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Third down conversions continue to haunt LSU defense

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The LSU defense has struggled this season with creating turnovers and making a crucial stop on third down.

The Tiger defense has just five interceptions through eight games this season, that's number nine in the SEC.

Coach Les Miles addressed the defensive woes Monday saying, "Defensively we have guys on rushed, on their quarterback, on blocked I should say.  We have guys that are supposed to have coverage on the exact area that the ball is thrown, and again, it's a confidence and a comfort that you just ‑‑ within the scheme, and to play like we play."

Another big issue for the defense is third down conversions. The Tigers are eighth in the league in stopping opponents on third down, which was a big problem Saturday against Ole Miss.

Miles was not pleased with the Rebels success on third down, "I think the opponent was 11 of 18 on third downs, which is certainly not like us, and again, I think there's a number of ways to get off the field late in that game."

When asked about the last minute losses starting with Alabama last year, Miles said, "We do two‑minute on Mondays and we do it on Thursday, and we do it extensively.  It's described and talked about.  I think maybe there can be a greater emphasis put on it in the fact that how fortunate we are to be in the position where most of the time those games come down to the last possession."

Miles hinted that some of the younger players might receive more playing time as the season progresses. "Yeah, we like Beckwith and we like Lamar Louis, who played awfully well in that game.  Do other guys get more snaps?  You betcha.  It doesn't mean that we're wholesale change and it doesn't mean that we're throwing anybody out, but what it does mean is some of these young guys played well enough to deserve playing time, and they're going to get it."

Chances are the Tigers will have a little more success Saturday against lowly Furman, before preparing for Texas A&M, Alabama and Arkansas.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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