LSU makes case for nation's best defense

LSU's defense continued to make its case as being the nation's best overall unit as the Tigers are ranked among the top two nationally in four different categories following last week's 49-7 win over Tulane.

The ninth-ranked Tigers (3-1, 0-1) return to action on Saturday when they host Mississippi State (1-3, 0-2) at 11:30 a.m. in Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised to a regional audience by Lincoln Financial Sports.

LSU goes into the Mississippi State game ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense (5.0 points per game) and pass defense efficiency (61.3 rating) and the Tigers are No. 2 in the country in total defense (185.2 yards per game) and pass defense (102.2 yards per game). LSU leads the Southeastern Conference in all four of those categories.

Through four games, the Tigers have allowed only two touchdowns and two field goals for a total of 20 points. The 20 points allowed is the fewest in the first four games of a season by an LSU team since 1969 when the Tigers held their first four opponents to just 14 points.

In addition, the Tiger defense has yielded only 741 yards during the first four weeks of the season, which is the fewest allowed by an LSU team since the 1969 squad held their first four opponents to 706 yards.

The Tigers are also ranked No. 2 in the league and No. 23 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 83.0 yards per game.

Offensively, the Tigers are first in the SEC and No. 18 in the nation in points per game with a 35.5 average. The Tigers are also second in the conference and No. 26 in the nation in total offense with 403.5 yards per contest.

Individually, LSU defensive back Craig Steltz and Jonathan Zenon are both tied for the SEC lead in interceptions with three through the first four games of the season. Steltz and Zenon are ranked No. 8 in interceptions with an average of .75 per game.

LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell jumped back into the top 10 in the nation in pass efficiency this week following a 17 of 23 performance against Tulane. Russell, who trails only Florida's Chris Leak in the conference standings, has a 169.5 passer rating. Through four games, Russell has completed 63 of 95 passes for 916 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception.

Tiger defense end Tyson Jackson is third in the SEC and tied for 12th nationally in sacks per game with a .88 average. In four games this year, Jackson has recorded 3.5 sacks, which has resulted in 16-yards in losses for the opponent.

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