For Oregon, a cross-country trip to LSU paid positive dividends. Ducks defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt and his staff headed down to Baton Rouge as they studied one of the nation’s stingiest defenses.
With a new staff under head coach Willie Taggart, the visit was a good way to pick the mind of LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as the Ducks develop their defensive approach.
According to The Oregonian’s Joel Odom, Taggart was quoted as saying Leavitt, “is a good friend with coach Aranda and they meet every year and talk ball and share and discuss different things defensively.”
The LSU and Oregon defenses were polar opposites last season as reflected by the stats.
LSU ranked No. 10 in total defense in 2016, allowing 4.76 yards per play and 314.4 yards per game. The Tigers also allowed the fewest touchdowns in the nation (16). Meanwhile, Oregon ranked No. 126 in total defense in 2016, allowing 6.41 yards per play and 518.4 yards per game.
LSU will have to replace defensive ends Lewis Neal and Davon Godchaux, linebackers Kendell Beckwith and Duke Riley, cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Dwayne Thomas plus safety Jamal Adams, but are still expected to be a strong defensive unit in 2017.
Leavitt tweeted that the experience to glean insight from Aranda was quite beneficial.
Had a great time visiting LSU. Really appreciate the hospitality by Coach Orgeron, Dave Aranda and staff. Excited to get Back home! Go Ducks pic.twitter.com/R42UA5gUi7
— Jim Leavitt (@CoachJimLeavitt) March 22, 2017