Sanders in the middle of nation's best "D"

There are many words in the English dictionary that describes LSU's No. 1 defense. Tenacious, persistent, stubborn, insistent and determined all illustrate the Tigers defensive game plan week in and week out. LSU brings the nation's No. 1 rated defense in terms of total yards allowed into Saturday's matchup against the Green Wave of Tulane.

The Tigers are allowing 170.0 yards per contest, which ranks first nationally.

Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini and his defense has not yet allowed an opponent to reach 200 yards of offense this year, and his squad could have the opportunity to extend their streak against 1-1 Tulane. LSU has now held its last four opponents to fewer than 200 yards of offense, which is a first in school history.

Right in middle of it all is first-year starting linebacker Luke Sanders.

"Coming in I think people were really skeptical about us," Sanders said. "We knew we had to work hard because it was our year to shine. I think we have come together as a defense and a linebacking core.

"As we get more and more game experience under our belt, the better we are going to be as a linebacking core."

The defense also ranks No. 1 nationally in pass efficiency defense (63.53 rating) and they are No. 2 in pass defense (96.67 yards per game) and No. 3 in scoring (4.33 points per game). Through 12 quarters, LSU's defense has yielded just one touchdown this season.

That one touchdown came in Saturday's showdown on the plains at Auburn where the LSU defense allowed only 182 total yards of offense against the No. 2 team in the nation at home.

"Going to Auburn was a great experience," Sanders said. "With all the Auburn fans routing against you, that puts a drive in you. You want to do better. It wasn't my best game, but it was the defenses best game. Our defense is playing well."

The defense has put up great numbers this season in part of their tenacious game plan. The defensive line has supplied quarterback pressure so far this season, allowing the defensive backfield to shutdown and do their job.

The defense has also been versatile, switching in and out of sets and schemes.

"It mixes up the offensive line," Sanders said. "They have to switch up who they block when we switch. With Glenn Dorsey playing so well holding up the offensive line, it allows me to run from sideline to sideline."

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