Publish date:

5 LSU

Author:

OPPOSING COACH'S TAKE

"New defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is renowned for using multiple looks, but he's got so much talent that he could just play base defense if he wanted. A hulking line will once again rotate plenty of fresh bodies. Their linebackers are solid and have lots of speed. The secondary is as talented as it gets with future NFL picks in [senior] cornerback Tre'Davious White and [junior] strong safety Jamal Adams. Hopefully you can find a way to run the ball against them, but their front seven is so good that's a tough task.

[Junior] Leonard Fournette isn't just the best running back in the country—he's the best to play the position in years. But they're not only a run-the-ball-down-your-throat offense. They do a really nice job with the play-action pass, which is hard to defend when Fournette is always one broken tackle away from the end zone. They've got a talented receiving corps to go along with a massive, physical offensive line, but the biggest question is quarterback Brandon Harris [54% completions, 13 TDs, six INTs]. He's a capable passer, and now that he's got a year of experience as a starter, he should be better. From the start to the end of last season, he made a lot of progress.

I don't see a lot of weaknesses in this team. They've got the talent to not only win the SEC, but also the national championship."

FAST FACTS

18

Returning starters (nine on each side), most of any team in the Top 25.

5

Defensive backs with starting experience. Last year the quintet combined to pick off six passes.

10

Number of the Tigers' 12 opponents that had winning records in '15, giving LSU one of the toughest schedules in the country.

5

Consecutive defeats to Alabama, LSU's longest such streak since 1981, when the Tide won their 11th straight.

1,953

Rushing yards last year for Heisman Trophy contender Leonard Fournette (6.5 per carry, 22 TDs), third-most in the nation.

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

5 YEAR TREND

WINS

15

12

9

6

3

13--1 (SEC CHAMPS)

10--3

10--3

8--5

9--3

YEAR

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

IMPACT NEWCOMER

Coach Les Miles was able to lure defensive coordinator DAVE ARANDA to Baton Rouge. Aranda, the team's third DC in three seasons, orchestrated the nation's top scoring defense (13.7 points per game) at Wisconsin last fall, his third season in Madison. At LSU he'll have nine returning starters to make his aggressive 3-4 scheme hum.

2016 SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, 9/3

AT WISCONSIN

(IN GREEN BAY)

SATURDAY, 9/10

JACKSONVILLE STATE

SATURDAY, 9/17

MISSISSIPPI STATE

SATURDAY, 9/24

AT AUBURN

SATURDAY, 10/1

MISSOURI

SATURDAY, 10/8

AT FLORIDA

SATURDAY, 10/15

SOUTHERN MISS

SATURDAY, 10/22

OLE MISS [KEY MATCHUP]

BYE

SATURDAY, 11/5

ALABAMA [BIGGEST GAME]

SATURDAY, 11/12

AT ARKANSAS [KEY MATCHUP]

SATURDAY, 11/19

SOUTH ALABAMA

THURSDAY, 11/24

AT TEXAS A&M

KEY MATCHUP

BIGGEST GAME