Coming into this current season, the LSU Tigers football team had expectations of course but there were few and far between that believed they could compete for the SEC conference. Fast forward to now, a few days away from the SEC championship game and the Tigers are representing the SEC West.
With new head coach Brian Kelly in the mix, the Tigers were expected to compete but the growth that the program has taken under Kelly has been incredible. With wins at Florida, at Arkansas, and two home wins against Ole Miss and Alabama, the season has been a major success.
LSU stumbled this past weekend against a poor Texas A&M team on the road, all but costing them their low chances at reaching the College Football Playoff. However, this season has gone better than anyone in Baton Rouge could have expected.
Year 1 of @CoachBrianKelly :
-Finish 9-3 in regular season
-Win the SEC West
-Beat Auburn & Florida on the road for the 1st time ever in same season
-Beat Bama/Nick Saban in OT
-Play for SECC game
— Chessa Bouche (@chessabouche) November 27, 2022
The team progressed throughout the year after a season opening loss to Florida State. They came together as a team and became a force in the loaded SEC. Even behind inconsistent quarterback play at times, the Tigers found ways to win games.
Quarterback Jayden Daniels came over to Baton Rouge from Arizona State and solidified himself as the starter early on. He was shaky at times but for a guy who came over from the Pac-12, he adjusted to the toughness of the SEC pretty quickly. On the year, Daniels has thrown for 2566 yards and 15 touchdowns with only two interceptions.
But it’s on the ground that Daniels made his presence known. After a full season, Daniels rushed for 824 yards and 11 scores. He averaged 4.7 yards per rush and made life extrmemely tough for opposing defenses.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers have been impressive. Led by freshman Harold Perkins, the LSU defense has given teams fits all year long. Perkins has posted 59 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, and one interception during his first season in college. He has made a name for himself and is on track to be the next great defensive player at LSU.
As the team enters the SEC championship game against the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs, a win would be impressive. Georgia has been the best team all season long and if LSU could win the SEC during Brian Kelly’s first year as head coach, it could go a long way. Even a loss to Georgia, the fact that this team has a chance to play for the SEC crown is impressive. Many people picked them to finish last in the SEC West and they are far from that prediction.
The first year under Kelly’s leadership has laid the path forward for this team. They are a clear force in the SEC and with his own recruitments coming in the next few years, watch out for the Tigers.