LSU faces season in ruins due to poor defense

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An historic season by an LSU quarterback will apparently wind up with the Tigers in a minor bowl.

That’s the biggest take that can be made from the LSU defense’s embarrassing performance in a 55-49 loss to Ole Miss.

The numbers for the LSU defense are downright sad – 706 yards allowed, including 317 on the ground.

The Tigers couldn’t stop the run up the middle. They couldn’t set the edge. They couldn’t tackle.

In the meantime, Jayden Daniels did all he could. He threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns.

For the season, Daniels has completed 72.6 percent of his passes, averaged a whopping 10.5 yards per attempt. He’s thrown 12 TD passes, and only 2 interceptions. And, he’s done it for a three win, two loss football team.

Last Saturday night against Arkansas, the Tigers had to score on their final six possessions to defeat Arkansas by three. By the way, Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson, who ran roughshod over the Tigers, was 9 of 17 for 132 yards passing in a 34-22 loss to Texas A&M. Jefferson had 18 carries for minus-3 yards. The Aggies defense had seven sacks.

So, a week later, Arkansas is not that good and the LSU defense might be historically bad.

In a way 2023 could harken us back to 2013. That’s when Zach Mettenberger (a 3,000 yard passer), was throwing to Odell Beckham, Jr and Jarvis Landry (a pair of 1,000 yard receivers) and handing it to Jeremy Hill (a 1,000 yard rusher). LSU’s three losses that season were to Georgia who scored 44, Alabama who scored 38 and Ole Miss who scored 27 points.

That LSU defense was not great. But they were far better than this outfit.

Ole Miss was 9-of-16 on third down and two of three on fourth down. Against Tulane, that same Ole Miss offense looked, at times, pedestrian. The Rebels were 1 of 13 on third down.

Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins, who ran 33 times for 177 yards against LSU, ran 18 times for 48 yards against the Green Wave.

Regardless of whether LSU won in the final seconds or not, it doesn’t matter in the big picture of 2023. There’s no hiding bad defense. At the end of the seaso,n Brian Kelly is going to have to get it fixed.

Does he make coaching changes? Does he re-evaluate his recruiting? Does he re-evaluate who he acquires in the transfer portal?

All of those things are a must.

On a Saturday night, alumni of DBU had to watch this nightmare.

Remember the days when the Tigers played great defense. Because that’s what LSU does. It is a tradition.

That was left in tatters at Ole Miss.

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

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Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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