LSU has always been known for their strong defense thanks in part to their dynamic DB's. But there are plenty of new faces stepping into the Tigers defensive backfield this season and they have some pretty big shoes to fill.
For the past three years, LSU has had at least one first team All American defensive back and many think the trend will continue in 2013 with Craig Loston. The senior has struggled through injuries during his time in Baton Rouge, but has a chance this season to live up to those high expectations. Loston says he's just focused on doing his job.
"Just be myself. Make sure I get the right checks and make sure I put our defense in the right position to go out there and make plays. I think if I can do that week in and week out the leader role will speak for itself," Loston explains.
The purple and gold may need Loston to step into that leadership role. They enter the season full of young talent in the defensive backfield, like former Green Oaks standout Tre'davious White. Loston says, despite their inexperience he expects great things from those young DB's.
"Since I've been here, there's never been that many young people looking forward to playing. This year we have a lot of young guys that can get the job done," Loston adds.
And what better stage to prove yourself than a top 25 showdown in a billion dollar stadium. The LSU defensive backs will have their hands full with TCU's aerial attack, but the Horned Frogs are hoping to become a more well balanced team.
LSU will be expecting a high flying passing attack from the Horned Frogs Saturday, but what about their ground game? Last season, TCU's backfield struggled, only able to total 200 yards rushing 3 times. In those 3 games, the Frogs scored 7 of their 13 rushing touchdowns of the season. Head coach Gary Patterson knows it all starts with their O-line.
"When you lose two 340 pound 6'5 to 6'8 offensive lineman, you worry about that. We are better at tackle and center than we were a year ago. We have to keep growing at guard. This is not a great game. Both of LSU's defensive tackles are very good players inside. It's a fist-fight all day long of what you have to do," Patterson says.
The good thing is that the Frogs 2011 leading rusher will be back after an early season knee injury took him out in 2012. Waymon James had a monster sophomore campaign, totaling 875 yards and 6 touchdowns 2 years ago. But TCU knows they have to be near-perfect in every facet of the game when you go up against a SEC team like LSU.
"The thing about Les Miles and the LSU program is that they make you live up to the big five: you have to block, you have to tackle, you have to be physical, you have to take care of the football and you have to handle the grind. They will make it a three-hour middle drill. If you can't handle the grind, they're going to see it. One of the more exciting things about the game is that we can learn what we're like and what we have to be," Patterson explains.
|AUG 31||8:00pm CDT||TCU|
|SEP 7||6:00pm CDT||UAB|
|SEP 14||6:00pm CDT||Kent St.|
|SEP 28||TBA||at Georgia|
|OCT 5||TBA||at Mississippi St.|
|OCT 19||TBA||at Ole Miss|
|NOV 9||TBA||at Alabama|
|NOV 23||TBA||Texas A&M|
|NOV 29||1:30pm CDT||Arkansas|