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Deke: Tenacious Tigers D has LSU 1 game away from history!
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jan 8 2012 12:06PM
The numbers they have put up are unbelievable. The way they take over games is incredible. And with one more, win they could go down as one of the greatest defensive units in college football history.
The 2011 LSU Tigers defense has been put to the test time and time again this season and each test resulted in these Tigers passing with flying colors. The biggest and best numbers that stand out about this defense is the obvious 13-0 record…And then the number 30 sticks out big!
The LSU defense has forced thirty turnovers this season to help make the Tigers +22 in the turnover differential this season. LSU has picked off eighteen passes and forced twelve fumbles for a total of thirty jacks.
In thirteen games this season the Tigers D allowed an average of 252.1 yards per game, and has given up a total of 137 points for an average of 10.5 points per game. LSU allowed 166.6 yards passing per game and 85.5 yards rushing per game, with their opponents are gaining only 2.6 yards per rushing attempt.
Two other numbers that stand out are the Tigers’ sacks and their interceptions. LSU leads the Southeastern Conference in sacks with a total of thirty-seven for a total loss of 249 yards during the 2011 season. And the Tigers secondary has been consistent all season long, picking off eighteen passes to go along with twelve forced fumbles. You can point to many reasons why LSU is so successful on defense.
This team has speed like no other team in the nation at prime positions. Is there a DE in the country as fast (or faster) than the Tigers’ Barkevious Mingo? LSU is as deep in the interior D-Line as they have ever been. The Bayou Bengals are coming off a season in which they had to replace three All-Conference players, including the #5 player taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.
After losing veteran players like DT Drake Nevis (Colts,) Kelvin Sheppard (Bills,) and Pro-Bowl Rookie DB Patrick Peterson, many wondered how the Tigers would be able to replace those high-caliber players.
Defensive coordinator John Chavis not only replaced those quality players, but he made the 2011 defense better and deeper. The play of Sam Montgomery, Michael Brockers and Bennie Logan has been special this season, as well as the play of the entire unit.
The right mixture of skill, physical play, and veteran leadership along with solid young players that have been able to mature throughout the course of the season has been a perfect combination. That formula has put this unit in position to be mentioned in the same category as some of the greatest defenses ever.
But as good as the numbers are, and as well as the Tigers defense has played, the whole body of work will not be complete without winning the national championship. And I do believe that these players on the Tigers defense full well know that!