What will LSU's Offense Look Like in 2020 Without Ja'Marr Chase?

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

The LSU Tigers had a historic 2019 season. They rolled through the entirety of college football and won the championship, taking down an impressive Clemson team. They were led by Heisman winning quarterback Joe Burrow and the offense was unstoppable. Burrow passed for 5671 yards and 60 touchdowns and ran for 368 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Going into 2020, it was clear LSU was going to need a rebuild after losing 4 out of 5 offensive linemen, Joe Burrow, star receiver Justin Jefferson, and star running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. LSU had 1 main weapon coming back in Ja'Marr Chase. Chase caught 84 passes for 1780 yards and 20 touchdowns and was Joe Burrow's deep threat.

This morning it was announced that he was opting out of the season to prepare for the NFL Draft. He followed the paths of guys like Rondale Moore and Rashod Bateman even though those two weren't going to play anyways. Chase's departure leaves 2 starters from the National Championship game coming back.

So, that leaves the question: Who is going to step it up this year? It all starts with quarterback Myles Brennan. Brennan was Burrow's backup and knows the system well. Even though co-offensive coordinator Joe Brady is gone, his other half Steve Ensminger is back. There is a lot of hype surrounding the strong-armed quarterback. He is tied for the third-highest Heisman trophy odds with 2 big names in Sam Ehlinger and D'Eriq King.

The WR2, Terrace Marshall should get the bump up to WR1. Marshall showed a lot of potential through the first three games as he was playing better than Ja'Marr Chase. He then took a backseat after he got injured. Terrace Marshall is a name to keep an eye on as a potential breakout player for LSU. Don't be surprised is you hear his name come up in the conversation for the best WR in the country.

Racey McMath was the WR3 before Chase opted out and will get bumped up to the WR2. McMath, like Chase, is an excellent deep-ball catcher. He averaged 16.8 yards per reception and had touchdowns of 6, 58, and 60 yards. Don't expect McMath to have a monster year, but he should be a nice complement to Marshall.

Another name to keep an eye on is true freshman tight end Arik Gilbert. He was a 5-Star on every recruiting database and won the Gatorade Men's High School Athlete of the Year award. He has gotten rave reviews from the LSU staff and might even be used as a receiver, despite his 6'5" 249-pound frame.

With Clyde Edwards-Helaire gone, I would expect more of a committee approach from LSU between sophomores Chris Curry, Tyrion Davis-Prince, and John Emery Jr. Think more like 2018 when Nick Brossette and Clyde Edwards-Helaire had roughly a 60-40 split between carries. If I had to put a number on it, I would say 45-30-25 in favor of Davis-Prince followed by John Emery and Chris Curry.

The LSU offense should look a bit different this year as they will most likely lean on the run a bit more than they did last season. The stats should look a bit different as this is a shortened season. No running should surpass 1000 yards on the ground, but I wouldn't be surprised if Marshall went for over 1000 through the air and Brennan flirting with 3000.

What do you think of the LSU offense? Let me know in the comments!

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