LSU Film Study: How the Final Touchdown From Alabama's T.J. Yeldon Was Scored




LSU versus Alabama -- Zach Mettenberger Preview Pieces

Carter "The Power" Bryant Friday, November 2, 2012
I can't wait for Saturday Night in Death Valley! Here are some preview pieces I have done for the game...


WUBR Fox Sports Radio -- Former LSU Tackle Ciron Black

Former LSU Tackle Ciron Black joined Carter Bryant to talk about the LSU offensive line's breakout performance versus South Carolina, what it was like to play under Les Miles, his most memorable moment with Sam Montgomery, and what the Tigers need to do to improve going forward.

DIG Baton Rouge Archive

Carter "The Power" Bryant Friday, September 28, 2012 , , , , , ,
Since joining DIG Baton Rouge, I have written on a multitude of subjects. Here are a list of my past articles...

Football Polygamy -- How Fantasy Football Has Ruined Our Viewing Experience

Get a Kick Out of This -- When it Comes to Determining a Champion, Football Fans Should Look Elsewhere 

Gap Blitz -- How Tyrann Mathieu Will Be Missed 

FILM STUDY -- How LSU Misses Mathieu on "The Mustang" Formation

Lending a Hand -- Why Team USA Basketball is Playing the Wrong Sport at the Olympics

Pulling at Threads -- Why Team USA Chinese-Made Uniforms Don't Matter 

What's at Steak -- Paul Mainieri's Career is All About The Beef

College Football's Offseason is the Worst

SEC Power Picks Week 5

SEC Power Picks Week 4

SEC Power Picks Week 3

SEC Power Picks Week 2

SEC Power Picks Week 1

DIG Baton Rouge -- SEC Power Picks Week 5

Carter "The Power" Bryant Thursday, September 27, 2012 , , , , , , , , ,
Click below for my latest edition of "Power Picks" for DIG Baton Rouge.


WUBR Fox Sports Radio -- Mile High Sports Peter Burns

Carter "The Power" Bryant Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Peter Burns of Mile High Sports joined me to talk the NFL Replacement referee debacle in Seattle, the incompetence of the Rockies, SEC Football, and the Jessica Redfield Scholarship Fund.

WUBR Fox Sports Radio -- Solid Verbal's Ty Hildenbrandt

Carter "The Power" Bryant Monday, September 17, 2012
Ty Hildenbrandt of The Solid Verbal joined me on WUBR Fox Sports Radio. We spoke about Stanford's historic upset of USC, Notre Dame's impressive victory over Michigan State and the dominance of LSU and Alabama. Also, Ty shares his favorite tailgating spot in the SEC.

WUBR Fox Sports Radio -- Arkansas Sports 360 Chris Bahn

Carter "The Power" Bryant Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Chris Bahn of joins Carter Bryant of 910 WUBR Fox Sports Radio in Baton Rouge to talk about the status of Arkansas Football after being upset by ULM. He also digs into Tyler Wilson's health and other SEC Football news.

WUBR Fox Sports Radio -- Bleacher Report's Michael Felder

Carter "The Power" Bryant Thursday, September 6, 2012
Michael Felder of Bleacher Report joined me last week on Baton Rouge's new sports station 910 WUBR Fox Sports Radio. We break down all of the big SEC matchups in Week 2 of the college football season.


How LSU Misses Mathieu on the "Mustang"

Carter "The Power" Bryant Monday, August 20, 2012
Tyrann Mathieu was college football's most dynamic player. His ball skills, awareness and playmaking ability may never be seen again. But he needed a little help from his friends too.

LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis' 3-2-6 "Mustang" package is the defensive version of a "spread" offense. It uses speed and space to create matchup advantages for the Tigers defense. No player benefitted more from this than "The Honey Badger".

LSU has many holes to fill in this innovative formation, none bigger than Mathieu. This film study will show why.

Let's dive into one of many Mathieu's iconic plays from last season: the strip, sack and touchdown versus Kentucky in Tiger Stadium. Let's hit the tape!

In the above photo, LSU is lined up in Chavis' 3-2-6 "Mustang" package. The numbers before the word "package" simply means how many of each position are on the field at one time. As you can see in the photo, LSU has three defensive lineman (players with their hand on the ground), two linebackers and six defensive backs, thus the numbers 3-2-6.

Before we continue with this defensive masterpiece from "Chief" Chavis, let's go through a couple of important pre-snap situations.

1) The formation's personel.

The best aspect of the "Mustang" defense from last season is it allowed LSU as many defensive backs on the field as possible. With six defensive backs who all can tackle and force turnovers, it causes headaches for offenses.

"Mustang" uses the best aspect of LSU's defensive line from last season and will be again this season, which is their speed. LSU has three defensive ends on the field for this play in Kiki Mingo (nearside defensive end in a "5-technique"), Lavar Edwards (noseguard in a "zero technique") and Sam Montgomery (farside defensive end "5 technique"). All three are athletic enough to drop back into coverage, which is important to remember as we move along.

The defense more importantly masked the Tigers' lack of depth at linebacker after losing Kelvin Sheppard from the year before. The linebackers on the field could be easily mistaken for defensive backs. The undersized Ryan Baker had great speed and Karnell Hatcher was a converted linebacker after being a safety the year before.

In personel alone, LSU has 11 players on the field who can all tackle, make plays on the ball and drop back in coverage. I would hate to be Kentucky quarterback Max Smith.

2) Game Situation

It is third and 10 Kentucky's own territory. LSU is up by three touchdowns and the Wildcats have been 1/9 on third down conversions. While Chavis is known for being conservative on third and long, even he knows this is an opportune time to take a chance against an awful quarterback.

3) This play's "Mustang" variation

Chavis shows an all-out blitz before the snap. To go along with three defensive lineman, LSU has four other defenders lining up along the line of scrimmage. Mathieu (labeled "TM) is the nearside "nickelback" and Ron Brooks (labeled "Ron") is the farside "dimeback". As previously mentioned, Hatcher (labeled "KH") and Baker (labeled "Ryan") are the linebackers. Both linebackers form a "Double A-Gap" blitz look presnap, which puts even more pressure on the center who usually makes the blocking calls for the rest of the line.

(Note: "A-Gaps" are the gaps located between the center and guard, "B-Gaps" between guard and tackle, and "C-Gap" is between tackle and tight end)

These type of plays can't be possible without lockdown corners on the outside. Tharold Simon is the far side cornerback and Mo Claiborne (not pictured) is on the near side. Both are playing press-man coverage, which means Chavis has plenty of faith in them to not get beat deep. Reliable safeties Eric Reid and Brandon Taylor helps too. Their job is simple, locate receivers and don't let them get behind you.

Kentucky is lined up with three receivers. With a running back to the left of the quarterback Smith and a tight end on the left side of the line of scrimmage, the Wildcats theoretically have seven possible blockers to block the seven possible defenders going directly to the quarterback.

The running back being on the left side of the quarterback shows respect to Mathieu's playmaking ability. Chavis and the LSU defense wins big on this play because they manipulate the running back's assignment, forcing him to choose which defender to block.

Chavis says Mathieu is "the most natural football player" he has ever been around. Chavis designed this blitz for Mathieu to make a supernatural play.

After the snap, it seems all seven LSU defenders at the line of scrimmage are coming after the quarterback. All seven fired off hard and low, getting good push on the Wildcat offensive line. Because of the "Double A-Gap" look pre-snap, the running back's first read is to block one of the blitzing linebackers. 

In the middle of the screen, you see Hatcher (KH) attack the right side "A-Gap" he was lined up over pre-snap and the nose tackle, Edwards, shoots the left side "A-Gap" Baker (Ryan) previously occupied. What Baker does on this play is what some coaches call a "loop" or a "twist" to the opposite side "B-Gap".  

The goal of this play was for Hatcher and Edwards to occupy blockers so Baker can run free without any offensive lineman touching him. Kiki Mingo (Kiki) does a great job of getting a push on the offensive tackle to make sure he doesn't chip inside to help block Baker. This also essentially gives Mathieu (TM) a free run to the quarterback because Kentucky's tight end was assigned a passing route.   

After looking at this slide, we see some new developments for the LSU defense. The first of which is Mingo (Kiki).

After giving the tackle the impression he was on a regular pass rush, Mingo drops back into coverage. This is called a "zone blitz". Even though he is no longer rushing, the Kentucky left tackle is still keyed on Mingo. Because Mingo faked the rush so well, the tackle has no chance to help out on Mathieu (TM) or Baker (Ryan).

Before we get to Mathieu, praise must be given to two players.

Cornerback Tharold Simon (TS) is at the top of the screen. Smith sees man coverage on the right side, but the receiver is struggling to get off of Simon's "Jam" because of his strength, speed and long arms. Because Smith is a garbage quarterback, he is dead meat holding on the the football so long after an easy "all-out blitz" pre-snap read.

Also, Ron Brooks (Ron) on the top of the screen is having a technically beautiful rush versus a huge right tackle. After a great fire-off, Brooks is dipping his shoulder around the corner and not allowing the tackle's arm to extend to his body.

But where the true beauty of Chavis' is seen with Baker (Ryan) and Mathieu (TM). Usually, a running back's first option in blocking in shotgun is a free blitzer to the inside. In this case, Baker has a free lane to the quarterback.

But Baker was intentionally sent on a loop to that side because it is essentially created delay to give Mathieu more time to have a free run at the quarterback. While the running back is still keyed on Baker, Mathieu's speed and angle of a blitz allows him a free shot at Smith. In the above picture, it is clear the Kentucky running back is "no-man's land".

As you can see, the running back couldn't reach Mathieu (TM) in time to block him. Because of the "loop" technique from Baker (Ryan), he isn't blocked either. Brooks (Ron) has also turned the corner on his right tackle after a textbook blitz around a slower, bigger player.

Simon still is not giving his receiver any room to breathe and quarterback Max Smith is about to get pulverized because he has no time. Hatcher (KH), Edwards and Montgomery all are doing a solid job of occupying their blockers and coverage everywhere else is great.


Smith is crunched by Mathieu (TM) and Brooks (Ron) at the same time. If for some reason they missed the quarterback, Baker (Ryan) would have leveled him too. Now what Mathieu does after that is just special.

Mathieu located the football in Smith's hand and stripped it while in mid-air. His timing on the strip was impeccable. The ball is loose and all "The Honey Badger" has to do is pick the ball up and walk into the end zone. 


I believe this play summed up LSU's historic season on defense. It had a mixture of every great aspect of the LSU defense. The genius and innovation of Chavis (the "Mustang"), unselfishness of some to hold blockers (Mingo, Hatcher, Montgomery, Edwards), the athletic ability of beating their man in one on one battles (Brooks, Claiborne, Simon), reliable safety play (Reid, Taylor), spectacular blitzing (Baker, Mathieu) and a special play from "The Honey Badger". 

The defense was stingy. They bludgeoned their opponents. It's not that often a defense runs up a score on an opponent. LSU took pride in that. 

As we know by now, Mathieu was kicked off the team. Everybody seems to have the opinion of "the 2012 LSU defense will survive without Mathieu but will miss the special play". They are right, and this is film proof of that. 

As we saw on this play, LSU still would have gotten a huge sack from Brooks or Baker if Mathieu was replaced by somebody else. But the Tigers probably wouldn't have gotten the strip sack for a touchdown.

This is why Chavis must find answers soon. LSU struggled getting pass rush without blitzing last year. If the Tigers have to play more traditional defenses and blitz less frequently, there could be trouble for the Bayou Bengals defense.

They need to have defensive backs who can fill the roll of not only Mathieu, but Brooks as well. Losing Mathieu may have as much to do with depth as it does production. On this play, all six defensive backs are bonafide NFL players. LSU will be without four of them next season.

The LSU defense can be special this season. How special be continued.

Especially if their most special player is "The Honey Badger".

(Video) LSU Commit Jeremy Liggins Highlights and Announcement

Sit back and enjoy LSU's latest quarterback commit Jeremy Liggins. Liggins said LSU was out of the race, but he probably had a change of heart when he figured out how terrible of a program Mississippi State and Ole Miss is compared to LSU. 

If he can't contribute at quarterback as a freshman because of Zach Mettenberger, he can easily fill the hole left by defensive tackle Michael Brockers. Enjoy these highlights from the big fella (via 247 Sports)...

And here is video of Liggins making his announcement to LSU (via TSD)...

Liggins Chooses LSU from Benjamin L Garrett on Vimeo.

Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower.

(VIDEO) Former LSU Tight End Deangelo Peterson Recaps His Senior Bowl Experience and Offensive Woes Versus Alabama

After the Senior Bowl, Deangelo Peterson feels he increased his draft stock. He also commented on LSU's inability to move the ball on offense. Earlier in the week, Peterson commented on LSU's lack of offensive production due to questionable play-calling and execution versus Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.

Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower.

Jordan Jefferson Has No Excuses

Carter "The Power" Bryant Sunday, January 29, 2012 , , , , , ,
Why couldn't Brees be a Tiger for one game?
Photo via NFL Trade Rumors
Sorry for the delay on another post. Life has been difficult with media appearances, school work, life and movies starring Gina Carano. 

I am not a former quarterback or a professional talent evaluator at the position. I have never played the position outside of football camps or in the sandlot. While quarterback is the most glamourous position in sports, it is also the hardest. 

There is so much that needs to go right in order to play quarterback at any level. Do you have the weapons surrounding? Do you have the protection from the big men up front? Are you in the right scheme with a consistent playcalling? Can you handle pressure? How do you react to the good, bad and ugly? Do you have the work ethic? Can you rip apart film and then apply it to your abilities on the field?

As I began to type this column (which was weeks ago), Saints superstar quarterback Drew Brees tweeted he had arrived in San Francisco for their playoff game showdown versus the 49ers. Here is the Tweet...


BCS National Championship Film Study -- Would LSU Quarterback Jarrett Lee Have Made a Difference? (Part III)

LSU fans shared this same look as Gary Coleman on Jan. 9th
Photo via Black Sports Online
Here is Part I & Part II of the "Would Jarrett Lee Have Made a Difference" film study. I highly advise you read Part II, because it plays a big role in this column. 

LSU fans had hope. 

Struggling quarterback Jordan Jefferson fired a dart, complete to Odell Beckaham Jr. for 19 yards. This was LSU's longest play of the evening, showing the slightest glimpse of optimism for the offense against the wild, raging bulls wearing Crimson on the other side of the ball. 

The LSU offense would struggle to create any offense after that. They only had one play go for over ten yards for the rest of the game. But on this completion to Beckham Jr., there was a cheer of relief amongst the LSU fans. There wasn't much cheering on January 9th, 2012. 

But if you don't like bad news, quit reading this column. This was actually LSU's MOST FRUSTRATING offensive play of the night, as it summed up quarterbacking play of the last four years...never too bad, never too good, but definitely never elite. 

I know what you are thinking..." HOW CAN THIS BE THE 'MOST FRUSTRATING' PLAY OF THE NIGHT? WE ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING POSITIVE! I DIDN'T HAVE TO HEAR 'ROLL TIDE.'" It seems and sounds stupid. You probably have the same face as my friend Gary Coleman in the picture above after reading what I wrote in the previous paragraph.

What I always remind people of is that stats don't lie, but they can deceive. Film never lies or deceive. Let's roll this beautiful bean footage and I'll show you what I'm talking about....


BCS National Championship Film Study -- Would LSU Quarterback Jarrett Lee Have Made a Difference? (Part II)

Beckham Jr. and the offense failed to make explosive plays.
Photo via Washington Post
To read Part I of the "Would LSU Quarterback Jarrett Lee Have Made a Difference?" film study, click here


LSU missed a golden opportunity to score a touchdown on either of their first two offensive plays of the first half. Or, in a more joking manner, a golden opportunity to get past the 50 yard line. 

Now before I begin, I believe the toughest position to evaluate is quarterback. I think quarterbacks can only be evaluated by former quarterbacks and professional talent evaluators. Outside of football camp and sandlot pickup, I have never played the position. But because this Jefferson and Lee controversy is so rampant here in Baton Rouge, I decided to give it my best shot. But I am a better evaluator of the front seven and the running game.  

Much was made after the game by the horrendous play calling by coach Greg Studwara, Les Miles and the LSU coaching staff. But these next few film sessions might help open your eyes to show that the execution wasn't the best either.

LSU was effective on Nov. 5 with two plays against Alabama. The first was the option, which Alabama crushed to perfection in the first half in the championship game. But the other was with straight vertical passing routes, which LSU didn't do enough of in this game (as "The Cajun Cannon" pointed out).

After watching the tape, it seems as if the LSU coaching staff was saving the vertical passing plays to come with in the third quarter, which makes sense. They figured Alabama would come out compared for it, so they probably wanted to lull them to sleep and then hit them with deep ones coming out in the third quarter. If history means anything, Alabama avoided near collapse in their last National Championship game versus Texas when the Longhorns began their comeback in the third quarter.  


BCS National Championship Film Study -- Would LSU Quarterback Jarrett Lee Have Made a Difference?

Lee was strapped up, ready to go on Jan. 9th.
Photo via TheSportsFanJournal
LSU fans are reeling the Tigers got their "ass whopped" by Alabama. After the BCS National Championship Game, I have never heard the term "ass-whipping" more in my life. But the Crimson Tide openend every canned flavor of "Whoop-Ass" ever made on the Tigers in the Superdome. I could name more kinds of "Whoop-Ass" flavors the Crimson Tide opened up on Jan. 9th than Bubba Blue could name kinds of shrimp in "Forrest Gump."

After the game, I saw the grounds crew of the Superdome having to scrub the chalk outlines of the LSU offensive line off the turf. Thank goodness the red confetti covered it quickly so it wouldn't be more evident at first. Alabama's defensive front manhandled LSU in the trenches.

The main questions circling around fans is Les Miles' decision not to insert Jarrett Lee after Jordan Jefferson's horrific first half against the Crimson Tide. Horrendous play calling aside, Jefferson sucked. Miles said the pass rush was going to be too much of an issue for Lee. Maybe these next few stats will help make things a little clearer for this quarterback dilema. 


LSU Versus Alabama Film Study -- Crimson Tide Fight for a First Down

Reid & TR3 went head on all game. This is from the below play.
Photo via Naples News
This piece is a part of the "LSU Versus Alabama Film Study" in route to the BCS National Championship. To read the opening piece on the ultimate reason why Alabama lost to LSU, click here. Here is Part I & Part II of Alabama's first offensive drive. Here is the first installment & the second installment of the LSU offense. 

As many of you know, I am presently in New Orleans covering BCS National Championship Game for numerous outlets. Because of that, I am now going to pick out plays that I found interesting. This study won't be as precise as the other ones, but who cares. I want to go out and party. 

(Side Note: Here are a few interviews I've done so far with Alabama's Jim McElwain and DeQuan Menzie as well as syndicated radio host Paul Finebaum of the "Paul Finebaum Radio Network.")

Here we go. 

Play #21
Trent Richardson runs left for 4 yards, gets first down

This play was actually well defended by LSU, except for a few parts. Let's hit the tape. 


LSU Versus Alabama Film Study -- The Tigers Continue Their First Drive

LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle (2) runs past Alabama defensive back DeQuan Menzie (24) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
LSU WR Randle battled CB Menzie all game on Nov. 5.
Photo via Naples News
This piece is a part of the "LSU Versus Alabama Film Study." To read the opening piece on the ultimate reason why Alabama lost to LSU, click here. Here is Part I & Part II of Alabama's first offensive drive. Here is the first part of the LSU offense. 

                                                                        Play #9
Jarrett Lee to Odell Beckham Jr. for 13 yards. 

Fantastic play call by LSU offensive coordinator Greg Studwara after a great run on first down. Alabama crowded the line of scrimmage, Rueben Randle goes into motion and stops right next to right tackle Alex Hurst

Hurst, like he did on the first play, gets beat at the line of scrimmage by Courtney Upshaw off the snap. While pass protection everywhere else was good on the play for LSU, Upshaw gets to Lee quickly. 

Beckham has been fantastic all year on intermediate routes, especially when Lee has been in at quarterback. He is sharp getting in and out of breaks and does a great job not giving away his route to the defensive back. In this case, the defensive back was Coaches All-American cornerback DeQuan Menzie.

Lee does a great of getting rid of the football before Upshaw is able to get to him.  

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