Scouting LSU Defense

While the LSU offense is right at the bottom of the SEC at 322 yards per game, the Tigers defense is seventh in the conference allowing the exact same number of yards. Their biggest problem has been pass defense where opponents are gaining 205 yards through the air.

That ranks 10th in the league. They have two key stats that are pretty much contradictory. LSU has picked off eight passes, which is tied for the best in the SEC but they are dead last with just five QB sacks. Those five sacks all came in the first two games against Washington (2) and Vanderbilt (3). Since then LSU has not registered a sack.

The last two games are confusing as Mississippi State ran for 151 yards, but Georgia could only gain 45. Of course State with Dan Mullen is running virtually the same offense the Gators are so that might be encouraging.

New coordinator John Chavis formerly of Tennessee has LSU playing a more disciplined and controlled scheme that is really focused on taking away big plays. The personnel is good and, as usual LSU has plenty of athleticism.

Up front they don't really wow you. There's no Glenn Dorsey or Marcus Spears down there. The best is probably DE Rahim Allen who has two of those five QB sacks. Charles Alexander is solid at DT,

The best unit on the team is the LB corps led by Harry Coleman (34 tackles, 2 tfl) and Kelvin Shepard (31 tackles, 2.5 tfl). Both are listed at SLB, but they'll be in there together. Add in MLB Jacob Cutrera and WLB Perry Riley and you have four very good LB capable of starting. Florida will try to take advantage of their pursuit with misdirection plays as they did a year ago, but they seem more under control so fat this season.

The strength of the secondary is at safety with SS Brandon Taylor and FS Chad Jones who each have two interceptions. Jones was a key to LSU's baseball team winning the College World Series and can be inconsistent. The corners are okay with Patrick Peterson from Pompano Beach probably the better of the two, but they can be exploited. Of course, Florida receivers have not exploited anyone recently.

Overall the LSU defense will try to control Florida's running game and force the Gators to throw the ball and that will be even more of an emphasis if/when Brantley is in the game. Florida will probably have to throw the ball to open up the run rather than the other way around. If Tebow does play I think LSU will be as physical with him as they can be, but I would be shocked by any head hunting. Still, the Gators need to limit hits on either QB this weekend.

LSU Special Teams ---- This is where LSU is really dangerous with speedster Trindon Holliday (25.8) on kickoffs and Holliday and Chad Jones on punts. Jones had a punt return for a TD in the Mississippi State game. Florida's kick coverage discipline has to be at its best Saturday. LSU covers kicks very well. Their punter, Derek Helton is not real good but kicks it high and short thus more than half his punts have ended with a fair catch. FG kicker Josh Jasper is 8-9 with a 52-yarder.

Overall it's not hard to see this game turning on a special teams play since both teams are very good in all areas of special teams. Then again, since both teams are so good maybe nothing of note will happen here.


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