Les Miles should have just kept his mouth shut on this one.
LSU hasn’t been great on offense for a while now, and that really came to a head in Saturday’s 16-14 loss to Wisconsin. On Wednesday, though, Miles mostly put to bed any thought of a philosophy change, noting the team has been “awfully productive in traditional sets”.
He’s joking, right?
Oh, he’s not joking…
I’m not sure what Miles classifies as a productive offense, but it’s clear that LSU has had problems on offense for the past couple of seasons. Being able to hand the ball off to Leonard Fournette has done a lot to alleviate some pressure, but the inability to recruit a quarterback that can throw the ball for the past several years kills that “traditional” look, even with a great running back in tow.
Contrast the Miles situation to Charlie Strong at Texas, and even to Gus Malzahn at Auburn. Strong, realizing his offensive woes, brought in the run-and-gun Sterlin Gilbert to completely shift the team’s philosophy. While Malzahn hasn’t gotten that far yet, at least he is admitting when his bad plans aren’t working.
With all the talent that LSU is able to recruit, there is absolutely no excuse for them to have an offense that is entirely reliant on the whims of Leonard Fournette’s health. At some point, Miles needs to evolve his offensive philosophy, because still throwing Brandon Harris out there and expecting him to excel in a traditional offense isn’t going to work. It’s never going to work. Most people saw that last year, and instead of changing, LSU is still trying to force the square peg through a round hole.
I’ve generally been a Les Miles supporter. The success he’s had in Baton Rouge is something that most head coaches in college football can’t say they have achieved. However, really great head coaches are able to reach success, and then evolve when they get there in order to stay on top. Simply put, Miles hasn’t been doing that for the last few years, and it is finally starting to affect the Tigers on the field.