Stopping a Heisman winner isn’t easy, but LSU’s defense has confidence thanks to its leader, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
LSU LB Devin White was very complimentary of Louisville QB Lamar Jackson to the Minden Press-Herald’s Blake Branch. But Aranda’s coaching has White confident ahead of facing Jackson and the Cardinals in the Citrus Bowl.
When asked about Jackson, White gushed about the quarterback’s talents.
“That’s a crazy challenge,” White said. “I never thought I’d be playing against a Heisman Trophy winner my freshman year, but Lamar, he’s a great player. We see his highlights all the time and know what he brings to the table.”
Jackson threw for 3,390 yards, 30 touchdowns and 9 interceptions this season. He also ran for 1,538 yards and 21 touchdowns on his way to the Heisman.
However, watching all of those highlights hasn’t intimidated White or the rest of LSU’s defense. That’s because they have Aranda, one of the sports’ best defensive coaches.
“But at the same time, we have coach Aranda, the guru of college football defense,” White said. “We know he’s going to put us in position to make plays. If my brothers do what they got to do and I do what I got to do, we should be fine.”
Aranda’s coaching helped LSU rank No. 13 overall in total defense and No. 16 in rushing defense in 2016. The matchup between his defense and Jackson makes the Citrus Bowl one of the year’s most intriguing bowl matchups.
White said he likes Aranda’s coaching style. He appreciates that the former Wisconsin defensive coordinator is “not a hollering type of coach.”
“He’s a teaching guy,” White said. “He wants you to learn it quick and once you got it, he wants you to just play fast.”
LSU faces Louisville in the Citrus Bowl on Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.