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There is a big game coming up on Saturday. When the schedule first came out, who would have thought about circling the second home game of the season against Central Michigan?
Win this game and the LSU Tigers will head into the SEC opener with a 2-1 record and could be 3-1 before facing Auburn on Oct. 2. Lose this game and it could be 1-3 or 2-2 heading into Auburn. Looks like Ed Orgeron and company have something to prove when they arrive at Death Valley on Saturday.
According to Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report, the LSU Tigers are among the 10 teams that have the most to prove this season.
Why does LSU need to prove something?
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
One year after going 15-0 en route to a national championship, LSU had one of its worst seasons in decades.
The Tigers went 5-5 last fall with a completely unrecognizable defense. Normally one of the stingiest defenses in the nation, LSU allowed 35 points and nearly 500 total yards per game.
Was it just an off year resulting from a mass exodus of talent to the NFL, or is poor defense the new normal in Baton Rouge? – Miller
It is pretty simple, the team has something to prove after they followed up a season of perfection with a mediocre one. Not to mention with off-the-field issues and a declining product on the field, head coach Ed Orgeron is feeling the heat. Why else would they get rid of offensive coordinator Matt Canada at the cost of $1.7 million? Tack on the $4 million to former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.
The Tigers are looking to prove that last year was indeed a fluke, however, the early returns are leaning towards the 2019 run being the fluke. There is still time to turn it around, but they need to start showing signs of life in a hurry.
Are the Tigers showing signs of turning it around?
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
At least the Tigers didn’t give up 623 passing yards in their season opener this year, but this defense still clearly has a lot of maturing to do in the aftermath of a 38-27 loss to UCLA in which Bruins QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson averaged nearly 30 yards per completion.
Shutting down McNeese State can hardly be considered a precursor for success against the SEC, though it is certainly more promising than struggling against an opponent of that caliber. LSU will draw Central Michigan in Week 3 before diving into a five-week gauntlet of conference foes, starting with a road game against Mississippi State on Sept. 25. That will be the game where we come to a collective decision on whether LSU is competent enough on defense to even compete with Alabama later this season. – Miller
The defense did have a better showing in week two of the college football season but against an FCS opponent. That did very little to give many confidence they can compete with the big boys of the SEC with their defense. Can the unit put together another solid performance against a Group of Five team?
This doesn’t even factor in the offense that has failed to run the ball effectively or even protect the quarterback. They allowed three sacks against McNeese and 16 total pressures this season. The intensity will get kicked up a notch or two in the coming weeks. It is time to put up down on the Bayou or it could be Ed Orgeron next on the chopping block.