BATON ROUGE -- LSU's defense continued its hold as the nation’s top unit this week as the Tigers are ranked among the top three in the country in four defensive categories.
The Tigers go into Saturday’s contest with fifth-ranked Florida ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense (193.4 yards per game) and pass efficiency defense (73.5 rating). The Tigers are No. 2 nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 7.4 points per game and they are No. 3 in pass defense, holding opponents to only 124.2 yards per contest.
Through five games, the Tigers have surrendered just 37 points, which is the lowest total for an LSU team since the 1970 squad held its first five opponents to that same total.
In addition, the Tigers have yielded only 967 yards since the start of the season, which is the fewest over the first five games by an LSU team since the 1969 squad allowed only 933 yards during that span.
The Tigers are also ranked No. 5 in the nation in both interceptions and sacks. The Tigers have intercepted nine passes this year and they have also recorded 19 sacks.
Offensively, the Tigers lead the Southeastern Conference and rank No. 10 in the nation in scoring with 38.0 points per game. The Tigers have scored 190 points so far this year, which ranks as the second-highest point total by an LSU team over the first five games of a season. Only LSU’s national championship team in 2003 scored more points (201) over the first five games of the season.
This year’s LSU squad is also the first team in modern day school history to reach the 40-point mark in four of its first five games. The only other LSU team to do it was the 1911 squad.
LSU, behind the play of quarterback JaMarcus Russell, is ranked No. 5 in the nation in pass efficiency. The Tigers have completed 90 of 134 passes for 1,337 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Individually, Russell continues to have the hot hand at quarterback as he has climbed all the way to No. 2 in the nation in pass efficiency. Russell, this week’s SEC Offensive Player of the Week, has connected on 81 of 115 passes for 1,246 yards, 10 touchdowns and just one interception. He has an efficiency rating of 188.4
Defensively, LSU safety Craig Steltz ranks first in the conference and sixth in the nation in interceptions with .80 a contest. Steltz has intercepted a pass in four straight games, a first in LSU history.
Tiger defensive end Tyson Jackson leads the SEC and ranks No. 9 in the nation in sacks with 5.5 to his credit. Jackson is averaging 1.1 sacks per contest.