Yesterday, we spent some time breaking down Joe Burrow and the LSU offense. Today, we turn our attention to a fast and physical LSU defense.
The Tigers defense, coached by Dave Aranda, will operate primarily out of a 3-4 look. The defensive line is anchored by 345-pound sophomore nose tackle Tyler Shelvin. Defensive end Rashard Lawrence is a 3-year starter and the most talented defensive lineman LSU has.
Similar to what Todd Orlando asks of the Texas defensive line, Aranda wants his front 3 to eat up space and open up opportunities for the linebackers to make plays, which they do frequently.
Outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson is no stranger to Texas fans. Chaisson was long thought to be a Texas lean throughout the 2017 recruiting class before Ed Orgeron closed the gap late and ultimately overtook the Longhorns in the days leading up to signing day. Chaisson has gone on to be one of the most productive players on the LSU defense following a knee injury last season.
Senior Michael Divinity made the transition to inside linebacker this season following several productive seasons on the outside. Divinity and Jacob Phillips have been asked to pick up a big chunk of productive left behind by Devin White’s departure to the NFL.
LSU is extremely talented in the backend of their defense. There have been shots taken back and forth between both teams about who the real ‘DBU’ is, and both teams will have NFL talent all over the field in the secondary on Saturday. Safety Grant Delpit was an All-American in 2018 and will be going in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft barring something unforeseen. Senior Kristian Fulton occupies one corner spot, and the other belongs to freshman Derek Stingley, who was player Texas was after during the 2019 recruiting cycle. The 5-star Louisiana native was never likely headed to Austin, but it will be interesting to see how Stingley performs in his first career start on the road.
Texas will have the opportunity to move the ball on Saturday night. The Longhorns have the offensive firepower to put up some points, but the question is how many they will need. Ed Orgeron is a defensive-minded coach and Dave Aranda is one of the top defensive coordinators in the country. Texas will have to heavily involve Sam Ehlinger in the run game, and Collin Johnson can not have a game where he disappears for a length of time. If Texas takes care of the ball and is clicking in the passing game, they will have a good chance to be victorious.
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