LSU Front Seven Gashed by Kentucky as Defense Takes a Step Back

Tigers let Wildcats run wild, total 331 yards on the ground in loss
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The LSU defense had no answer for Kentucky’s rushing attack in Saturday’s loss to the Wildcats. After allowing 330 yards on the ground, the Tigers inability to make tackles and giving up explosive plays was a focal point in their loss.

“I think it was a matter of missed tackles,” Orgeron said. “Give them some credit, I knew they were a good zone team coming in. I think there’s some time we were out of our gap and that was giving them either a cutback lane or lane right into the gap where we needed to be.”

Despite Kentucky’s Chris Rodriguez leading the SEC in rushing yards with 124 per game, Orgeron harped on how surprised he was at their rushing attack.

“I knew they had a good rushing game, but 330 yards rushing, we got to be able to do something to stop that,” Orgeron said.

It was a gloomy night for LSU, raising some questions on what film the Tigers could have possibly studied for Kentucky. Being one of the most physically dominant rushing teams in the nation, it was as though the Bayou Bengals seemingly had no clue what to do.

The offensive line of the Wildcats is outstanding, but to continuously run the ball down LSU’s defensive line drive after drive put Tiger fans in a state of disbelief. Defensive linemen and linebackers were constantly being pushed out of their gaps and there was no energy within this group or mistakes being solved.

Last week, the Tigers couldn’t wrap up and hold on to tackles to save their lives when it came to quarterback Bo Nix, but those issues carried over again to the Kentucky running backs. With no solution to errors LSU continues to make, it’s looking glim for this defensive unit.

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis was just about as poised as ever, commanding the Wildcats offense, and exploiting the Tigers all night. Rushing for a season high 75 yards on 11 carries, the pocket passer even got in on exposing LSU’s defensive line, totaling two touchdowns on the ground as well.

In what is shaping up to be another gloomy season for the Tigers, it’s the small things that continue to add up for this defense. Missed tackles and being in the wrong spots has stopped this unit from hitting their stride and gelling together.

Defensive coordinator Daronte Jones has his work cut out for him, especially after the thrashing Kentucky’s rushing attack did to his defense, but there is still confidence within this Tigers locker room. With a brutal stretch on the horizon, Coach Orgeron knows this team needs to stay together and continue improving in every facet of the game.

"We have lot of confidence. We'll go to work tomorrow and try to prepare to beat Florida, like we do every day, and that's not going to change," Orgeron said Saturday night. "I look at it one game at a time, one day at a time. That isn't going to change."