BATON ROUGE — After a game in which the team increased its season sack total by 66 percent it would seem the coaches have little to worry about when it comes to the LSU pass rush.
In that case, however, they wouldn’t be coaches.
Coach Les Miles noted a problem with the line’s containment. On several plays, if South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia managed to elude defensive ends Tyson Jackson or Kirston Pittman, he found a wide open field. And on some obvious passing situations it absolutely was a defensive end Garcia dodged — LSU introduced a scheme in which four ends and no tackles rushed.
Overall, Miles professed satisfaction with improvements the defense made against the Gamecocks. In the second half, especially, No. 11 LSU (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) held South Carolina in check during the 24-17 victory. The defense found “a good gear” Miles said he hopes it will stay in for the remainder of the season.
And certainly a batch of more traditional offenses in LSU’s remaining games gives it cause for optimism. Against South Carolina, the Tigers increased their season sack total from nine to 15, and the defense hounded Garcia on many other occasions. With the boost, LSU is tied with Ole Miss and Florida for third in the SEC in sacks.
Still, the lack of containment on some plays was troubling, Miles said.
“The rushing lanes have got to be handled better,” he said Sunday. “That’s something we’ll work on this week.”
Pittman said the line agrees with Miles.
“Sometimes we had a few miscues in the pass-rush lanes, but for the most part, we did a really good job,” Pittman said, saying leakage on the routes “has been a problem the entire year.
“That’s another thing we have to tune up and correct, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem,” he said.