LSU’s defense had the upper hand on Saturday’s first preseason scrimmage in Tiger Stadium. This was despite the fact that starting cornerbacks Derek Stingley Jr and Elias Ricks were held out.
In fact, only two scholarship corners were available as seniors Darren Evans and Lloyd Cole played with the first-team defense almost the entire scrimmage. Minor “camp injuries” left that position thin as Saturday was the first time LSU had tackled and Ed Orgeron wanted to be cautious.
“Some of these things, you can’t prevent. Some of them are football injuries. But yes … the little amount of hitting that we have done, it’s an unusually large amount of injuries.”
Ed Orgeron expects to have many of those injured players back next week, but says Stingley Jr. and Ricks will take a little longer than expected.
So why did the defense dominate? The pass rush caused havoc on third down.
“Those guys were really cranking it up,” Orgeron said. “There was a lot of third down passing situations where they could pin their ears back. I thought those guys did a tremendous job of pass rush today.”
Starting sophomore quarterback Max Johnson went 11 for 19 with 127 yards and one touchdown, while backup freshman Garrett Nussmeier completed 11 of 17 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
The down side of a dominate defensive line means LSU’s offensive line struggled to protect the quarterbacks.
“We’ve got a veteran offensive line, so those guys should be able to protect,” Orgeron said. “We had a lot of young guys thrown into the fire today. Sometimes they did well, sometimes they didn’t.
“But there was way too much pressure on the quarterback. So we’re going to watch the film and fix it. The things that hurt us today, we’re going to work on all next week.”
This news should not cause panic for Tiger fans. At least not yet.
This is just your yearly reminder that defense always has the upper hand in the first week of fall camp.