring LSU's passing game to the next level.
Known as a follower of the "Air Coryell" offense popularized by Don Coryell's late-70s San Diego Chargers teams, Cameron has a history with successful quarterbacks. At Michigan, he tutored future NFL quarterbacks Elvis Grbac and Todd Collins as QB coach from 1990-93, working alongside Michigan assistant coach Les Miles. With the Washington Redskins, he coached Gus Frerotte to his only Pro Bowl.

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GeauxTigerNation mailbag 

January, 4, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- GTN writer Gary Laney took your questions on Twitter. You can also join him on LSU SportsNation chats on Tuesday afternoons.

From Josh (@j_bruns22): Who actually does the play calling for LSU on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball?

Gary Laney: This might seem like a no-brainer answer from the perspective of non-LSU fans since a quick search can tell you that Greg Studrawa is the offensive coordinator and John Chavis the defensive coordinator. Around LSU, that always comes to question on the offensive side of the ball considering Les Miles' past as an offensive guy.

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Miles not ready to shuffle offense

October, 9, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- As its beleaguered offense has looked for answers to injury and ineffective play this season, LSU has found itself shuffling players around.

The Tigers have started three running backs at least one game this season. Because of injury, three players have started at least one game at left tackle and two at right tackle. Alex Hurst has started at both right tackle and left tackle and Josh Dworaczyk has spent time at guard and tackle.

But even with a recent trend to struggle offensively against SEC opponents, including an anemic 200-yard offensive performance in last week's 14-6 loss to Florida, there are two shuffles LSU coach Les Miles isn't considering: his offensive coaching staff and the Tigers' offensive approach.

[+] EnlargeGreg Studrawa
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireOffensive coordinator Greg Studrawa will continue to call plays from the press box, LSU coach Les Miles said.
Asked if he would consider any changes in game-day responsibility for his offensive staff heading into this week's game against No. 3 South Carolina, Miles said, "We're all doing the things we've been doing for the last number of years and there's no reason to change responsibilities in my mind."

That's not exactly the case. Offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa was promoted from offensive line coach after then-offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in August 2011. Kragthorpe is now quarterbacks coach and coaches from the field while Studrawa calls plays in the press box.

Tight ends coach Steve Ensminger is available to deal with the linemen on the sideline during games.

In recent games against SEC opponents, the approach hasn't worked well. While the issues were often masked by a forgiving early schedule in which the Tigers piled up points in wins over North Texas, Idaho and Washington, LSU has managed 18 points and one touchdown in two SEC games this season.

Dating to last season's 21-0 loss to Alabama in last season's BCS championship game, the Tigers have 18 points, one touchdown and 643 yards in their last three games against SEC opponents.

"In our view," Miles said, "we have to run it and throw it better."

And maybe call plays better.

(Read full post)

Kadron Boone Mettenberger's TD target 

September, 12, 2012
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BATON ROUGE -- With Jordan Jefferson still suspended and starter Jarrett Lee having led LSU to a 25-point half lead, quarterback Zach Mettenberger got the most significant snaps of his sophomore season in a 49-3 Sept. 10, 2011 win over Northwestern State.

Playing the entire second half, Mettenberger completed 8 of 11 passes (the only passes he threw all season) for 92 yards, including his first, and only, touchdown pass of the season, a 19-yard fourth-quarter touchdown to little-used receiver Kadron Boone.

It was, evidently, a sign of things to come.

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Film: Mettenberger's conservative debut 

September, 2, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- It didn't take long for the LSU natives to get a little restless.

In the debut of the quarterback they've been waiting for, Zach Mettenberger, the Tigers offense kept a lot in the back pocket. In the fourth quarter, LSU fans booed one of several quick screen passes called in the Tigers' 41-14 win over North Texas Saturday.

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Notes: Miles says Mingo most improved

August, 28, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Barkevious Mingo's smile was almost one of embarrassment.

Told Monday that LSU coach Les Miles had called him, without hesitation, the most improved player on the Tigers' team during August camp, Mingo said, "I don't know why."

Barkevious Mingo
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesLast year, Barkevious Mingo had a team-high 15 tackles for loss. He also had eight sacks and led the Tigers with 11 quarterback hurries.
It's a scary thought, actually. Many had already predicted the junior defensive end to be one of the top picks in the 2013 NFL draft. He was in the conversation of the best pass rushers in college football.

But Miles said Mingo has gotten even better in August.

"Keke (Mingo's nickname) improved routinely through last fall," Miles said. "Those guys that have that kind of experience, when they come back to the fall, they've done it once now and now they recognize it more quickly. Suddenly, they have greater recognition of the play and greater speed to the ball. Of course, Kiki's got great speed and he's gotten faster and stronger."

As a sophomore, he was second on the team behind Sam Montgomery with eight quarterbacks sacks and had a team-high 15 tackles for loss. He did that mostly as a backup to Kendrick Adams. If there is still doubt about Mingo, it's on whether he can be an every-down end, considering his smallish weight (235 pounds) and the fact that he hasn't been tested every down in the past.

(Read full post)

Rob Bolden, LSU's transfer quarterback from Penn State, has to learn his third offense since last fall.

There was the Joe Paterno offense in the fall of 2011 at Penn State. Then there was the Bill O'Brien offense at PSU in the spring. Now, he has to learn the Les Miles/Greg Studrawa offense.

Rob Bolden
AP Photo/Gerald HerbertPenn State transfer quarterback Rob Bolden is working hard to learn yet another new offense.
As tough as that can be -- "He's swimming upstream right now," quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe said -- at least he's surrounded by people who can empathize.

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It's supposed to be the battle of the titans in August camp.

[+] EnlargeGreg Studrawa
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireLSU offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa will keep a close eye on the battle at left guard.
On paper, the La'el Collins vs. Josh Dworaczyk battle for LSU's starting left guard spot is epic. Dworaczyk is the grizzled sixth-year senior with 26 career starts on two bowl teams. He is this year's comeback story after the NCAA gave him a sixth year after he was lost for 2011 with a knee injury. Collins is the player of the future, the No. 8 player in the 2011 ESPN150 who is ready to bring his enormous talents to the forefront as a first-time starter.

It's one of those where you throw the popcorn in the microwave, then sit down and enjoy the two going at each other for the starting job.

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Countdown to camp: Stud-ly offense? 

July, 25, 2012
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GeauxTigerNation writers David Helman and Gary Laney break down the competitions, issues and talking points of LSU's August camp. Players report to campus Aug. 1 and we'll have a preview segment every weekday in July leading up to the day the players report:

It was just under a year ago, just at the start of August camp, that the bombshell dropped.

Steve Kragthorpe, LSU's new offensive coordinator, had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, forcing him to relinquish his coordinator duties (while staying quarterbacks coach) to offensive line coach Greg Studrawa. It was part of a tumultuous August for the Tigers, who later lost quarterback Jordan Jefferson to a suspension after he was arrested following a bar fight.

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Video: Top 20 Roundtable -- LSU

May, 29, 2012
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College Football Live's panel of experts discuss the upcoming season for the LSU Tigers.

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