LSU gave up 478 yards of total offense to Washington on Saturday. Thanks to missed tackles, a lack of pressure up front and soft coverage from the defensive backs, the Tigers allowed more yards than any game last season.
After Wednesday afternoon’s full pad practice, LSU head coach Les Miles said that work was being done.
“I think there were a couple mistakes made in the first game that I don’t imagine will be made in this one,” he said. “That will give us the opportunity to do the things we want to do.
“The tempo of practice was good,” he added. “It appears to me that we are better.”
While the preseason saw competition at a number of positions on the defensive side, Miles said that only a few spots are still up for grabs.
“In the secondary there is still competition going on,” he said. “I don’t see it happening at many positions. It appears to me to be pretty defined, with a couple of exceptions.”
One of those exceptions is strong safety, where Danny McCray started last Saturday. Sophomore Brandon Taylor – the named starter - said that he was held back after being hospitalized and missing time during game week. Miles said that Taylor would get the start against Vanderbilt.
On the line, Miles said that Chancey Aghayere and Lavar Edwards are next in line for time at defensive end. With Pep Levingston sidelined with a knee injury, both Aghayere and Edwards should see action against the Commodores.
Miles also said that he does not expect any of the freshmen ends (Mike Brockers, Sam Montgomery) to be part of the game plan.
“At least not early,” he said.
The Commodores topped Western Carolina last Saturday, 45-0. Behind their no-huddle attack, Vanderbilt totaled 620 yards of offense with 433 on the ground.
Miles said that the defense would key in on the Commodore backs: Zac Stacy and Warren Norman.
“Both are fresh, very dangerous runners,” he said. “They do a great job, by scheme, giving them the ball.”
Tiger quarterback Jordan Jefferson will make his first start in Tiger Stadium. Miles said that he has yet to take the sophomore aside for a pep talk. Instead, Miles said that playing in front of 90,000-plus is an environment that Jefferson would thrive in.
“I may visit with [Jefferson] sometime Friday,” Miles said. “I never see him get real excited. He wants to have great plays, and I see his emotion more when something does not go right, when he expects more of himself.”