BATON ROUGE – When Clemson scored five touchdowns against Alabama in the CFP National Championship Game on Monday night, it allowed LSU’s defense to take the top spot among all FBS teams in both touchdowns allowed (16) and touchdowns allowed per game (1.33) for the 2016 season.
LSU gave up just 16 touchdowns in 12 games (1.33 per contest) as the Tigers ranked No.5 nationally and No. 2 in the Southeastern Conference by allowing only 15.8 points per game. LSU allowed only one opponent to score more than 21 points in a game, that coming in a 54-39 win over Texas A&M in the regular season finale.
Alabama entered Monday’s title game tied with LSU in fewest touchdowns allowed in 2016 at 16. The Crimson Tide finished the year giving up 21 touchdowns for an average of 1.4 a game.
The touchdowns allowed were one of several statistical categories that defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s defense ranked among the national leaders in for the 2016 season.
The Tigers finished No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in the SEC in first downs allowed (192), while LSU ranked No. 10 in the nation and third in the SEC in total defense, giving up just 314.4 yards per game (117.3 rushing, 197.2 passing).
LSU’s third-down conversion defense, which held opponents to just 32.3 percent, ranked No. 12 in the nation and second to only Alabama (30.7) in the SEC.
Other highlights for LSU’s defense in 2016 include holding the nation’s top scoring offense without a touchdown in a 29-9 win over Louisville in the Citrus Bowl; limiting Heisman Trophy quarterback Lamar Jackson, who entered the game with 51 TDs in 2016, without a touchdown for the only time all season; and holding national runner-up Alabama scoreless for three quarters.
The Tigers finished the season with an 8-4 overall mark, which included a 6-2 record under Ed Orgeron, who took over the team in late September. LSU was ranked No. 13 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 14 in the final coaches poll, both of which were released on Tuesday.