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LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini rubs his head as he leaves the field following Missouri's 45-41 win over LSU, Saturday, October 10, 2020, at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo.


A team that was so proficient on third down and at least competent on defense in 2019 had crucial breakdowns in both areas in Saturday’s 45-41 loss to Missouri. The defense was most dismal with 586 yards allowed and numerous blown assignments. But the offense was 0-for-10 on third down, failing to gain one winning yard at the end in four tries.


LSU’s defense. Or lack thereof. If there was one grumble about the Tigers in 2019, it was their sometimes-porous defense. That unit looked like a fortress compared to this. Against Mississippi State and Missouri, the Tigers surrendered a combined 89 points and 1,218 yards. Lots of new players, a new scheme and little spring practice, but LSU can’t afford excuses.


Chilling thought: The last time LSU started 1-2 was in 1994, Curley Hallman’s final year. The 2020 Tigers have their flaws on offense (see 0-for-third down), but 34 points against Mississippi State and 41 against Missouri should have been enough. LSU has good players on defense, and Bo Pelini is a proven coordinator. But right now, the Tigers simply look lost.

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