FBS RankingOffenseDefense
Rushing233.0 (21st)117.3 (13th)
Passing190.1 (101st)197.2 (23rd)

Tigers report: Inside slant

Inside slant · Notes, quotes · Strategy and personnel

On its way to a 12-1 season and a share of the national championship last year, LSU finished only fifth in the SEC in turnover margin. The Tigers finished tied for first in the SEC with 33 takeaways, but also finished second in the conference with 28 turnovers.

The Tigers were able to overcome those turnovers with a mature team and an experienced defense. This year's team lacks the same overall maturity and experience, so LSU's turnover margin of minus-three (ninth in the SEC and 76th nationally) is especially troublesome for coach Nick Saban.

The problem isn't just the 15 turnovers (10 fumbles, five interceptions), tied for third in the SEC. It's also the fact that LSU (4-2, 2-2 SEC) has forced only 12 turnovers (six fumbles, six interceptions). In three road games, LSU has eight turnovers and only one takeaway.

That's why the Tigers made turnovers a high priority on both sides of the ball during last week's open date as they prepare for Saturday's game against Troy State.

"We've been trying on defense to coach turnovers," Saban said, "but we need to do a better job of that some kind of way. We're not creating fumbles like we need to. We didn't cause a fumble in any one of those three games.

"We probably had our hands on three or four balls that we could have intercepted in this last game that would have been great plays, but we didn't make them."

Copyright (C) 2004 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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