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After LSU loses 'DBU' status, Tigers fire four from defensive unit, including coordinator

5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Wednesday, January 03 2024 Jan 3, 2024 January 03, 2024 10:59 AM January 03, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

LSU football coach Brian Kelly fired the team's defensive coordinator and three other members of his staff Wednesday. The Tigers finished the 2023 season with a 10-3 mark, but their successes behind Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels were offset by a porous defense that gave up 416 yards and 28 points per game.

Matt House was in his second year as LSU's defensive coordinator, serving in the role during both years of Kelly's tenure. Also fired Wednesday were defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey, safeties coach Kerry Cooks and cornerbacks coach Robert Steeples.

While LSU had once been known as "DBU" for its ability to produce noted defensive backs, of late the Tigers' defense has taken the rap as being undependable. Most recently, it gave up a number of big plays to Wisconsin in Monday's Reliaquest Bowl in Tampa, Florida. A last stand, with three sacks, won the game for the Tigers.

LSU released a statement from Kelly last Wednesday morning saying the coach would move on with a new staff in 2024.

“This morning, I met with Matt House, Kerry Cooks, Robert Steeples, and Jimmy Lindsey to inform them that they would not return to our coaching staff in 2024," Kelly said. "I want to thank each of these coaches for their work on behalf of our football program and our institution during their time here.

"Decisions like these are always difficult, and we do not make them lightly, but they are made with the best interests of our program and our student-athletes in mind. Moving forward, we will continue working to build a championship caliber coaching staff in support of our mission to Graduate Champions.”

LSU ended its season with its second consecutive 10-3 record under Kelly. In each of its three 2023 losses, defensive lapses squandered the Tigers' offensive firepower. Of note:

In a 45-24 loss to Florida State, the Tigers gave up 494 total yards for the game, and 31 points in the second half. Only a late LSU TD managed to make the score less-embarrassing.

Ole Miss outlasted LSU 55-49 a month later. The Tigers gave up 706 yards. Ole Miss drove 88 yards in the game's final three minutes to win. 

Alabama scored the final 14 points of the game to break a 24-24 tie and beat LSU 42-28 in early November. Alabama had 507 total yards. For the game, the Tide converted 11 of 14 third-down plays.

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