Oct 10, 2020; College Station, Texas, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Brad Stewart Jr. (2) and linebacker Jeremiah Moon (7) strip the ball from Texas A&M Aggies running back Ainias Smith (0) during the fourth quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

No. 10 Florida, LSU seek solutions to defensive woes

Florida is not playing well on defense.

Neither is LSU.

The dueling defensive deficiencies could spark a shootout when the No. 10 Gators (2-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) play host to the Tigers (1-2, 1-2) on Saturday afternoon in Gainesville, Fla.

Both teams are coming off last-second losses.

Florida fell to 41-38 to Texas A&M on a last-second field goal while LSU came up short, 45-41, at Missouri when it failed on four consecutive plays from the opponent’s 1-yard line.

When Florida coach Dan Mullen turned his attention to LSU and LSU coach Ed Orgeron turned his attention to Florida, both coaches zeroed in on their defense.

“I probably spent more time than normal with the defense,” Mullen said.

The Gators are allowing an average of 495.0 yards per game, which ranks 72nd among the 76 FBS teams that have played this season. LSU is 71st at 494.7 yards per game.

Mullen is looking for more physicality up front, prompting his staff to evaluate personnel usage.

“We went through each guy,” Mullen said. “We went through, ‘Are we asking guys to do things they can do well? Where are we being mismatched? Where is, right at this moment, where is their strength? Where is their weakness? And are we highlighting their strengths and protecting their weaknesses?'”

Mullen said the Gators have been playing “short-handed defensively,” but he hopes some players will return this week.

“We’ve got a great coaching staff, and I know our scheme is sound,” Mullen said. “But now, as guys are performing here on a live basis within a game, there’s a lot of new faces out there for us as well. Are we putting them in a position to make plays? What we’ve got to do is make sure we’re moving the guys into the right spots to be able to make plays.”

Orgeron and his staff have done a similar evaluation. The Tigers allowed an SEC-record 623 passing yards in a season-opening loss to Mississippi State.

In the loss at Missouri last week, LSU surrendered 406 passing yards and four touchdown passes.

“I told the players to put it on me,” Orgeron said. “It starts with the coaches. I told the coaching staff that we’ve got to coach them better, got to get better. I’m not going to put it on the players. We’ve got to execute better, but we’ve got to practice better.

“There are some things going on in that film, some busts, guys running wide open.”

Orgeron vowed to simplify the defense in hopes that the players can master some basics before returning to an expanded playbook.

“I don’t care if we have to play one defense and one coverage. Play it, play it right, do whatever we need to do, put our athletes in a good position and let them make plays,” Orgeron said. “I’m going to make sure that any defense that’s called that we run it right all week and our guys understand it. If we don’t understand it, we’re not running it.”

Orgeron said missed assignments were a major problem against Missouri.

“I do believe there was some miscommunication going on,” he said. “Guys were out of position. Guys didn’t play stuff right. We’ve got to make sure our guys know everything that we’re going to do. If not, we’re not going to run it.

“Not letting people run by us and score touchdowns uncontested — that would be a great start. I don’t want to single anybody out on defense. When you give up 45 points, nobody is playing well.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Upcoming Games

Aug 28th, 1:00 PM

Nebraska -7 -110

Illinois +7 -110

@

Aug 28th, 2:00 PM

UCONN +27.5 -110

Fresno State -27.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 3:30 PM

Hawaii +17 -110

UCLA -17 -110

@

Aug 28th, 9:30 PM

UTEP -7.5 -110

New Mexico State +7.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 10:00 PM

Southern Utah

San Jose State (24)

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB

Jacksonville State

@

Sep 2nd, 6:30 PM

Temple +13.5 -110

Rutgers -13.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

LIU

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Illinois

Ball State (23)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

The Citadel

Coastal Carolina (14)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Wagner

Buffalo (25)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Boise State +4 -110

UCF -4 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

Weber State

Utah

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

USF +17.5 -110

NC State -17.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

UC Davis

Tulsa

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

East Carolina +12 -110

Appalachian State -12 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Ohio State (2) -13.5 -110

Minnesota +13.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Houston Baptist

New Mexico

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Bowling Green +33 -110

Tennessee -33 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee-Martin

WKU

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

Eastern Washington

UNLV

@

Sep 2nd, 10:30 PM

Southern Utah

Arizona State

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

North Carolina (18) -5.5 -110

Virginia Tech +5.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Old Dominion +32.5 -110

Wake Forest -32.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Duke -7 -110

Charlotte +7 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Northern Colorado

Colorado

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Michigan State +4 -110

Northwestern (10) -4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

South Dakota State

Colorado State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Colgate

Boston College

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +29.5 -110

Kentucky -29.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Army +3 -105

Georgia State -3 -105

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Stanford -1.5 -110

Kansas State +1.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Holy Cross

UCONN

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (6) -24.5 -110

Tulane +24.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Western Michigan +17.5 -110

Michigan -17.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Penn State +4.5 -110

Wisconsin -4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Fordham

Nebraska

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Fresno State +22 -110

Oregon -22 -110

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Rice +20 -110

Arkansas -20 -110

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Lafayette

Air Force

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Alabama (1) -18 -110

Miami-FL (22) +18 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH +23 -110

Cincinnati (8) -23 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Marshall -2.5 -110

Navy +2.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Indiana (12) +4.5 -110

Iowa (16) -4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

West Virginia -3.5 -110

Maryland +3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Central Michigan +13 -110

Missouri -13 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

LA Tech +26.5 -110

Mississippi State -26.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Massachusetts +37.5 -110

Pittsburgh -37.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Montana State

Wyoming

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Northern Iowa

Iowa State (9)

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette (15) +9.5 -110

Texas (19) -9.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 5:00 PM

San Jose State (24) +16 -110

USC (21) -16 -110

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Campbell

Liberty (17)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Gardner-Webb

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

South Carolina

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Akron +36.5 -110

Auburn -36.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Southern University

Troy

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Missouri State

Oklahoma State (20)

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Monmouth-New Jersey

Middle Tennessee

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Baylor -13.5 -110

Texas State +13.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Syracuse -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Central Arkansas

Arkansas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Norfolk State

Toledo

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Texas Tech -2.5 -110

Houston +2.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Nicholls State

Memphis

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Abilene Christian

SMU

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Oregon State +7 -110

Purdue -7 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Georgia (7) +3.5 -110

Clemson (3) -3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Florida Atlantic +25 -110

Florida (13) -25 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

NIU +17.5 -110

Georgia Tech -17.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Northwestern State

North Texas

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

William & Mary

Virginia

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

UTSA +7 +100

Illinois -7 +100

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Montana

Washington

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

East Tennessee State

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Kent State +30 -110

Texas A&M (4) -30 -110

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Southern Miss -1.5 -110

South Alabama +1.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Duquesne

TCU

@

Sep 4th, 8:30 PM

LSU -4.5 -110

UCLA +4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 9:00 PM

Bethune-Cookman

UTEP

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

Nevada +3.5 -110

California -3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

BYU (11) -11.5 -110

Arizona +11.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

New Mexico State +30 -110

San Diego State -30 -110

@

Sep 4th, 11:00 PM

Utah State +16.5 -110

Washington State -16.5 -110

@