LSU's Ali Highsmith
Photo by: LSUsports.net, LSU Athletics Publications
Football Defense Ranked No. 1 in Nation Again
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Published: October 18, 2006, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:22 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- For the third week in a row, LSU has the nation's No. 1 rated defense in terms of total yards as the Tigers go into this weekend's game against Fresno State allowing only 211.7 yards per contest.

The Tigers are ranked among the nation’s top 10 in six different defensive categories, including No. 1 in country in pass efficiency defense with an 81.8 rating. LSU is also No. 2 in scoring defense (8.6 points per game), No. 4 in pass defense (139.7 yards per game), No. 5 in interceptions (11), and No. 8 in rush defense (72.0 yards per game).

In seven games this season, the Tigers have allowed only 60 total points, which is the fewest by an LSU team since the 1985 squad held its first seven opponents to 57 points. In addition, the Tigers have outscored their opponents 153 to 20 in the first half this year.

Earlier this week, the Tiger defense was tabbed “Baddest in the Land” by The Sporting News. In this week’s print edition of The Sporting News the magazine said of the Tiger defense, “it starts with the best defensive player in the country, tackle Glenn Dorsey, the leader of a wicked-good front seven. The emergence of shutdown corner Chevis Jackson completes the unit.”

Offensively, the Tigers have scored more points over the first seven games than any other team in school history. LSU has reached the 40-point mark a school-record tying five times on their way to scoring 249 points, an average of 35.6 points per game. The 35.6 points per game leads the SEC and ranks No. 12 nationally.

The Tigers are also second in the SEC and No. 14 in the nation in total offense, averaging 417.7 yards per game, which includes 263.3 passing yards and 154.4 rushing yards. LSU is No. 2 in the conference in passing yards per game and they are No. 3 in rushing yards.

Individually, Tiger quarterback JaMarcus Russell is second in the SEC and No. 8 in the nation in pass efficiency with a 171.1 rating. Through seven games, Russell has connected on 120 of 174 passes for 1,700 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Tiger defensive end Tyson Jackson is tied for league-high honors in sacks with six this season, while safety Craig Steltz leads the SEC and ranks 14th in the nation with four interceptions.

LSU returns to action on Saturday when the 14th-ranked Tigers host Fresno State at 8 p.m. in Tiger Stadium. It will mark the first ever meeting between the two teams in football. LSU brings a 5-2 overall mark into the contest, while Fresno State is 1-5.

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