LSU defense fails miserably in loss to Ole Miss
It you like offense, you loved the game Saturday evening in Oxford. It you like defense, you hated it.
If you like Ole Miss, you loved your defense getting two stops when it mattered most.
If you like LSU, you hated your defense failing to get a meaningful stop and your offense unable to finish on its last two possessions.
The facts are these.
LSU held a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Ole Miss rallied down the stretch to defeat the Tigers 55-49 before a record crowd of 66,703 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
When it mattered most, the battered Ole Miss defense got two stops down the stretch.
When it mattered most, the battered LSU defense could not get off the field.
Somehow, Ole Miss honored a 2003 “SEC West championship team.”
That season, Ole Miss finished in a tie with LSU for the SEC West title.
Of course, LSU defeated Ole Miss 17-14 at Oxford. LSU went to the SEC championship game as the SEC West champion and defeated Georgia 34-13 in the title game. LSU won the national championship, beating Oklahoma 21-14 in New Orleans.
You have to celebrate something, right?
Ole Miss had a lot to celebrate Saturday night.
The Rebels riddled the sieve that is the LSU defense to the tune of 706 total yards, an embarrassment to Brian Kelly and Matt House.
LSU lost despite amassing 637 yards and scoring 49 points. That simply cannot happen.
Jayden Daniels did all he could possibly do. Daniels passed for at least one touchdown and rushed for at least a touchdown for the 17th time.
Daniels finished 27-of-36 for 414 yards and four touchdown and he rushed 15 times for 99 times and a touchdown.
Brian Thomas Jr. had eight catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Malik Nabers had eight catches for 102 yards. Kyren Lacy had a touchdown reception.
Logan Diggs has clearly emerged as the lead running back and a good one, the best LSU has fielded since Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Diggs had 19 rushes for 101 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 22 yards.
The numbers were dazzling and LSU still lost.
If this was not the worst performance in my lifetime, if not ever, by an LSU team, it does not take long to take roll on where it ranked.
That LSU returned several starters from a year ago and is playing this way is puzzling at best, inexcusable at worst.
That falls on players who are simply not who we thought they were, players who were overrated and coaches who simply did not evaluate properly in recruiting or have not put those players in the best positions to succeed.
It is a collective failure.
Ole Miss had 387 yards in the first half while LSU had 373 yards. Nothing changed in the second half.
When you cannot line up correctly, when you cannot get 11 men on the field, when you cannot tackle anyone, you are not going to win a football game. LSU almost did so.
Ole Miss is a good offensive football team.
LSU is a bad defensive football team.
That was a lethal combination, despite the fact that LSU’s offense was superb and the Ole Miss defense was bad.
What we saw defensively from LSU against Florida State in the second half was not a lie.
What we saw defensively from LSU against Grambling and Mississippi state was a false return.
What we have seen the last two weeks against Arkansas and Ole Miss is indicative of that the Tigers are on the defensive side of the ball.
LSU is an elite team offensively, despite being suspect on the right side its offensive line.
LSU is also elite defensively, as in the elite category of bottom sector of the country on that side of the ball.
To give it some perspective, Ole Miss totaled just 363 yards and converted just 1-of-13 third downs against Tulane in a 37-20 victory. With a healthy Michael Pratt, the Green Wave would have had a shot at beating the Rebels.
LSU allowed Ole Miss to convert 9-of-16 third downs. Most of the time, the Rebels did not require three downs to move the chains.
Alabama held Ole Miss to 10 points a week ago.
It used to be a running joke about the lack of defense in the Big 12 among LSU observers and it was accurate, justified.
Schools from other conferences are now having the latest laugh, based on the defense LSU is displaying.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…