LSU Football: Why the Tigers’ defense failed in 2020

LSU football Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
LSU football Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football struggled early last season for several reasons — loss of talent, COVID-19, new assistant coaches, etc.

The biggest reason the Tigers struggled, however, was the play of the defense.

Ed Orgeron hired Bo Pelini after the 2019 season to replace Dave Aranda, who took over as the head coach at Baylor.

Hiring Pelini was widely viewed as a great move by Coach O.

But unfortunately for LSU, the move didn’t pay off.

The Tigers gave up 34.9 points per game in 2020 (No. 98 overall scoring defense). LSU gave up over 40 points in five games last season (four of those games were losses).

After one season with Pelini, Orgeron decided a change was needed. Pelini departed Baton Rouge and Daronte Jones, the former Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach, was hired to lead the Tigers’ defense.

Why did LSU football’s defense fail in 2020?

Simply making a coaching change won’t fix LSU’s defensive issues from last season. The Tigers have to fix the root of the problem.

So what was the problem?

According to LSU defensive lineman Andre Anthony, the biggest reason the Tigers’ defense didn’t have success last season came down to a lack of communication.

“The main thing was communication,” said Anthony recently (via 247Sports). “That was a big thing we lacked last year. Everybody was on different pages.”

It’s going to take some time to fix those issues — especially while installing a new defense.

But the good news is that Anthony — a leader on the defensive side of the ball — recognizes the issue and is determined to fix it.

“I really want to see where we are at as a defense and bring what we lacked last year, which was communication as a team, to get everyone on the same page, and we’ve done that so far,” said Anthony.

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It certainly appears that LSU is on the right track after a tough 2020 season. But it’s only spring practice. The true test will come this fall.