LSU’s fate rests in how quickly they can improve defensively

LSU’s fate rests in how quickly they can improve defensively
Mississippi St. Bulldogs play against the LSU Tigers during a game in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on September 26, 2020. (Photo by: Chris Parent / LSU Athletics) (Source: Chris Parent/Chris Parent / LSU Athletics)


Passing for 345 yards and three touchdowns, even with two interceptions, should have been enough for LSU to win against Mississippi State. That’s not saying that quarterback Myles Brennan doesn’t deserve his share of criticism for some missed throws and shaky decision making, but it is saying that the blame doesn’t start with the offense. Ed Orgeron says that with time, that side of the ball will improve.

“I think it all comes down to the protection first, easy throws where you can make decisions,” says Orgeron. “Put our play-makers in space. Let them make plays. Throw the ball and take shots. Once we get in that rhythm, we’re going to be fine.”

But what we learned on Saturday is that if the Tigers' defense isn’t up to the task, it doesn’t matter what the offense is doing. Almost every time LSU put points on the board, Mississippi State responded with points of their own immediately. Orgeron says that the decisions regarding in-game adjustments, or the lack thereof, are left to his defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, and that it was Pelini who was just as dissatisfied with the outcome as everyone else.

“He was the first guy to come see me in my dressing room,” says Orgeron. “He said, ‘Coach, I could have done a better job.’ And he was hurt just like everybody else. We went over the film. He saw the things that he did well, and we saw the things that we will improve.”

Those improvements sound like they could be as simple as execution. Orgeron says the fixes to be made don’t necessarily mean occasionally switching from man to zone coverage, but instead, getting their All-American corner Derek Stingley Jr. back on the field and not allowing a whopping 383 yards after the catch like they did on Saturday.

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