LSU defense still among nation's elite

BATON ROUGE – After another solid outing on Saturday against Tennessee, LSU’s defense continues to rank among the nation’s elite in several key categories, including total yards, rushing defense and scoring defense.

In five games, the Tigers are allowing 246.6 yards per game, first in the SEC and sixth in the nation. LSU is giving up an SEC-best 79.0 rushing yards a game, which ranks sixth nationally. LSU was scored on in the first quarter for the first time this year against Tennessee, but the Tigers still rank second in the league and fifth in nation in points per game at 12.4 a contest.

In three conference games, LSU has allowed just 24 points – 3 to Vanderbilt, 7 to Mississippi State and 14 to Tennessee. The 24 points is the fewest given up by an LSU defense in its first three SEC games since 1972 when the Tigers yielded 23 points in wins over Auburn (7), Kentucky (0), and Ole Miss (16).

The Tigers have also registered a league-leading 16 sacks, just five fewer than their entire total from a year ago. Last year, LSU didn’t pick up its 16th sack until the 10th week of the season. Drake Nevis continues to lead the Tigers with 3.5 sacks, while Tyrann Mathieu is second on the team with 2.0 sacks to his credit.

Other defensive leaders for LSU include linebacker Kelvin Sheppard with 48 tackles, which ranks fourth in the SEC, and Sam Montgomery and Nevis with six tackles for losses.

LSU returns to action on Saturday when the ninth-ranked Tigers travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face 12th-ranked Florida at 6:30 p.m. CT.

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