September 30, 2023

LSU Tigers play against Mississippi St. Bulldogs during a game in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on September 26, 2020. (Photo by: Chris Parent / LSU Athletics)

The #20 LSU Tigers will be looking to rebound from a stunning upset at the hands of SEC West foe Mississippi State. LSU fans were shocked as the Bulldogs came, saw, and left with a victory over the Tigers. The LSU pass defense was endlessly raided without its top defender, Derek Stingley Jr. out of the lineup due to an illness. Stingley will be back against the Commodores and his presence is definitely needed. I will discuss keys to an LSU victory as the Tigers head to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt. There is no place to go but up for LSU on Saturday.

Offensive Balance

Myles Brennan played a decent game against Mississippi State in his first start, but his performance has to be better for LSU to have a successful season. Brennan was sacked seven times as he held onto the ball way too long in passing situations while throwing for 345 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. He must be more consistent throwing the ball to keep defenses honest. The offensive line must also protect better to keep Brennas upright. LSU must also run the ball better against Vanderbilt. Minus yardage lost from sacks LSU only ran the ball for 117 yards between three talented running backs. LSU must run the ball to open up passing lanes for Brennan to throw to. Terrance Marshall is the leading receiver and he was successful against the young Bulldog corners. Juray Jenkins’s performance was a nice surprise also. The two true freshman stars, Arik Gilbert and Kayshon Boutte are also options. Gilbert was able to use his size to sky into the air for his first career touchdown. 

Defensive Adjustments

Bo Pelini’s defense was raided through the air in his return to Tiger Stadium as the defensive coordinator. Pelini refused to adjust his coverages and Leach and the Bulldogs took full advantage. Against Vandy, the pass defense should be able to rebound soundly with the return of Derek Stingley Jr. His absence definitely weakened the Tigers. Damone Clark leads a steady linebacking crew who really didn’t get to attack ball carriers as Mississippi State only ran the ball a handful of times not including the sacks taken by Costello. Jabril Cox made an impact in his debut returning an interception for the score. Jacoby Stevens had an excellent game as he finished with 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries. If you looked at the stat sheet you would think that LSU’s defense had a stellar game as the Tigers racked up five sacks, 2 interceptions, and 4 total turnovers. The stats that mattered were the 623 passing yards and 5 touchdowns given up. LSU must play better this weekend against an opponent that does not feature the firepower the Bulldogs brought into Death Valley.


LSU is favored to beat Vandy by 20 points this weekend. I do not see Vandy being able to stay with a now very angry Tiger team who will no doubt be looking to make a statement. The Tigers will be led by their running game and Myles Brennan will have a better performance. The Tiger defense will feast on the Vandy offense as the final score will be LSU 56 Vandy 7.

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