The LSU Football 2017 Season was a success. The Bayou Bengals suffered through a lot of criticism, but managed to overcome it all and have a strong season. Led by Ed Orgeron, the Tigers put forth a 9-4 year that concluded with a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl. The team suffered through a few bad losses, but managed to win enough meaningful games to wrap up another quality season in Death Valley. Orgeron had his hands full with offensive coordinator Matt Canada. The new look offense never came to light, which ultimately led to Canada’s departure last Friday.
LSU 2017 Season Review
Room For Hope
The LSU 2017 Season will be analyzed by many as unsuccessful or not good enough. With the 2018 season now being the focus, there are many unanswered questions heading into next season. First, the play-calling was a loophole in 2017 and has to be fixed. As the season is now over, LSU is searching for a new play-caller on offense. The way things unfolded with Canada definitely has Tiger fans on edge as they patiently await a new offensive coordinator. After the obliterating way the offense turned out, there is plenty of room for hope heading into 2018. Tiger fans can expect a few staff changes on the offensive side within the coming months.
The Tigers opened the season on a huge note as they defeated BYU in New Orleans. A dominant performance from the offense had the Tigers looking like a quality team yet again. LSU managed to put forth a successful season despite suffering four major losses. The first loss to Mississippi State in September brought forth a skeptical situation as the offense had trouble capitalizing when it mattered most. At the time, that loss looked like the end to the early season for the Tigers. It also had the college football world thinking that the Bulldogs would be a dominant SEC team. Who can forget the crushing homecoming defeat to Troy? The Tigers’ offense was puzzled by Troy’s hurry-up offense in that game. It seemed as if Troy was more prepared to leave Baton Rouge with a historic win. And that’s just what they did. LSU lost that game 24-21.
The second month of the season had Tiger fans believing that 2017 would still be a quality season, despite already having two losses. To kick things off, LSU traveled to Gainesville to take on the woeful Florida Gators. It was a back and forth defensive battle, but the Tigers left with a 17-16 win. The following week, the Tigers hosted Auburn and somehow managed to erase a 20-0 deficit and get the 27-23 win. The offense was huge in this game, as quarterback Danny Etling proved his worth.
The Alabama-LSU rivalry. An instant classic every single season. To open the final month of the regular season, LSU traveled to Tuscaloosa. This game proved that defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is one of the best in college football. The Tigers only gave up 24 points, but put forth a tremendous effort on defense. That loss hung on LSU’s head for a bit, but they rebounded. The Tigers finished out their final three games with wins, and finished the regular season 9-3, with a Citrus Bowl berth against Notre Dame.
The 2018 Citrus Bowl was one of the best games of bowl season. LSU had the 17-14 lead late in the game, but Notre Dame threw a touchdown pass with just over one minute to go that sealed the deal. Offensively, it was an average showing at best. The Tigers failed to capitalize on numerous drives where they should have scored. This would be Matt Canada’s final game as offensive coordinator in the purple and gold. Notre Dame won the game 21-17 and LSU fell to 9-4.
Hirings and Firings
With the season over, Orgeron and company had a lot of decisions to make. Would they retain Dave Aranda? He was offered a monstrous deal from Texas A&M to become their defensive coordinator. Orgeron was able to retain Aranda, who is perhaps the best defensive coach in the country. Tiger fans wanted Aranda back, and they got what they wished for. Now the question remains: Who will become the offensive play-caller with Canada gone?
The Tigers have been hitting the recruiting trail hard during the 2017 season. With the addition of Early Signing Day back in December, Orgeron has set his stone as head coach. The Tigers picked up numerous five-star players that will play a pivotal role moving forward. For it being his first season, Coach O has done a tremendous job getting players to sign with LSU. LSU’s 2017 season played a major part in the number of highly ranked recruits that signed.
LSU Football 2017 was a success, but not a complete one. The scrutiny on offense set the team back from being a 10-2 or 11-1 team this season. All of that can change as 2018 looms. But looking back on 2017, and despite the loss to Troy, Orgeron has to be happy with how his team overcame adversity and finished strong.