Davon Godchaux seemed to know the question was coming. Despite allowing just 16 points against Wisconsin, coaches had already prepared Godchaux and his fellow defenders for it on Tuesday.
The LSU defense, especially in the first half, succumbed to poor tackling, allowing Badgers running backs Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale to pick up extra yardage throughout the game.
“That’s why we did a tackling circuit today in practice,” the junior defensive end said. “We definitely struggled tackling. We can’t have missed tackles against backs like that, scat backs like Wisconsin’s. Fast backs, if they break a tackle, [are] liable to run for a touchdown."
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LSU missed 10 tackles in the first half of the 16-14 loss to Wisconsin. It only resulted in six points for the Badgers, but LSU needed a turnover on downs and safety Rickey Jefferson’s interception in the end zone to prevent first-quarter points.
Though they ended in turnovers, those two Wisconsin drives chewed up nearly 10 minutes of game time.
Safety Jamal Adams pointed to poor angles and an inability to wrap up as reasons for the sloppy tackling. Nose tackle Greg Gilmore lamented splitting double teams during the game and whiffing on tackles.
“I personally take that on myself,” Gilmore said. “I split the double team real good and I just came free, and I just couldn’t wrap up. I take that on me, especially on some of the A-gap runs (between the center and guards). Didn’t expect to split the double team so easily, but when the plays come to you, you got to make them. I play nose guard. You don’t get that many opportunities.”
The LSU defense missed only three tackles in the second half and nabbed two of their three takeaways — a pick six by cornerback Tre’Davious White and a force fumble by Donte Jackson that led to the offense’s only touchdown.
“Coach (Dave) Aranda actually got on us on the sideline, ‘We got to rally. We got to gang tackle,’ Jefferson said. “We can’t just sit around and expect the guy to make the play because the back was kind of elusive. Just gang tackling, 11 guys to the ball, change the momentum. And I feel like we did that.”
Even if the Badgers controlled time of possession, holding onto the ball 13 minutes longer than LSU, Jefferson didn't use that as an excuse for the missed tackles.
“We can’t, because if we’re out there on the field, we got to do our job, period,” Jefferson said. “So I’m not going to go to that. I’m just going to say a lack of technique in some instances.”