Look for more tricks up Dave Aranda’s sleeve at LSU in 2018
SEC Country reporter Alex Hickey will answer your LSU Tigers sports queries each weekday in our LSU Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryLSU, @bigahickey or by email to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question of the Day: Wednesday, March 7
Today’s question comes from LSU fan David Ezernack.
Will Dave Aranda be able to give more sophisticated looks because of the talent up front?
Yes. In fact, the third-year LSU defensive coordinator has already announced his intention to do so.
Expect to see a lot of what Aranda calls the “peso” package this fall. It’s a nickel, but with four linebackers and two down linemen.
Aranda explained the defense in a recent interview with The Advocate newspaper.
“You’re playing an over defense, but you’re playing it from a 3-4 perspective with the two D-linemen over the guards and your outside linebackers being over the tackles and your inside backers being in the core. Out of those six, you can play games with who the four rushers are. We made a lot of hay with that at some [other schools, including] the first year [at LSU in 2016], especially at the bowl [win over Louisville], [we played] a fair amount of it.
“This past year, we didn’t. A lot of that had to do with the fact that the nickel play … we ended up playing a lot more base. Base really kind of fit us. This past year, we were really more of a hard hat, make-sure-you-pack-your-lunch pail (team). Base kind of fit that, but I think we go Peso, there’s opportunity for more movement and more diversity in the looks we’re given. I’d like to be able to get back to that.”
Oddly enough, LSU’s depth on the defensive line is something that will permit the Tigers to use two down linemen rather than three.
After struggling to keep enough defensive linemen on the field in games against Mississippi State and Syracuse last season, LSU has 12 linemen at its disposal heading into 2018. They’ll provide Aranda with more flexibility and versatility up front. And yes — sophistication.
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