Last year Joe Brady was a young assistant trying to find success in the NFL. Nowm Brady is the lead offensive mind behind the second-highest scoring offense in college football at LSU.
Brady was hired in January to replace the former passing game coordinator Jerry Sullivan, and in his short time at LSU, Brady’s west coast offense has helped the Tigers climb to No. 2 in the most recent AP poll.
Auburn will travel to Baton Rouge this week to play LSU, and the Tigers will face their toughest defensive task yet in stopping an LSU offense that is averaging 52.5 points per game.
Brady began his coaching career at William and Mary in 2013, his alma mater. As a player, Brady appeared in all 21 games his junior and senior year as a wide receiver for the Tribe. Brady left William and Mary in 2015 to be a graduate assistant for Penn State, where he learned the nuances of the west coast offense under former Nittany Lions coach RJoe Moorhead.
After spending two years in Happy Valley, Brady was hired by head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints in 2017. Brady helped the Saints finish in the top 5 in both passing and rushing, and his success with the Saints landed him a job on LSU’s staff.
Brady’s offense is difficult to stop because it spreads the field horizontally, and it puts an emphasis on getting talented receivers into space creates problems for defensive backs.
As the defense starts to come up toward the line of scrimmage to stop the quick passing game, that is when Brady will take a chance down the field.
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“They’re not just taking shots. They usually make you pay when they throw it down the field,” said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.
It has been a long time since LSU has had an elite passing attack and this is the first season they have been in the top 50 in passing yards since 2013. Quarterback Joe Burrow is receiving most of the hype for LSU’s success, but the talent at wide receiver is a big reason Brady’s offense has burst onto the college football scene.
Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase are the only receivers in the SEC that are averaging over 100 yards per game, and both wideouts have hauled in nine touchdowns each in the 2019 season.
LSU also expects Terrance Marshall Jr., to suit up on Saturday. Marshall has not played since suffering a foot injury in a Week 4 win over Vanderbilt. Marshall was ranked the No. 10 overall recruit in the class of 2018 and caught six touchdown passes in four games.
The offense Brady brought to LSU is one of the most difficult to slow down in college football, and Malzahn is trying to prepare his team accordingly.
“It looks like a video game when you watch them on film,” Malzahn said, “Quite a few of them have that big-play ability.”
This game will have a big impact on the standings in the SEC West, and Auburn players know how important getting a road victory in Baton Rouge could be for its postseason hopes.
“This is another team in our way to get to the championship,” said defensive end Marlon Davidson. “... You aren’t going to get a lot on an Auburn defense.”
There is a chance of afternoon showers on Saturday when undefeated LSU will host Auburn at 2:30 p.m. CST. Over 100,000 fans will be in attendance to see if Auburn can slow down Brady’s offense that has been unstoppable in the first half of the season.
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