LSU was not sure what to expect from their defense this year. The Tigers lost 8 defenders to the 2013 draft but had plenty of young talent ready to step up. It was an up and down season for the defense. They showed moments of dominance, but other times appeared non-existent.
With the mass departure of defenders, there were many inexperienced players starting on the defensive side of the ball, and it showed early. The Tigers allowed 27 points in the season opener against a TCU team that ended the year ranked 90th in the country in points scored.
The offense was able to carry the team early until the defense absolutely collapsed against Georgia. It was by far the worst showing by the Tigers’ defense all year. LSU scored 41 points and it wasn’t enough as Georgia scored 44 points, despite their best rusher watching the second half in a windbreaker. Aaron Murray threw for 298 yards and four touchdown passes on the day. The Tiger defense allowed 494 yards of offense in a poor showing.
The defense was able to recover and managed to play pretty well until they faced Alabama. LSU trailed by just three at halftime, but the defense appeared to leave their desire to fight in the locker room. Alabama completely controlled the second half on the ground, quite literally running over the LSU defense. The Tigers had no answer for the Crimson Tide’s rushing attack. Alabama was able to keep the ball on the ground milking clock in route to winning by 21.
After getting handled by Alabama, the LSU defense shocked the country against Texas A&M. The Tigers held the powerful Aggie offense to less than 300 yards of offense and just 10 points. Prior to the game the fewest points that Texas A&M had scored in a game all year was 41. It was a dominating performance from a defense that caught most of the heat for the loss to Alabama.
Number 18 recipient, Lamin Barrow was the leader of the defense. He organized the troops, but also led by his performance. He was first on the team in tackles with 86. His great season earned him Second Team All-SEC honors.
Anthony Johnson was a force on the defensive line, also earning Second Team All-SEC. He fought through double teams for much of the season, and still finished with a team best seven tackles for loss. He even came down with an interception against Georgia.
Ego Ferguson and Craig Loston were both All-SEC Honorable Mentions. Loston was great when healthy but battled injuries throughout the year.
It was not a typical year for LSU in terms of defensive dominance, but the defense should be much improved next season.
LSU defense regular season grade: C-