Heck, ESPN analyst Lee Corso last week even went so far as to call the Tigers defense a "fraud."
After not posting a sack against
All-in-all, the Tigers held Cox to
an 18-of-28 passing night for 199 yards and limited
A shocking statistic, considering the aggressive nature of LSU's front four, only the third holding penalty of the season was thrown on a Tiger opponent's offensive line.
There most certainly could have
been more holds called against
At times, it has seemingly looked like the referees are giving opposing offenses the means necessary to compete with LSU's defense.
At other times, however, LSU has
simply looked sluggish, unsure of what to do, and soft in the middle of the
secondary. That was certainly true against
"We started slow," said LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini. "We started slow, and we just had a lot of missed tackles. I think maybe our guys were too emotional. We were there. We were there to make some plays early, and we missed them. And we got more right as the game went on. They kept fighting and, to their credit, we made enough plays to win the football game. "
Discounting a touchdown that was
the result of a three-yard drive set up by Ryan Perrilloux's fumble, LSU's
defense allowed 17 points in the game. Those points, however, came on sustained
drives of 63, 90, and 83 yards that lasted a total of 32 plays and consumed over
14 minutes. The last of those drives, a nine-play, 83-yard affair, gave
"We knew it was going to be that
kind of a game," Pelini said. "Every time we play
All four of
"No, not really," Pelini said. "I'm not real concerned about that. Teams haven't got down there a lot and you know a lot of those have been field goals. No, it's not really concerning. What we do – our job is to do enough to win the football game. We're not into statistics and all that other crap. It's about wins, losses, and doing what we have to do in any given football game to win the football game."
Actually, 14 of those19 scores have
been for touchdowns, just five for field goals. But even so, against
LSU's defense has been beat on for
eight consecutive weeks now without a break. With
"We've been through a lot," Pelini said. "This conference, it has a reputation that's well-deserved. You go through – what is this, game eight? We were nicked up. We were nicked up going in, and we got nicked up during the game. That was a physical contest. We fought through it and the bye week couldn't have come at a better time. We've got some things to work on and get better at. Our guys need a rest. They need to get healthy, and get right, and get back on track."
Getting back on track may be the most important aspect of that comment.
The starting quarterbacks of the
first five opponents LSU faced didn't last the entire game.
LSU's last three foes have scored 91 points, an average of 30-plus per game, and 48 of those points have come in the first halves of games. In the beginning of the season it was the defense that was holding opponents at bay so that the offense could catch up. As of late, LSU has found itself in mini-shootouts that have required the offense to outscore opponents in the end.
There are only so many last-second
touchdown passes though. If LSU's march is to make it all the way to
If the Tigers want to be feared again like they were in August and September, the ghosts of October will have to be exorcised. LSU needs to get back on track.