There have been some outstanding performances by LSU defensive players and middle linebacker Kevin Minter's effort on Saturday should go down as one of the best ever. Minter had 20 tackles, 17 of them were solo. Rudy Harmon was the last Tiger to have 20 tackles. That was in 1988. Al Richardson has the record, with 21 tackles against South Carolina in 1982. Minter also recorded back-to-back sacks in the 2nd quarter, after Zach Mettenberger threw an interception. Minter's effort kept Florida out of field goal range. When he went out of the game in the 3rd quarter because of dehydration issues, Florida easily scored its first touchdown of the game.
LSU can still win the SEC
Despite the deflating loss, LSU can still win the SEC West and play in the SEC Championship game. If the Tigers win the rest of their regular season games, they will represent the league's western division in the conference's championship game. But it's hard to imagine the Tigers will win out.
3rd Down Conversions
For the second straight game, LSU did not convert its first 3rd down conversion until the 2nd half. They waited until the 3rd quarter against Towson and didn't move the chains on 3rd down until the 4th quarter against Florida. There are several reasons why LSU is struggling on 3rd downs. Penalties are putting them in 3rd and long situations, there's also dropped passes, sacks and predictable play calling. Just look at what LSU does on 1st down, after their first drive on Saturday, they ran the ball on 1st down on ten of their next 12 1st-and-10 situations.
Where has LSU's running game gone?
LSU's running backs are not any worse then last year, but the offensive line is not as good. The holes are not there and if opposing teams know LSU will most likely run the ball on 1st down, it makes it difficult to generate much of a running game. LSU averaged just 1.7 yards a rush against Florida. Take away Russell Shepard's 78-yard touchdown run against Towson, the Tigers only rushed for 80 yards against an FCS school two weeks ago.
LSU was flagged eight more times against Florida. That's 50 penalties through six games. The 8.33 penalties per game are the tenth highest in the country. Enough said about that.
The Tigers usually bounce back well from losses. But South Carolina is not the type of team to try and get well on. The Gamecocks have two of the best defensive ends in the country, Jadevon Clowney, who has 6.5 sacks, and Devin Taylor, who is 6-8 and 267 pounds. Florida came into the game on Saturday with just five sacks on the season, but had four against LSU. Just imagine South Carolina's fearsome defensive ends going up against LSU's leaky o-line. Then the Tigers will face a one-loss Texas A-and-M team. Then it's a match-up against Alabama, followed by a meeting with Mississippi State, who is undefeated.
Will LSU still be ranked in the Top 25 after this stretch of games?