Here's a bit of anecdotal evidence that LSU's retooled defense will be just fine in time: With 25 percent of the season complete, the Tigers are being led in tackles by a defensive tackle.
LSU's Ego Ferguson, along with belonging squarely on the SEC All-Cool Name team, has made 16 stops on the season, two better than any other Tiger.
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"Ego Ferguson had eight tackles and really a big night," Les Miles said in his Monday news conference.
Typically, interior defensive linemen like Ferguson have the fewest tackles of any starter on the defensive side of the ball. Spread offenses don't often afford them tackle opportunities, and they're often double-teamed when facing power-rushing schemes.
So when the player closest to the football than anyone before the snap is stopping the football more than anyone else, it can't be anything but a good sign. Just ask any team led in tackles by its free safety.
Ferguson made eight stops against Kent State Saturday and was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. He also leads LSU in tackles for loss with 2.5. Ferguson (6-foot-3, 309 pounds) played in every game last season, albeit as a backup who didn't make a significant impact.
That's changing this season.
The junior is quickly becoming one to keep an eye on.