LSU was the most talked about team in the country last season as they racked up wins and records en route to a national title.
But as we all know, the off season saw defensive coordinator Dave Aranda leave for his first head coaching opportunity at Baylor, and passing game coordinator Joe Brady leave for the offensive coordinator job under Matt Rhule with the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Combine those with Joe Burrow taken #1 overall in the NFL Draft (as well as losing a handful of other key players to the draft) and everyone understood that the 2020 LSU team was going to look a lot different.
Three games into the season, we're starting to see just how true that is.
Bo Pelini was brought in to replace Aranda and carry on the tradition of tough LSU defenses, but that hasn't been the case through three games. The Tigers defense under Pelini gave up 44 points and allowed a new SEC record for passing yards to Mike Leach and Mississippi State in the season opener, before buckling down to give up just 7 points to Vanderbilt. But today, against an 0-2 Missouri squad the LSU defense struggled once again giving up 45 points in a 45-41 shootout.
Eli Drinkwitz and the Missouri offense racked up 586 total yards, including 406 yards through the air. What makes that even more incredible is that Missouri was able to throw for over 400 yards despite missing three of their top four receiving targets due to COVID-19 protocols.
In three games, it was the second disappointing outing for Pelini's defense. After the game, Ed Orgeron was asked about the defensive struggles and how confident he feels after three games in the hire of Pelini, coach O shared that there are things that definitely need to change.
"It's embarrassing. It was all on the defense."
"I love Bo. I think Bo’s going to be a great defensive coordinator. He’s done it before. But we have to get better. There are some things we need to look at schematically to get better."
As for the specifics, Orgeron shared that there have been missed assignments and miscommunications in their coverage schemes, and a distinct lack of physicality from linebackers coming downhill to fill holes.
"It's just not LSU defense. We've got to get better," Orgeron shares early on in the clip.
See Orgeron's full comments.