BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - This week Baton Rouge's Varsity Theatre announced wailing rocker and late 80s heartthrob Sebastian Bach is coming to town. Yes, I would be the one person to notice. Anyway, the 45-year old Bach and his long, blonde locks will appear at the venue December 6. That also happens to be the same day the SEC Championship Game is played in Atlanta. If LSU hopes to reach the contest, instead of being at home for the concert (okay, they wouldn't go anyway) the Tigers could draw on the title and lyrics from one of Bach's biggest hits with his old band.
"We stand and we won't fall. We're the one and one for all The writing's on the wall. We are the youth gone wild." Youth Gone Wild - Skid Row
Yes, if No. 15 LSU plans on upsetting No. 5 Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night, the kids need to be set loose. To head coach Les Miles' credit, that's been done this season, with 20 of LSU's 26 offensive touchdowns being scored by true freshmen. However, the first SEC road trip of the season often causes coaches to break out into conservative hives with a young team. This is not the time for that.
As you probably know, true freshman quarterback Brandon Harris will be making his first career start before 87,000 screaming maniacs. Think 1989, Skid Row opening for Motley Crue before Guns N Roses closes the place down. That's the kind of noise we're talking. If LSU had a heavy metal defense, I'd say play it close to the vest early and avoid that first costly mistake. But, Harris' tremendous skill set, intelligence and confidence, combined with the fact the Tigers defense has been absolutely ripped by the two quality teams they've played (Wisconsin - 268 yards rushing, Mississippi State - 302) tells me "let er rip."
I could be totally wrong. Maybe this is the day LSU's defense returns to it's old, stifling ways. But the odds of LSU winning a low-scoring game against Auburn and brilliant offensive head coach Gus Malazahn just don't appear very good. The Bayou Bengals will likely need to score and score big to win a shootout.
Harris needs to open the game in the shotgun, not the I-formation. Continuing with our "Youth Gone Wild" theme, true freshman Leonard Fournette needs to get the bulk of the carries on the ground. Fournette is LSU's leading rusher through five games, but known best nationally at this point for striking a Heisman pose against Sam Houston State. Like Harris, Fournette has a huge opportunity in front of him. He says the game has slowed down since the season opener and the cuts are easier to read and make. Does Fournette's first, true signature moment arrive against Auburn? LSU fans are salivating over that thought.
And, those crazy teens can catch, too. True freshman Malachi Dupre (who turns 19 in just over a week) has overcome an early injury to thrive as of late. Dupre has caught three touchdowns combined in the last two games alone, all thrown from Harris. I'm not advocating total "Street Ball," but Harris on the move improvising and Dupre running deep patterns could lead to huge offensive results for LSU. Fellow true freshman Trey Quinn (19 years old) is second on the team in receptions and is quickly emerging also.
Defensively, at least two youngsters will likely be unleashed and instructed to be reckless - true freshman safety Jamal Adams and sophomore linebacker Kendell Beckwith. Adams is expected to receive more reps, with sophomore defensive back and playmaker Dwayne Thomas reportedly out for the season with a knee injury. The pleas to give Beckwith more snaps have been made from fans for over a year. This could be the night he gets big opportunities and seizes them.
Many LSU fans find themselves in a spot that has been rare during the Les Miles era. They're hoping to win this game, not expecting to. "Youth Gone Wild" is the Bayou Bengals' best shot. And, clown me all you want, but I'll be checking out Sebastian in December if LSU is at home.
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