On offense, Arnsparger has moved LSU out of a basic I formation and into a motion-oriented pro set that often employs Hilliard and the multitalented Garry James in the same backfield, a combination Stovall wouldn't use despite much hue and cry in Baton Rouge. James first heard about the change when Arnsparger called him at home during semester break in January. "I started thinking. 'Wait a minute, who's going to be the fullback?' " said James. "I didn't ask him then. I didn't want to ruin my vacation."
Not to worry. "With two runners like Dalton and Garry," says Arnsparger, "I removed the term 'fullback' from our dictionary." He installed Hilliard as running back, lining up behind the quarterback, and the speedy James (4.3) as tailback, a bit of a misnomer because he can, as Arnsparger puts it, "line up anywhere"; in LSU lingo, James is called the Bengal Back. Generally, James goes into motion from a flanker spot, but his unpredictability as the Bengal Back has been discombobulating defenses. Example: In the second quarter James noticed a USC cornerback playing 10 yards off him, an automatic "recognition play" for Wickersham. Though a draw had been called, Wickersham just stood up and flipped the ball to James, who gained 15 yards to the USC two, setting up Hilliard's second touchdown.
Arnsparger and his offensive coordinator, Ed Zaunbrecher, have other wrinkles, too, one of which led to the final LSU touchdown, in the third period. They spread freshman wide receiver Glenn Holt to the right and put him in motion toward the sideline. When he ran straight up the field, nobody picked him up, and he caught Wickersham's pass for a 34-yard touchdown. "The man has coached at all levels," says James. "I guess the bottom line is that he just knows more football than coach Stovall."
And he seems quite content away from the Dolphins. He spends Sundays looking at film and meeting with his coaches; he doesn't watch the Dolphins on the tube. But surely there must be something he misses about the pros. "Tell you the truth," he says confidentially, "I do miss being able to open up that cold beer right after the game."