The thought hit home, again, watching the vaunted Bayou Bengal defense give up 480 yards to Ole Miss, the 97th-ranked offense in the land.
It may be unfair, and things admittedly have changed with more teams using refined spread offenses, making things more difficult for defenses. Still, nobody can be confident about what they've seen of the Tiger defense of late.
Despite the misleading stats that say – and that we keep hearing from commentators – LSU is a premier defense, when exactly was the last time LSU fans saw a solid defensive performance – one that just rocks and stops opponents cold – from the Tigers? I'll tell you: It was at the end of the first half against
From that point on, LSU has given up 177 of the 191 points the Tigers have allowed this season. That's an average of 25.2 points, which, coupled with sloppy execution and undisciplined play, allows lesser opponents – like Ole Miss – to stay with a team allegedly on the scent of a national title.
The No. 1 Tigers of '03 surrendered a total of 122 points in the regular season, and no more than 24 in any one game. The current Tigers have given up that many or more five times. There's a big difference between having superior athletes and playing superior defensive football. LSU has not been performing well as a defensive unit, and no team can continue to depend on its offense to just outscore opponents.
Say what you want about Lou Holtz, but he's right: This LSU team is living on the edge. Remember, it will only take one bad game to ruin all the accomplishments of this year, no matter what the ultimate won-loss record is.
Give, say, Georgia, or even a motivated Arkansas, the same sort of sleep-walking defensive efforts the Tigers have been putting forth the last seven games and this could still turn out to be a disappointing season. It would be awful to have to look back at 2007 and realize LSU played its best game – its most complete game – in its second week of the season.
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The big question this week is who will
Marty Mule' can be reached at MJM981@Bellsouth.net