LSU Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

LSU Tigers


The Tigers came into the year fresh off a bitter loss in the BCS National Championship game to Alabama. They returned a ton of talent and added even more, making them a popular pick to win the title this season. Adversity struck early for LSU as their Heisman finalist, star defensive back, and special teams extraordinaire was dismissed from the team. They still boasted one of the strongest defenses in the nation, but the team was not the same without him, and it showed in their two nail-biting losses. These losses, both conference losses to highly ranked opponents, were the only two blemishes on their record all season.

2012 Record: 10-2, 6-2
Coach: Les Miles
Coach Bowl Record: 6-4

Big Wins: 10/13 South Carolina (23-21), 10/20 at Texas A&M (24-19)
Bad Losses: 10/6 at Florida (6-14), 11/3 Alabama (17-21)

The heart and soul of this team is its outstanding defense. They dominated opponents in all aspects. They crushed opponents who tried to run the ball, allowing barely 100 yards per game. They are able to do this from one of the deepest, biggest, and most talented defensive fronts in the nation. This unit is able to get penetration and creates a new line of scrimmage on virtually every play. When opponents attempt to throw the ball the story is the same. LSU’s big men are able to generate pressure as well as the linebackers that are sent on blitzes. Their secondary is also physical and full of talent. They blanket receivers and are able to make plays on the ball, holding opponents to less than 200 yards through the air per contest. Lastly, LSU dominates the most important stat in football, the turnover ratio. LSU’s turnover margin was in the top 10 in the nation. They were able to achieve this ratio because of an opportunistic defense and an offense that plays smart, making LSU a tough out for any opponent. The Tigers defense was able to generate takeaways with regularity, as they do not just take advantage of mistakes, they force them.

The Tigers offense struggled to generate points all season long. Both attacks, the passing and the rushing, are relatively weak, but their passing game takes the blame for their struggles. They simply are unable to throw the ball, averaging just over 207 yards per game with their weak aerial assault. This allows opponents to load the box to stop the run and force the Tigers to attempt to throw on them, which makes running the ball difficult on the LSU offense. The Tigers give up over two sacks per game and this is simply unacceptable for an elite team.  LSU struggles to protect the quarterback has led to hardships in scoring as well, as the Tigers are buried in the middle of the nation in points per game, able to muster up just over 30 per contest.  Their special teams units never recovered from the loss of Tyrann Mathieu, as their punt return average dropped from over 12 yards per return and 16th in the nation last year to under ten yards per return and 50th in the nation in 2012. Their kick return unit also has much to improve upon, averaging just 23 yards per return. The Tigers special team units need to be able to provide a spark to a stagnate offense, but during the 2012 campaign they were unable to do so.  

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jeremy Hill, RB, 631 yards
Passing: Zach Mettenberger, QB, 2,489 yards
Receiving: Odell Beckham, WR, 673 yards
Tackles: Kevin Minter, LB, 101
Sacks: Sam Montgomery, DE, 7.0
Interceptions: Craig Loston, S, 3; Tharold Simon, CB, 3

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 179.92 (46th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 207.25 (91, 11)
Total Offense: 387.17 (78, 9)
Scoring Offense: 30.25 (54, 7)
Rushing Defense: 101.83 (10, 3)
Pass Defense: 194.33 (20, 6)
Total Defense: 296.17 (9, 3)
Scoring Defense: 16.92 (11, 3)
Turnover Margin: 1.25 (8, 3)
Sacks: 2.50 (26, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 2.17 (78, 8)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    BCS Championship    Alabama (0-21)
2010    Cotton Bowl        Texas A&M (41-24)
2009    Capital One Bowl    Penn State (17-19)
2008    Chik-fil-A Bowl    Georgia Tech (38-3)
2007    BCS Championship    Ohio State (38-24)

*all team stats through 11/24


Bowl Central

LSU Shop