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College Football Preview 2024: LSU Tigers win projections, strengths and weaknesses, quarterback spotlight and more

2WFB4WX TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 01: LSU Tigers linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. (4) pursues a play on defense during the ReliaQuest Bowl against the Wisconsin Badgers on January 1, 2024 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

LSU fielded the best offense in the country last year, finishing the season with a nation-best 0.391 expected points added per play.

Heisman-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels is gone, as are first-round receivers Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr.but the Tigers offense remains in good hands. The team has an elite offensive line and added reinforcements at receiver through the transfer portal, while new starting quarterback Garrett Nussmeier has flashed when given the opportunity.

The real questions surround the defense, especially the coverage unit, following a putrid 2023 season. But if that improves in 2024, the Tigers could certainly make a 12-team playoff.


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Biggest Strength: Offensive line

The Tigers have one of the best offensive lines in the nation. They also have the best tackle duo in the college game in Will Campbell and Emery Jones, who could be first-round picks come April 2025.

Biggest Weakness: Secondary

LSU had the best offense in America last season but still lost three games due to its immense struggles in coverage. The Tigers finished 92nd in team coverage grade in 2023 and didn’t do much to improve their secondary this offseason.

2023 Team Overview

Offense
EPA per play Yards per play Successful play rate Explosive run play rate Explosive pass play rate
0.391 8.5 48.6% 23.4% 21.5%
1st 1st 1st 2nd 3rd
Defense
EPA allowed per play Yards allowed per play Successful play rate allowed Explosive run rate allowed Explosive pass rate allowed
0.100 6.1 36.5% 18.0% 15.0%
118th T-104th 95th 115th 88th

Three Notable Transfer Portal Additions

Three Notable Transfer Portal Losses

  • RB Logan Diggs (Ole Miss): 78.4 PFF grade
  • OT Lance Heard (Tennessee): 71.4 PFF grade
  • CB Denver Harris (UTSA): 60.1 PFF grade

Quarterback Spotlight: Garrett Nussmeier

2023 Grade: 84.0
Key Stat: 7.9% big-time throw rate since 2021 (third among Power Five quarterbacks with at least 200 dropbacks)

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