Ed Orgeron answered a question Tuesday about which side of the ball has played better during LSU’s preseason scrimmages. He said the defense controlled the first game and the offense took the second game. We’re so much better on defense right now than any part of the season last year.
Orgeron thought LSU didn’t play well on defense at times during its undefeated national championship run the Tigers ranked 31st nationally in points allowed per game and yards allowed per game so when defensive coordinator Dave Aranda left for Baylor, Orgeron looked for someone with a defensive philosophy similar to his own.
Orgeron hired Bo Pelini, who brought a 4-3 scheme. The strategy, Orgeron said, generates chaos through speed and aggression. It relies on blitzes. Defenders attack opposing teams, Orgeron has said, and he believes LSU now has a defense better equipped to use its players. In its first preseason scrimmage, LSU registered more sacks than half of last season.
LSU’s defense will look much different, both in scheme and personnel. The Tigers lost seven starters and four key rotational players from last year’s championship team, and now, defensive linemen Neil Farrell Jr. and Nelson Jenkins III have opted back into the season.
Though LSU hasn’t released its official depth chart for the season-opener next week against Mississippi State, here’s what the defense and special teams might look like, based on Orgeron’s comments during weekly press conferences. Find the offensive projections here.