Hello Tiger fans! Continuing on to the defensive side of the bal, in our short series on the improvements LSU made from 2017 to this past season and what we need to better going into the 2019 season.
Our defenses have always been the most consistent, and foundational part of our teams. LSU has never been the team that struggled to put friction on the opposing offense and I can’t recall LSU ever playing a real shoot out as it is known in the Big 12. That being said, we made huge strides when Aranda came to LSU. We moved from having a dependable defense to one that would beat teams when our offense couldn’t. We saw our points allowed per game drop from 24 to 14 when Aranda was hired as did the yards allowed per game. A tremendous difference made in one year by our highly touted defensive coordinator.
Our biggest improvement this year (Aranda’s third year) was in our forced turnover where we led the SEC with 16. We had always been hard nosed but with a quicker line up and better defensive backs we became much more aggressive.
We remained stout in the face of a very hard schedule and we should expect the same as long as we continue to pay up Aranda. Dave Aranda will always adapt and improve LSU’s defense as long as he’s in charge, but the personnel varies year to year.
This year LSU will try to improve it’s personnel in multiple areas where some problems with depth and leadership arose last season. The most prominent one of these will be the defensive line where despite it being the weakest part of our incoming class the return of Rashard Lawrence and Breiden Fehoko will be essential. Another group I’m excited to see come to life are the linebackers. We saw in bits and parts of last year how athletic our linebacker core is behind Devin White (who will be in the NFL next year). Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen showed that that they too have sideline to sideline speed and ability and we are loaded with other young talents behind them. Our secondary was strong last year despite razor thin depth. Greedy Williams, Terrence Alexander, and John Battle will all be gone but with Derek Stingley coming in hoping to make an immediate impact and another year of Grant Delpit we should be even more loaded.
With all this talent and Dave Aranda sharing his brain with the program for another 12 to 14 games, I don’t need any other stat to tell me we are going to improve.