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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. 

1) Lee in his career versus Alabama has one touchdown and seven interceptions. He also set the record for "deer in headlights" looks for a quarterback in one half versus Alabama on Nov. 5.  

2) In the past three years, Jefferson is one of three quarterbacks to have beaten Alabama. The other two are Cam Newton and Stephen Garcia. Jefferson is the only one to do it twice. 

Notice the similarities in the three quarterbacks in stat #2. They are all mobile. It is essentially the only way to defeat this Alabama defense. I said it before the game on Nov. 5 on here and on every radio outlet I went on before the game. 

Sure Lee contributed to the first Jefferson victory with a nice fourth quarter strike to Rueben Randle to help seal the victory in 2010 in Tiger Stadium, but Jefferson did most of the work. Jefferson also accounted for more than 90 percent of LSU's offense in their victory on Nov. 5 of this season. 

I am not a fan of Jefferson. I think he is an average quarterback who has had more downs than ups. I've always thought Lee should be the starting quarterback, even before this season and after the Alabama game. But against the Crimson Tide, Lee has no chance. The Crimson Tide tees off on pocket quarterbacks. 

I spoke with Alabama outside linebacker and BCS National Championship Defensive MVP Courtney Upshaw on Nov. 5, for a few seconds at BCS Media Day and about 15 minutes after the game on Monday. He has high football IQ and told me some interesting tidbits on Jefferson. 

Upshaw terrorized the LSU offense Monday night.
Photo via
After the game on Nov. 5, Upshaw told me Jefferson's legs changed the game. Upshaw said they were prepared for JJ, but his speed was able to attack the edges with the option and when the passing plays broke down. Against Lee, Upshaw said in pass rushing situations keeping contain and rush lanes weren't as important. 

In my conversation with Upshaw on Monday, he said the defensive line put in a technique the Alabama defense called "mush rush." He explained it to me as a passive-agressive form of attacking the mobile Jefferson. The purpose is to just get push on the pocket while maintaing pass-rush lane discipline without over-penetrating the play. 

"In the first game, we got ourselves too far up field and got blocked too easily," said Upshaw. "Tonight we wanted to keep him in the pocket and make him hold on to the ball longer." 

A dejected Lee told me after the game he felt his offense did a solid job of calling deep pass routes. Lee has been a hard working player for LSU Football in his five years at the program and always been a pleasant conversation. He shared with me three years ago how much he loved going to play golf with his father. The fan inside of me wants to shout and say he deserved a chance versus the Tide last Monday. 

But one thing will always hold true in football. The film never lies. So before I throw gasoline on the idea of not allowing Lee an opportunity, I will rewatch the tape of every offensive play run in the second half. 

The reason why I will start in the second half is because I believe Jefferson deserved the right to play the entire first half after beating Alabama earlier this year. With this film, we can make a rational decision on if Lee deserved an opportunity to play.

So in the next week, I will try my hardest to watch as much film as possible. Please be patient because watching this film is devastating. A team I grew up loving got blown out by their rival on the biggest stage in my most beloved sporting venue.  

But looking back at it the game, that was perfect ending of how the last four years of quarterbacking have been at LSU. I don't know if college football has ever seen anything quite like this anywhere else since Ryan Perrilloux was dismissed from the program in 2008. So what other ending could you have expected? 

Stay tuned in the next couple of days. For now Louisiana...WHO DAT!!! 

Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower.


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