Tag:Jordan Jefferson
Posted on: October 1, 2011 3:41 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 1 LSU 35, Kentucky 7

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

LSU WON: SEC wins simply don't get more ho-hum than this. Kentucky gained just 59 yards of offense through three quarters and didn't penetrate any further than the LSU 47 until fewer than nine minutes remained, meaning that even as the LSU offense sputtered -- 8-of-21 passing for Jarrett Lee and fewer than 4 yards per-carry probably weren't what the home crowd had in mind -- their 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter was never remotely threatened. The game had two bursts of excitement: when Jordan Jefferson came off the bench to sneak in from a yard out for that first LSU touchdown, and when budding Heisman candidate Tyrann Mathieu stripped replacement Wildcat quarterback Maxwell Smith, recovered the fumble, and returned it for his second touchdown of the season. 

WHY LSU WON: Because the collision of the impotent Kentucky offense and the ruthless LSU defense was as brutally one-sided as you'd expect. The Wildcats' first five drives all ended in three-and-outs as the Tiger defensive line crushed any efforts at running the ball -- their first nine attempts went for five yards or fewer -- and Kentucky starting quarterback Morgan Newton had been sacked twice before he completed his first pass ... on his 10th attempt. That Joker Phillips sent the true freshman Smith on for the second half ... against LSU ... down 14 ... in Death Valley should tell you the depths of the Wildcats' desperation.

The Wildcats' only realistic hope of getting on the board against LSU's first string was a turnover or huge special teams play. But the Tigers never lost a fumble or threw an interception, and committed just four penalties. The list of teams that can beat the Tigers when they commit that few mistakes is very, very short, and Kentucky most assuredly isn't on it.

WHEN LSU WON: The Tigers' 14-0 lead at halftime was more-or-less unassailable, but the win might as well have gone into the record books when they took their first drive of the second half 68 yards in 10 plays, capping it with a one-yard Alfred Blue plunge. At 21-0, Kentucky's chances of coming back were identical to their chances of coming back if the score was 437-0.

WHAT LSU WON: Another boost to Mathieu's All-American campaign, another notch in the win column, plenty of rest for the Tiger starters in the late-going. Aside from a little more crispness on offense, Les Miles couldn't have asked for much more.

WHAT KENTUCKY LOST: Just another bit of confidence in their offense to do anything against top-notch defensive competition. But given how little was expected of the Wildcats going on the road to face the No. 1 team in the nation, not much else.

Posted on: September 29, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:43 am
 

PODCAST: McMurphy on Week 5

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's a big week for news down in Baton Rouge, what with LSU's big win over West Virginia, Jordan Jefferson's return to the team, and Les Miles suddenly a potential NFL head coaching candidate. In this edition of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast, senior writer Brett McMurphy talks to our Adam Aizer about all of that and much more: Clemson's visit to Virginia Tech, Mark Emmert's efforts to clear college football's good name, and which top 25 team is in upset trouble this weekend.

Listen by clicking below, downloading the mp3, or popping out the player to continue browsing. And to make sure you don't miss and future appearances from McMurphy on the CFB Podcast, subscribe in iTunes by clicking here.

Posted on: September 29, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 3:32 pm
 

So now what for Jordan Jefferson?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Jordan Jefferson is back, the senior quarterback having rejoined LSU's team (and even due to practice Thursday) after having his felony charges reduced to misdemeanor status by a grand jury Wednesday.
But getting back on the roster is only the beginning for Jefferson, whose final season in Baton Rouge still faces any number of questions. With the help of CBSSports.com LSU RapidReporter Glenn Guilbeau, here's the best answers to those questions we have at the moment:

Is Jefferson totally in the clear as far as suspensions go, then? Where Les Miles and the athletic department are concerned, yes. But associate athletic director Herb Vincent has said the LSU Dean of Students "has its own process" and could suspend Jefferson over the reduced simple battery charge. If the Dean the combination of Jefferson's high profile and relative lenience from the football program (remember that he remained free of public punishment until he was arrested) looks bad for the institution, there could be motivation for intervening.

But we doubt it's going to come to that. Expect Jefferson to remain on the active roster for the remainder of the season.

Could Jefferson play this Saturday against Kentucky? Miles seemingly changed his tune on this overnight, saying late Wednesday he did not expect Jefferson to be in uniform before declining to rule out playing time on Thursday.

While Jefferson is, obviously, woefully short of on practice time, the Kentucky game could represent the perfect opportunity for Miles to return him to the field. The game is likely to be well out of hand by its late stages; Jefferson's debut would be over and done with rather than becoming a potential distraction as the Tigers prepare for more rugged opponents; Kentucky's questionable run defense should allow him to enjoy some on-field success and confidence in the process of getting his 2011 feet wet.

So despite Miles calling the prospect "unlikely," it won't surprise us at all if Jefferson does take the field late in the game Saturday.

Can Jefferson reclaim his starting job from Jarrett Lee? Miles stated flatly that Lee is his starting quarterback, and barring a surprise defeat and/or a sudden, dramatic downturn in Lee's performance, that shouldn't change. As dynamic as the Tiger defense and special teams have been, the biggest difference between these 2011 Tigers and the past few editions -- which also featured dynamic defense and special teams -- has been the offense's ability to step on the opponent's proverbial throat when handed the opportunity.

Lee's efficient-bordering-on-outright-good play has been a major part of that, most notably in his 16-of-28, 3-TD, 0 INT performance on the road in Morgantown. Not even the Hatter would be Mad enough to mess with the kind of success LSU's enjoyed so far this season, so Jefferson won't be able to take the job away; Lee can only lose it.

So what kind of role can Jefferson expect? We'll let Miles do the talking here: "Just like a year ago when Lee played in every game, there would be that opportunity that Jordan Jefferson would play in every game as well."

Lee's role was as the change-of-pace quarterback Miles has always preferred to rotate in for a series here or there (remember Ryan Perriloux helping win the Tigers' 2007 national title? Miles does), and Jefferson's instantaneuous promotion to second-string over Zach Mettenberger suggests Miles isn't kidding when he talks about getting Jefferson playing time. But whereas Lee came in to add an aerial element in 2010, Jefferson will be expected to use his legs and elusiveness to give the running game a boost.

Given that Jefferson never seemed to reach his potential as an every-down quarterback, focusing on a limited package specifically tailored to his strengths could make him more effective than ever. As long as Lee continues his solid play, Lee with Jefferson as the off-the-bench curveball offers far more potential than Jefferson giving way to the more-conventional Lee.

No one would argue that the bar brawl and Jefferson's suspension have been good things for LSU ... but it's nonetheless possible they could wind up accidentally forcing Miles into best-case quarterback scenario he never quite found the past three seasons.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 1:04 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2011 1:12 pm
 

QB Jefferson to take stand as grand jury convenes

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Jordan Jefferson
will have the opportunity to tell the court his version of the Aug. 19 bar fight that resulted in his felony arrest--in his own words.

That's the news from Jefferson attorney Lewis Unglesby, who per CBSSports.com RapidReporter Glenn Guilbeau told media that Jefferson would be taking the stand himself during court proceedings next week.

 "Usually the defendant doesn't testify, but Jordan has consistently held the same position," Unglesby said. "He didn't do it."

This news arrives as the local court convenes a grand jury to determine whether ot not to indict Jefferson on his felony second-degree battery charge. According to District Attorney Hillar Moore III, the grand jury could elect to indict the senior quarterback, reduce his charges, or throw them out altogether.

"We want the jury to hear all sides so they can make the appropriate charges, if any," Moore said. He added that the level of "misinformation" and "confusion" surrounding the case has made the grand jury testimony necessary so the conflicting witness accounts can be presented "under oath and under the potential penalty of perjury."

Jefferson apparently won't be the only LSU player testifying to his innocence. Moore also revealed that 18 different Tiger teammates had signed "witness testimony" to the effect that Jefferson had done nothing wrong in the bar fight. Michael Bienvenu, attorney for four non-players injured in the fight, did offer that the players coming forward now -- after the arrests have already been made -- "looks suspicious" from his and his clients' point-of-view.

(Not surprisingly, Les Miles was happy that so many members of his team had come to their teammate's aid. But he was also less than thrilled that so many members had eelcted to break the team's curfew in the first place.)

Now, we're certainly no lawyers. But between

1. The lack of DNA evidence indicting Jefferson (and fellow accused teammate Josh Johns)
2. A DA who seems less-than-entirely-confident in the grand jury following through on the felony battery charge
3. The amount of witness testimony that would seem to exonerate Jefferson (even if testimony also exists that would condemn him)
4. A primary accuser who may not be entirely credible

the prevailing legal trend here would seem to be one in Jefferson's favor. It's not responsible to speculate on what conclusions the grand jury might reach -- or what those conclusiosn might mean for LSU, merrily plugging along with Jarrett Lee at quarterback -- but the door towards a Jefferson return at least appears to be open a crack. For now.
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:58 am
 

DNA evidence inconclusive for Jefferson, Johns

Posted by Adam Jacobi

No. 3 LSU has caught a major break in the August assault case that has kept QB Jordan Jefferson and LB Josh Johns off the field for the first three weeks, as it appears there may not be sufficient evidence linking the two players to the fight. Jefferson and Johns have both been suspended indefinitely since August 26, when both were charged with second degree felonies for their alleged roles in a bar fight that left two men hospitalized.

LSU RapidReporter Glenn Guilbeau has reported that the DNA tests on Jefferson's shoes have been ruled inconclusive by East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore, as have the tests on Johns' shoes. This development isn't quite the same as a full-on exoneration, but it is enough for Jefferson's attorney Lewis Unglesby to declare that Jefferson never should have been arrested in the first place.

Since the assault case is before a grand jury, it's up to that grand jury to decide whether to drop the charges or formally press them, according to Moore. Moore expects the grand jury to meet at least a second time, according to Guilbeau, and does not expect a decision to be made by Wednesday. To that end, it's probably unlikely that Jefferson will be cleared to participate in LSU's game at No. 16 West Virginia this Saturday.

Fortunately for LSU, even if Jefferson were exonerated immediately and allowed to participate in Saturday's contest, there's hardly a guarantee that he would be asked to start, as senior Jarrett Lee has been outstanding in his triumphant return to the starting role at quarterback. In his first three games (including a Dallas game against then-No. 3 Oregon and a road date with then-No. 25 Mississippi State), Lee has thrown for 444 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception in 40-59 passing. Better yet, the Tigers are 3-0 and rolling.

So even as Jefferson had started 27 of his last 28 games before his suspension, and had been considered a lock at starting quarterback before the August 19 assault that Jefferson was allegedly involved in took place, the play of Lee has made Jefferson's return more of a nice bonus than a coming of the cavalry. It will be interesting to see, though, just how long Lee's allowed to stay in a game once Jefferson comes back if the Tigers' passing game starts struggling again. 
Posted on: September 2, 2011 5:12 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2011 5:15 pm
 

PODCAST: Three studs, three duds from Thursday

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the podcast I recorded with Adam Aizer earlier today, looking at the three studs and three duds of Thursday. I picked four studs. I can't do anything right.

Click here to listen in a new window, or listen in the embedded player below.

I should have given extra kudos to Vick Ballard, by the way, mainly because of his name. One, it sounds like the name of a 265-pound running back, the type of guy who really has no business trying to run a 40-yard dash or wearing a form-fitting uniform. It's almost a disappointment that he's an average-sized tailback. And two, because I feel like America needs more young men named Vic, or Vick, or Victor. That's the kind of man that ends up owning an auto care shop -- or at the very least a non-ironic, grease-stained mechanic shirt with that name stitched onto the breast. Vic won't screw you over on that muffler repair. Vic does an honest day's work.

I digress.

Past all that, we talk Wisconsin and Russell Wilson a little more, and also Jordan Jefferson and LSU. I suppose I'm more on Adam Aizer's side than is evident in our answers to the question, in that I never thought this was LSU's year to begin with, but the odds of a win over Oregon are sufficiently lower now with Jarrett Lee under center than with Jefferson that it's fair to say that Jefferson's suspension is costing LSU the shot at the title (rather than, say, costing them the title outright).

Click here to subscribe to the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast on iTunes!

Posted on: September 2, 2011 3:17 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 1

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

While Thursday and Friday night serve as delicious appetizers for the new college football season, one that feels like it took forever to get here, the big games start on Saturday. Since it's been a while since you planted your behind on a couch on a Saturday morning and stayed there all day, you're probably going to need some help navigating through the day.

So lucky for you, the Eye On College Football crew has brought the Saturday Meal Plan back. It's your weekly menu of which games should be on your plate and where you can find them.

BREAKFAST

#18 Ohio State vs. Akron - ESPN, 12pm ET

So many questions for Ohio State on Saturday. Will the Luke Fickell-era offense look any different? Who's going to shine between QBs Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller? How much will the team miss its eight suspended players? Does Akron stand a chance anyway? - Adam Jacobi

#23 Auburn vs. Utah State - ESPN2, 12pm ET

Despite some close calls, Auburn hasn't lost to a school outside the current BCS conferences since Southern Miss upset the Tigers back in 1991. (USM's quarterback that day was a guy named Brett Favre, who would later become famous for inventing the cell phone camera.) So it's going to take a very good team by WAC standards to break that streak, and the Aggies -- the WAC's sixth-place finisher a year ago, now without star quarterback Diondre Borel -- very likely aren't that team. Most of the drama on the Auburn sidelines should concern which of their FBS-high 16 new starters look ready for their close-up, most notably new quarterback Barrett Trotter. But if Trotter and the other Tiger cubs come out nervous -- particularly the true sophomore defensive tackle pairing of Jeffrey Whitaker and Kenneth Carter, who could have their hands full with USU's veteran line -- things could stay competitive for longer than Gene Chizik would like. - Jerry Hinnen

Boston College vs. Northwestern - ESPNU, 12pm ET

You never like to start the season with injury concerns, and that this case for the star player on both these rosters. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa was listed as "questionable" for Saturday's opener as he continues to recover from an achilles injury that ended his 2010 campaign, but popular belief seems to be that he will see the field. Boston College running back Montel Harris underwent his second arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss the game. Making matters even more difficult for the Eagles was an ankle sprain to talented backup Andre Williams. Williams will start and appears ready to go, but there will be more pressure on quarterback Chase Rettig to establish a passing attack against the Northwestern defense. Don't expect Persa to get any easy looks from the Boston College defense, led by All-American linebacker Luke Kuechly. - Chip Patterson

LUNCH

#16 Notre Dame vs. South Florida - NBC, 3:30pm ET

Year Two of the Brian Kelly Era in South Bend gets under way in a game against a former Notre Dame coach, and the son of the man who last brought a national championship to the school, Skip Holtz. There's a lot to look at in this game for both teams. Namely, will Notre Dame finally start to live up to the expectations placed on it every season, and which B.J. Daniels is going to show up for South Florida? - Tom Fornelli

#25 USC vs. Minnesota - ABC/ESPN2, 3:30pm ET

Perhaps it is saying something about how quiet Lane Kiffin has been at USC that one of the more notable things about this game is actually about the opposing coach. The Jerry Kill era begins in earnest on the road and he brings a Minnesota team that barely resembles the one that lost to the Trojans a year ago. The Gophers will compete with dual-threat MarQueis Gray at quarterback and a solid linebacking corps but it will be a tough task to pull of the upset against the firepower of the USC offense. Matt Barkley and Robert Woods are a fun pair to watch while Trojan fans will be nervous to see if the defense looks any better than it did last year. - Bryan Fischer

Michigan vs. Western Michigan - ABC/ESPN2, 3:30 pm ET

It's a new era for Michigan -- again -- and Brady Hoke's charges are going to face a stiff challenge from MAC stalwarts Western Michigan. Yes, seriously. The Wolverines probably won't be suffering for points with Denard Robinson leading the new offense, but the Broncos are more than capable of hanging around in this one, as standout QB Alex Carder should find plenty of opportunities to advance the ball through the air. Keep an eye on this one for some possible afternoon fireworks. - AJ

Ole Miss vs. BYU - ESPN, 4:45pm ET

Life in the SEC West isn't easy for anybody, but if Ole Miss is going to get to six wins and back to a bowl game this year, then this is one of those games the Rebels need to win. Though it's not like BYU is just going to hand the game to them, as the Cougars would like to get their new life as an independent off on the right foot, and what better way to do that than by getting a win against the SEC? - TF

DINNER

#22 Florida vs. FAU - ESPNU, 7pm ET

The first sign that not everything was well in Gatorland in 2010 was Florida's season opener vs. Miami (Ohio), when Urban Meyer's team gained all of 25 yards through three quarters and wheezed their way to a 34-12 victory. Unfortunately for Meyer, the RedHawks wound up one of the nation's most surprising teams. But just as fortunately for Will Muschamp, his debut as Gator head coach shouldn't be nearly so stressful--FAU has been pegged for the bottom rungs of the Sun Belt, and will be breaking in a new quarterback and six new defensive starters in the Swamp. Most Gator fans should wind up watching quarterback John Brantley rather than the scoreboard, as a steady, solid outing by the much-maligned senior would boost his and his team's confidence considerably. - JH

#1 Oklahoma vs. Tulsa - FX, 8pm ET

The Sooners are the preseason favorite of many people throughout the country, and Saturday night will be their first chance to show people why. This game had a lot more upset potential before the arrest and suspension of Tulsa wide receiver Damaris Johnson, but the possibility that it's a lot closer than most would expect is still there. - TF

#4 LSU vs. #3 Oregon - ABC, 8pm ET

It's not just the game of this year's opening week; it would be the game of every year's opening week. And that's just looking at the rankings of the two teams--add in the Will Lyles drama at both schools, the Tigers' August bar brawl and subsequent Jordan Jefferson suspension, Cliff Harris' and Russell Shepard's respective troubles, Chip Kelly's history of nonconference woes, Jarrett Lee's potential redemption, LaMichael James kicking off his Heisman campaign, the bevy of other All-American candidates on both rosters, and the one-and-only Les Miles, and this game is as intriguing as intriguing gets. For the Ducks, victory may come down to their revamped offensive front giving Darron Thomas enough space to get Kelly's option-game going. Tiger end Sam Montgomery, though, is the kind of elite defensive lineman the Ducks have struggled with even with veteran lines. For LSU, if Lee can avoid turnovers, the Tigers' advantage on both lines-of-scrimmage should eventually prove decisive. But given the Ducks' ball-hawking ways, that's much easier said than done. The one thing we can say for certain: we'll be watching. - JH

#19 Georgia vs. #5 Boise State - ESPN, 8pm ET

Another year, another high profile season opener for the Broncos. Heisman candidate Kellen Moore will lead Boise State into a not-so-neutral Georgia Dome to face the Bulldogs in the annual Chick fil-A Kickoff. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who said this week he hopes to emulate Moore's success, will be trying to make his own statement after an impressive freshman season in 2010. The Georgia-heavy crowd in Atlanta will not be the only uphill battle for the Broncos. Boise State is undersized defensively in comparison to the Bulldogs offensive line, and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is sure to use the 3-4 scheme to put some added pressure on Moore. However, Moore does take care of the ball (74-9 TD:Int ratio last two seasons) and Georgia will be counting on the unproven true freshman Isaiah Crowell to anchor the running game. Get the "LAST" button ready, because you'll want to see both Top 25 showdowns in the primetime slot. - CP

LATE NIGHT SNACK

Hawaii vs. Colorado - ESPN2, 10:15pm ET

This Pac-12 life isn't too bad, is it, Colorado? Your very first game and you get a trip to Hawaii to show for it. Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, they still have to face a Hawaii offense featuring dark horse Heisman candidate Bryant Moniz that puts up points in bunches. This game should be an entertaining way to end your Saturday. - TF 
Posted on: September 1, 2011 4:40 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 5:56 pm
 

SEC Interrogation: Week 1

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Each Thursday we demand the SEC give us answers to its most pressing questions. Here those are:

Steve Spurrier: are you really going to voluntarily saddle his team with a full-blown quarterback controversy? The Ol' Ball Coach has always done things his way, and it's safe to say very few other coaches' ways would include telling a fourth-year senior starter he's going to share snaps in a potentially challenging season opener, threatening to bench him if his competition outplays in said opener, and publicly declaring said competiton has outplayed him in preseason scrimmages.

Stephen Garcia has seen and heard it all from his head coach before, of course, and given his off-field history, it makes a certain amount of sense for Spurrier to keep Connor Shaw's confidence and focus at its highest possible point at all times. If the Gamecock schedule gave the team a few weeks' worth of breathers, it would make sense to keep Shaw engaged and Garcia on his toes.

But Spurrier doesn't have that luxury; East Carolina isn't Western Carolina, and the Gamecocks' critical trip to Georgia arrives right on its heels in Week 2. If Shaw (pictured) plays well enough Saturday to force another week's worth of Spurrier waffling, Carolina is going to enter the single most important game of its entire season with a colossal question mark still hanging over the team's collective head. And though we're not Steve Spurrier, we retain serious doubts as to whether that's the best way for it to prepare.

Jarrett Lee: can you avoid making the killer turnover? We won't hide from it: when we wrote in this space not long ago that Les Miles had failed his LSU team by not finding a better replacement for Jordan Jefferson than Zach Mettenberger in his first year out of JUCO or fifth-year senior Lee, yes, that was a knock against Lee. To this point, Lee's career -- a 53.5 career completion percentage, those nation-leading 16 picks in 2008 -- is the sort which, frankly, has to be knocked.

But if Lee has matured into the kind of under-control, safety-first game manager that always seems to be under center at LSU's rivals at Alabama, there's nothing stopping the Tigers from being, well, Alabama; the overpowering line, breakout running back (we see you, Spencer Ware), and lockdown defense are all in place.

Now we just have to find out about Lee, and fortunately, we won't have to wait long. Oregon forced 37 turnovers a year ago, the second-highest total in the nation; even without Cliff Harris, if Lee is loose with the ball, the Ducks are going to take it the other way.

Georgia: how comfortable are you in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense? Much of the pregame chatter regarding Georgia's chances against Boise State have revolved around whether Isaiah Crowell can live up to his considerable hype, and there's no question Crowell's potential impact would give the Dawsg a huge boost.

But just as key -- if not moreso -- will be how the Bulldog defense handles a Bronco offense that's going to come out guns blazing. Chris Petersen and his staff have always been at their best with extra time to prepare, and if the Bulldogs haven't shored up what was an improved-but-hardly-airtight defense from 2010, Kellen Moore and Doug Martin are going to punish those leaks with a quickness. Some of the Dawgs' personnel issues with the 3-4 have been resolved (starting with the ascension of nose tackle Kwame Geathers and the shift of hard-hitting safety Alec Ogletree to inside linebacker), but that doesn't mean all the kinks are ironed out just yet.

And if there's one or two too many kinks remaining, the Broncos could be up big before the Dawgs even know what hit them, much as Virginia Tech discovered a year ago. The Hokies were able to mount a full comeback behind Tyrod Taylor, but with an angry Dawg crowd "behind" a psychologially-fragile 6-7 team, Mark Richt may not be so lucky. Grantham's unit had best be prepared.

Also worth asking: What can Ole Miss accomplish in the air, either offensively or defensively? (Some measure of competence from Barry Brunetti and the rebuilt Rebel secondary would go a long way towards SEC competitiveness.) Does Kentucky have any offensive playmakers? (No Randall Cobb, no Derrick Locke, no Mike Hartline, no Chris Matthews. What's left?) Quarterbacks: how do they look? (In addition to Ole Miss and LSU, there's some level of uncertainty at Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt ... the number of teams in the league that know what they're getting from under center are vastly outnumbered by the ones that don't.)



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com