LSU tidbits for Friday, Sept. 12 _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU coach Les Miles

The other side: UL-Monroe’s Gerrand Johnson

Why he’s good

It didn’t take long for Gerrand Johnson to make his mark on the Louisiana-Monroe defensive line.

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, he was immediately inserted into the trenches, playing in 13 games and starting 11. He made a team-high four sacks, and he returned for 2013 looking to build on his already impressive young career.

Last season, he finished with 56 tackles (11 for loss) and one sack, earning 2013 All-Louisiana second-team and All-Sun Belt second-team honors.

Biggest obstacle

LSU’s offensive line will be quite the wall for Johnson to attempt to break through.

That said, the Tigers have struggled to keep opposing defenders from getting in the backfield. Through the Tigers’ first two games, a line consisting of starters La’el Collins, Vadal Alexander, Ethan Pocic, Hoko Fanaika and Jerald Hawkins has allowed 12 tackles for loss.

Senior center Elliott Porter will return to his starting role Saturday, though, giving Johnson an extra challenge.

No stranger to the SEC

Johnson has seen his share of SEC competition in the past two seasons. ULM matched up with Arkansas and Auburn in 2012.

Number to know

LSU has allowed four sacks in two games.

Say what?

“I’m going to tell you something: The guys with beards in here are suddenly starting to feel pretty froggy. He didn’t raise his hand. He just started talking, and he has a beard.”

— LSU coach Les Miles joking with reporters during his Wednesday news conference

Numbers to know

0 -- Games Les Miles has lost to nonconference opponents in Tiger Stadium since his arrival in 2005.

33 -- Completion percentage by opposing teams against LSU. The Tigers passing defense is second in the SEC, allowing 103 yards per game.

86 -- Pass attempts by ULM through two games. LSU’s defense has allowed 17 completions on 52 attempts against Wisconsin and Sam Houston State.