Posted by
Member since Oct 2015
3018 posts

As goes the D-Line, so goes....

The first few games of 2017 were a major anomaly for the LSU team. Getting whipped in the trenches by Miss State took a bad situation and psychologically amplified it. Then, the Troy debacle...

But, then the D started to get the main horses back, and as the season played out, started a resemblance of the brand of football that LSU has been known.

Grading on a scale relative to the 2003, 2007 and 2011 teams, which are benchmarks for the D-Line and the the LSU Defense, and grading based on starting quality, depth and rotation, the first part of the 2017 season gets a "relative D" grade (possibly worse), and the ending part of the season developed into a B+ (possibly A-), from a D-Line perspective.

That is an amazing improvement within a single season. Thanks and credit to the defensive coaches, the strength and conditioning coaches, and the players doing the hard work.

It was like two completely different teams in 2017.

And sure, without a doubt,other elements of the team had important changes and adjustments as well, so it wasn't just the the D-line and the D; but it was more about the D-Line than anything else, and by far.

Indeed, as goes the D-line, more than any other position on the LSU roster, so goes the defensive performance, and so goes the LSU identity and confidence.

Now, we look forward to 2018.

Looking at the quality, experience, depth and rotation potential available to Aranda in 2018, the D-Line is DRASTICALLY better than the beginning of 2017, and a solid good bit better than the end stretch as well.

The proof will be in the bread pudding, but I am forecasting an A for the D-Line, possibly an A+, for the 2018 installment of the the LSU D-Line.

As for the overall team, sure the DB's need to stay healthy, and someone has to show up big opposite greedy. Sure many other areas are promising-but-unknowns. Same for the offense and special teams.

But that D-Line is going to be stellar and deep.

That, more than Burrow, or any other factor, is why I am very positive that LSU will surprise the heck out of those who are predicting win totals in the 6-8 range. Those folks are working off of poor data in their projections.

I think the win total will be in the 9-11, possibly 12 range.

And the reason, more than any other, will be the D-Line, buoying the D, which will lift the psychology overall, to bring back the true eye of the Tiger to a level which will bring us to a much better season than most are predicting.

This post was edited on 7/10 at 8:54 am

Lafourche Connection
On The Bayou
Member since Jun 2018
221 posts

Didn't really read all of that but what I did get from it is, yes this DLine will be light years ahead of last years. Talent wise and depth(big time) wise.

People can say what they want but we got our asses whipped in the trenches against State and Troy due to our DLine troubles. Not this year

Member since Oct 2014
2413 posts

And the Oline will be very important.

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New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2010
3037 posts

The defense and especially dline will give us a good chance to win every game on our schedule. So many unknowns on offense could lead to us winning 6 games or 12. If it all comes together we could have a special season.

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Member since Mar 2010
22368 posts

I don't think it's any big secret that if you can control the LOS, you can control the game. That has been the BIGGEST key to Bama's success. It was the biggest reason that 2011 defense was so good. If everything gets blown up at the point of attack there's not much an offense can do. It also makes every successive level of the defense better. The LB's can run free. The DB's can be aggressive because they don't have to cover as long with the DL getting pressure.

I'm optimistic that this DL will be the best overall since 2012. Lawrence is a big time player. Alexander (when healthy and motivated) is a load. Hopefully Fehoko lives up to the hype. Lacatoure, Gilmore and Herron had their moments. But at best, they were just role players and not difference makers.

More importantly, there should be so real depth behind the first group. If the OLB's can provide pressure (the biggest ? for the defense IMO) then this defense should be really good.

I'm confident the defense can keep LSU in every game. But still, it's hard to make any definitive predictions because the offense is still such a complete unknown.

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Walter White
Judice Inn Booth 1
Member since Sep 2012
3111 posts

Well said. The difference in depth on the D line compared to a year ago is night and day. So many more (talented) bodies that we’ll be able to rotate in. If we can stay healthy, I think we will surprise people. Love how under the radar we seem to be. Obviously gotta wait till we see a product out on the field, but I’m definitely optimistic.

Ocean Springs
Member since Jan 2008
11627 posts


The difference in depth on the D line compared to a year ago is night and day.
Here's Aranda discussing that very thing, and he agrees with you


Atlanta Braves Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2006
51978 posts

Yeah I like the class they brought in. A few guys need to stay healthy and they should be much better this year.

Was interesting to hear him say though that they had much more depth two years ago and that none of the guys had to play more than 30% of the snaps.

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Member since Sep 2016
15742 posts

O line will be huge

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Member since Sep 2012
5475 posts

If our D line is this good devin White is going to be a bad bad man

Member since Oct 2016
587 posts


our D line is this good devin White is going to be a bad bad man

Yes. The tone and leverage is set by the D-Line, and that facilitates the other defensive elements to leverage off the clog and pressure of the D-Line. Its the base of the frame upon which SEC and Nat'l Champion-level teams are built. The LB's and DB's are huge benefactors, so "all boats rise" (or fall) based on the DIne quality, depth and rotation.

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Juneau, AK
Member since Jan 2009
211117 posts

The D line improved dramatically through the year

Member since Feb 2005
33467 posts

I know there aren't excuses at the big level. However, with the suspensions and injuries we had for those two mentioned losses it's a difficult thing to overcome.
Without substituting the big boys on DL are gassed.

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Member since Feb 2009
46444 posts


asses whipped in the trenches against State and Troy due to our DLine troubles

how depressing is this. This under any circumstances should NEVER happen. Miss state still has better talent at that position this year.

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Member since May 2009
4397 posts

We’ve hyped a lot of dlineman over the last 4-5 years and none of them were anywhere near the players on the teams in the 2000’s. I’m going to wait till about mid season to make my determination.

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