The weather-forced cancellation erased all statistics from LSU's five-minute contest against the Cowboys. But if you ask Jefferson and Bower, that sack still happened.
“Everybody says that’s still a sack," Jefferson said. "It’s on film, so it counts.”
That would've been the first career sack for both players. Instead, they must wait until Saturday in Davis-Wade Stadium to get the first "official" sack.
It's still the smallest of sample sizes, but Jefferson, Bower and all LSU defenders should get plenty of opportunities to get that sack under new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
LSU only ran three defensive plays, but the Tigers blitzed on two of them. On second down, Jefferson came down from the safety spot, got through the line and with an assist from Bower, brought down the quarterback. The next play, linebacker Deion Jones got his turn but didn't quite make it, though LSU did force a punt.
LSU fans can expect that to be a constant this season.
“Safeties, linebackers, corners, the whole defense is just coming, bringing pressure and causing mistakes," said sophomore safety Jamal Adams, who's also itching to get in the backfield.
The defensive line needs that help from the guys behind them. LSU only had 19 sacks last season, 8.5 coming from players no longer on the team. With LSU thin and inexperienced at defensive end, bringing pressure from the linebackers and defensive backs could be the way to boost that sack total.
“It definitely helps us a lot," Bower said. "We need the secondary and the linebackers. We appreciate those guys so much, and we all bounce off each other.”
A hot topic of the offseason was the changes Steele would make to this LSU defense. We haven't seen nearly enough to draw any conclusions about what his new defense will really look like.
But the LSU players say that variety of pressure is a big part of it.
“Coach Steele has a lot of tricks up his sleeve," Jefferson said. "I’m looking forward to playing for him and seeing what he does this year.”
Steele hasn't tipped his hand yet though. There's still a lot he hasn't showed, and Mississippi State has no idea what's left in the hopper. LSU coach Les Miles called that an advantage earlier this week, and the players also believe they can catch the Bulldogs off-guard.
“Mississippi State doesn’t even have anything on us," Adams said. "That’s a plus. Coach Steele is going to switch it up and give them everything we’ve got.”
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