LSU's new defensive coaches had an impact in the Tigers' strong defensive performance against Mississippi State

LSU's new defensive coaches had an impact in the Tigers' strong defensive performance against Mississippi State

Give Kevin Steele and Ed Orgeron a passing grade on their first test as LSU's defensive coaches.

The defensive coordinator and line coach conspired to bring the intensity back to LSU's defense. The Tigers had 3 sacks against Mississippi State on Saturday night. They also had 5 tackles for loss and 8 quarterback hurries.

That's a year after LSU only had 19 sacks all of last season, one of the lowest totals of any team in the country. LSU had just one game in 2014 with at least 3 sacks and that came against an FCS team.

Saturday's victory was an example that things are changing up front for the Tigers.

"We created a lot of heat back there," said defensive tackle Christian Lacouture. "That's a great thing to see. Coach O really told us to create havoc, and we did that."

The impact of that pressure had a direct effect on MSU quarterback Dak Prescott.

The same Heisman contender that had his way with the LSU defense a year ago. Prescott threw for 268 yards and ran for 105 more when the Bulldogs entered Tiger Stadium in 2014 and left with a stunning victory.

It was a much different case Saturday though. Though Prescott turned it on with an unreal fourth quarter, LSU mostly held him in check throughout the game.

Prescott finished the game with negative rushing yards thanks to the 28 lost in sacks. The consistent hurries left him off-balance and rushing throws, and Prescott only had 88 yards passing at halftime, 174 by the end of the third quarter.

"It definitely was a goal to not let him out of the pocket and run around on us like he did last year," said middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith. "We did a pretty good job of that."

We saw a brief glimpse of what LSU would bring defensively in that canceled game against McNeese State. The Tigers only ran three plays in that one, but blitzed on two of them.

LSU carried that into the MSU game, once again bringing pressure from all over the field. LSU regularly used the linebackers and defensive backs to keep the MSU offense guessing.

Expect even more of that as the season goes on.

"[Coach Steele] put together a great game plan," Beckwith said. "We've got to do a better job of perfecting things, but the sky's the limit for us."


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