LSU defense looks to minimize mistakes against Vandy

LSU defense looks to minimize mistakes against Vandy
LSU linebacker Jabril Cox (No. 19) celebrates intercepting a pass against Mississippi State and returning it for a touchdown on Sept. 26, 2020. (Source: LSU Athletics)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After being shocked by Mississippi State in the season opener and then getting drop-kicked in the national rankings, the LSU Tigers are now moving on to game two of this strange college football season and an overall bizarre 2020.

LSU defense works to improve

While Vanderbilt would likely be regarded by almost anyone as the worst program in the SEC, the Commodores put a scare into Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M last weekend in College Station before falling 17-12. Freshman quarterback Ken Seals was 20-of-29 for 150 yards and one touchdown. He threw two interceptions and was sacked twice. He also ran for 21 yards.

The LSU defense and senior leader, safety JaCoby Stevens, are working to clean up their many mistakes as the Tigers travel to Nashville.

LSU Safety JaCoby Stevens - 9/29/20 (Full Interview)

“[At the] end of the day, you’ve got to move on and learn from your mistakes," said Stevens. "And those mistakes were allowing too many big plays. And we’re going to move on to Vanderbilt. We can’t allow them to have big plays. We’ve got to take away what they want to do. I feel really confident and I’m glad that we got this out of the way from the first game and hopefully, we can learn from it.”

Stevens was all over the place against the Bulldogs. He had six tackles, including two sacks. He forced a fumble and had two fumble recoveries. One way that could help the Tigers avoid mistakes, especially in the secondary, is with the return of All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. Head coach Ed Orgeron said he “expects” last year’s SEC leader in interceptions (6) to play against the Commodores.


Despite LSU’s defensive problems, the Tigers' first touchdown of the season came on a pick-six by linebacker Jabril Cox. He transferred to LSU from FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, where he won three-straight national championships and led the Bison to a 35-1 record.

LSU Linebacker Jabril Cox - 9/28/20 (Full Interview)

“It was pretty much basically the same," Cox explained. "I didn’t feel anything faster or anybody better than what I was used to in the FCS. So, just having that interception, it gained a sense of confidence within me. But every game I go into, I just want to get the first hit, first tackle off and then that’s when I settle down and start to come into within myself.”

Cox went on to add he usually has tunnel vision on the field and don’t notice the crowd, so the cardboard cutouts in Tiger Stadium on Saturday didn’t really affect him. He had six tackles, including a sack, to go along with the interception.

LSU is a 20-point favorite to win in Nashville. The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Vanderbilt has announced that a very limited number of students will be allowed to attend, after initially saying there would be no fans at all.

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