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September 30, 2013
LSU was blitzed for 494 and 44 points by the Aaron Murray-led Georgia offense last Saturday.
Still, the Tigers were in position to win the game as they held a four-point advantage with four minutes remaining. But, Murray took the Bulldogs right down the field for a game-winning touchdown.
Even though Georgia tailbacks ran for 189 yards, much of the focus since the game has been on the LSU pass defense. The Tigers had no sacks and no quarterback-hurries. The only takeaway was an interception by tackle Anthony Johnson.
The LSU secondary was burned for 298 yards and four touchdowns as Murray completed 23 of 37 passes. Coach Les Miles spent most of his Monday media luncheon addressing the pass defense. Miles admitted that there were communication problems.
"Without going into much detail, there were issues with communication," Miles said. "Some of it was coach (sideline) to player and some was player to player. You can't have blown coverages no matter what, whether it is player-to-player or player-to-coach.
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"The fastest way to get you beat is to not cover a segment of the field. The attention of the coaches is there. We have made a point to the remainder of the defense that they just need to do what they are supposed to do. If they do that, we won't have a good defense, but a great defense."
LSU used eight defensive backs against Georgia - cornerbacks Jalen Mills, Tre'Davous White and Jalen Collins; safeties Craig Loston, Ronald Martin, Micah Eugene and Corey Thompson and nickel/dime back Dwayne Thomas. Miles didn't indicate that other players will get a chance to play in the secondary.
"We have good players," Miles said. "We are not going to get other guys. We have to coach the guys we've got. We have guys trying to do too much.
"On the first play, a defensive end should have contain. The ball goes inside and he tries to make an exceptional play. But, he gives up contain and yards are gained outside around the end. If we make just one more play, we win. That's for the coaches to address and get the players prepared."
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LSU put very little pressure on Murray. Miles said after the game was strategy was to sit back and play coverage rather than blitz Murray.
"Pass rush is always a concern when a team has success throwing the football," Miles said. "You can add guys to the rush or continue to prepare guys who are your four best pass rushers and get them better technically."
What has probably affected the pass rush is the lack of depth. For the most part, LSU is using just five defensive linemen - tackles Ego Ferguson and Johnson and ends Jermauria Rasco, Danielle Hunter and Jordan Allen. None of the highly-recruited freshman defensive linemen have cracked the rotation.
"We need to get some fresh bodies out there with the veterans," Miles said. "If that happens, the veterans would play a little fresher. We have to get the young guys ready to play, so we can give the veterans just a five-snap break."
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Miles stressed that talent is not an issue with the freshmen.
"If we are considering a young guy to play on Saturday, he has talent," Miles said. "He needs more reps. He needs to learn technique. He can't lose responsibility in his rush lane.
"We are playing a lot of young guys on defense. That's the way it is supposed to be. We've got to get them ready. There is no need to put the guys on the side. I think we have the right guys playing."