This is the fifth part of a seven-part blog series leading up to Aug. 31, the start of the first official game week.
Topic: Team interception total
Why You Should Pick Over: Even with Jalen Mills’ injury situation, the secondary is likely LSU’s deepest and most talented position group.
Safety Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White are preseason All-SEC guys, and Dwayne Thomas, likely the other starting CB, is an experienced third-year player. Rickey Jefferson, who played a ton last season, will replace Mills. Freshman Kevin Toliver appears to be in the lead to replace Thomas at CB when he shifts to the nickelback.
Either way, this is a crew that most expect big things from, including interceptions. The Tigers had 10 picks last season and 11 in 2013, but LSU intercepted 18, 18 and 19 passes. The 14.5 numbers puts the total in the midst of those two extremes – a low number for these talented DBs, some may think.
Jalen Mills. (AP)
Jalen Mills. (AP)
Why You Should Pick Under: Let’s talk about Mills first here. He’s expected to miss the next four to five weeks at least.
His absence is a hit – maybe not a blow, but a hit. He was the leader of, not just the secondary, but the defense. He started all 39 games of his career, switching from cornerback to safety late in 2013. He also played LSU’s nickelback in the five-defensive back set.
The injury has left the secondary shuffling. Also, we mentioned above that the Tigers had just 10 interceptions last year. Excluding Mills’ one pick, returning players had six of the 10. LSU lost Jalen Collins (1 interception) and safety Ronald Marin (2).
Are you gonna go Over or Under? Give feedback to Ross Dellenger on Twitter by tweeting at him: @DellengerAdv.
Monday: QB completion percentage
Tuesday: Fournette’s per-game average
Wednesday: Team sack total
Thursday: How many LSU WRs will catch a pass