Rashard Lawrence shares Dave Aranda's message ahead of showdown with Oklahoma's high-powered offense
When Oklahoma and LSU meet in Saturday’s Peach Bowl in Atlanta, there’s likely to be plenty of points on the board. Oklahoma averaged 43.2 points per game, while LSU is over 4 points better at 47.8. The matchup will feature a pair of dynamic quarterbacks in the Sooners’ Jalen Hurts and the Tigers’ Joe Burrow.
Hurts, who started for Alabama in the 2018 national championship in Mercedes-Benz Stadium but was famously benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa, has put together a phenomenal year as the Sooners’ man behind center, throwing for over 3600 yards and 32 touchdowns versus just 7 interceptions while running for 1,255 yards and 18 touchdowns on 219 carries.
That presents a unique situation for LSU’s defense, led by defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
“[I]t’s going to be a big challenge,” Tigers defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence said during the Peach Bowl media day on Monday. “But the biggest thing that (Aranda) told us is that we cannot let (Hurts) run in between the tackles. Once that happens, that opens up the whole offense. So we just got to keep it simple and really focus on him, focus on the great running backs they have and keep it in a good manner.”
And while there might be some questions swirling around regarding LSU’s ability to contain Hurts and the rest of the Sooners offense, which includes redshirt sophomore Kennedy Brooks and leading receiver CeeDee Lamb, the Tigers enter Atlanta as a confident bunch.
“[W]e’re going in the right direction,” Lawrence said. “And we got a big challenge Saturday, but this is a defense we’ve been playing good together. Everybody’s healthy, everybody’s feeling good, and I think we’ll have our best showing Saturday.”