BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Les Miles and his coaching staff have spent this week shoring up a defense that is getting beat up.
For the first time in school history last Saturday, LSU scored 40 points and lost a football game in regulation for the first time in school history last Saturday when Aaron Murray and sixth-ranked Georgia beat the Tigers 44-41 in Athens.
The defense is allowing an 24 points and 347 yards per game.
"I think we had guys trying to do too much," Miles said of the loss to Georgia. "There was a signaling issue and a player-to-player communication difficulty. Those kinds of things we've gone over and over this week. I am optimistic those things won't repeat."
The Tigers can't afford to have a repeat performance like that one.
Georgia rolled up nearly 500 yards against LSU. Murray passed for 298 yards and four touchdowns, while tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley combined for 169 yards rushing. The Tigers say the main issue was miscommunication, particularly among the defensive backs.
"Sometimes we just didn't get the call off the sidelines," said free safety Ronald Martin, who called a timeout in the second quarter when there was confusion in the secondary. "Then, we had problems echoing the call on the field. When a team runs a tempo offense, it's hard to get the call."
The LSU secondary was not helped by the play of the defensive line. The 10th-ranked Tigers had no sacks and no quarterback-hurries against Murray. For the season, LSU defensive linemen have accounted for just 5½ sacks and nine quarterback-hurries.
"It's always a concern when the team can have the success Georgia did throwing the football," Miles said. "There are a couple of ways to approach it. You can add numbers to the rush or you can continue to prepare the guys who are your four best pass-rushers and get them better at it technically."
The Tigers will try to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time in five seasons when they visit Mississippi State on Saturday. LSU has won 20 of the past 21 meetings, including 13 in a row, between the schools. However, the Bulldogs have done well through the air — passing for 257.5 yards per game.
Mississippi State running back Ladarius Perkins praised the Tigers defense, but he expressed confidence in his team's ability to move the football.