In the first game of the season, defending national champions LSU football gave up an SEC record 623 passing yards to Mississippi State quarterback K.J. Costello and new head coach Mike Leach. It was not the debut that new Tigers defensive coordinator Bo Pelini was hoping for, in a stunning 44-34 loss.
LSU was replacing a ton from last year’s team, including Heisman winning quarterback Joe Burrow, offensive coordinator Joe Brady, and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. The roster was very much in rebuild mode after one of the most impressive runs in college football in 2019.
Pelini returned to the Tigers for the first time since 2007, when he had his last defensive coordinator gig. He was head coach at Nebraska and Youngstown State before heading back to Baton Rouge, and overall it seemed like a solid replacement for Aranda, now head coach at Baylor, for head coach Ed Orgeron.
It became very apparent that it was not, actually, the case with that first game. Not every team blitzed LSU’s D the way leach did, but it didn’t get much better. The Tigers allowed 34.9 points per game, 97th in the FBS, and finished 5-5 on the year. Much of the late season improvement that helped them get up to .500 in the last few weeks was on the offense more than the defense. The team gave up 34 points to Florida and 48 to Ole Miss in their final two weeks. Now, Pelini is on his way out.
— Josh Sibley (@RealJSibley) December 22, 2020
Again, this move doesn’t surprise at all. Many college football fans and others who follow the sport joked that this had been obvious since September.
A look at Bo Pelini’s second tenure at LSU pic.twitter.com/o2tGxyBuqJ
— Payton Alexander (@paytonalexan16) December 22, 2020
I wonder if the Bo Pelini part of this story was finished after Week 1 https://t.co/7AC9w0Xujs
— Brennen Normand (@BrennenNormand_) December 22, 2020
The price to have Bo Pelini wreck your defense for a year? $6.9 Million. Nice, LSU. Nice.
— James Stevenson (@JamesStevenson) December 22, 2020
LSU football will likely look for another big-name coordinator to try and right the ship. The program has the resources to do it, even with a big price tag on Bo Pelini’s buyout. It is also a very young roster, so there should be some stark improvement.
Still, it’s tough to have what looked like a wasted season on that side of the ball, even in what might’ve always been reasonably assumed as a rebuild in 2020. LSU fans are happy today, now that this is finally official.
The post College Football World Reacts To The Bo Pelini News appeared first on The Spun.