LSU football fans should feel reassured by Gus Malzahn’s words

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn with LSU Football head coach Ed Orgeron (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn with LSU Football head coach Ed Orgeron (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

LSU football fans should feel better after hearing Gus Malzahn’s words this week.

It didn’t take long for LSU football‘s biggest weakness to pop up this season.


The Tigers hired Bo Pelini — a former head coach at Nebraska and Les Miles’ defensive coordinator in Baton Rouge from 2005-07 — this past offseason to replace Dave Aranda as LSU’s defensive coordinator.

Head coach Ed Orgeron was extremely excited about the move, even proclaiming at one point during the offseason that LSU was “so much better” on defense than they were at any point during the 2019 season.

That quickly proved to be not true. The Tigers gave up 44 points in a loss to Mississippi State in the season opener. They also gave up 45 points in a loss to Missouri earlier this month.

But just because things got off to a bad start defensively doesn’t mean it can’t turn around.

In fact, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn thinks LSU’s defense is just fine.

Gus Malzahn comments on LSU football’s defense

Auburn and LSU are scheduled to face off in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Malzahn took questions from reporters this week and he was unsurprisingly asked about LSU’s defense. He made it clear that he’s not concerned about LSU’s early-season struggles.

“I think you’ve seen that their defense is fine,” said Malzahn (via Rivals). “They’re better each week. They do have a bunch of young guys, new guys, so just trying to get that experience, but they’ve seen that the last couple weeks, they’ve improved. We’ll see what their plan is, but they definitely have improved.”

LSU is currently No. 50 in the nation in scoring defense (opponents are averaging 30 points per game). But it’s true there’s been some improvement in recent weeks.

The Tigers only gave up 24 points to South Carolina, which is certainly better than what we saw against Mississippi State and Missouri. However, LSU still has a lot of work to do. South Carolina was able to hit the Tigers for several big plays, including a 57-yard reception by Keveon Mullins and a 49 yard rush by Kevin Harris.

LSU needs to find a way to limit those splash plays on defense — especially against teams like Florida, Alabama, and Ole Miss (all teams that LSU still has to play this season).

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Pelini will get the defense where it needs to be. It’s just a matter of when it will get there.

Next. The reason for LSU's turnaround in 2017. dark

Malzahn thinks it’s on the right track. He knows what he’s talking about more than folks like me, so I’m gonna trust him on this one.