Florida and LSU Prove Defense Is Still King in the SEC

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIOctober 12, 2013

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 12:  Jermauria Rasco #59 of the LSU Tigers reacts to a defensive stop against the Florida Gators during a game at Tiger Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Defense is the most important thing in the SEC. It always has been. And it always will be. LSU and Florida just proved it again today with their defensive battle in Baton Rouge.

The 17-6 victory for the Tigers shows just how important it is to get the defense to step up in a conference game. Without a good defense in the SEC, you will be a bottom dweller without a snowball's chance in hell to win the conference.

LSU and Florida's inability to score was directly related to their inability to gain yardage throughout the day. To compound it even more, both quarterbacks were complete non-factors to the end result of the game because of how good the defenses were.


Tyler Murphy and Zach Mettenberger were non-factors

The junior Gator and senior Tiger quarterbacks were complete non-factors in today's game. While LSU's Zach Mettenberger did lose a fumble, that was the only turnover that he and Florida's Tyler Murphy combined for on the day.

They also combined for a stat line of 24-of-44 (54.5 percent) for 267 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. The weather wasn't even awful in Baton Rouge, and that is normally a cause for a bad aerial game.

But it was still the weakest day of the season for both quaterbacks because the defenses were able to key in on their weaknesses and force the offenses to run the ball. Florida's defense excelled in coverage all day while LSU's defense focused on keeping pressure on Murphy.

No one expected both quarterbacks to have a bad day. When the quarterback with more yards barely tops 150, it's a defensive battle for sure.

Lack of Scoring Was Because of Lack of Yards

While these teams scored just 23 points, they were even more inept in their struggle to gain yardage and sustain drives. The Gators only racked up a whopping 240 yards while the Tigers were able to accumulate a not-so-monstrous 327 yards.

The passing games were weak, and the running games were just as bad, as Florida had just 2.8 yards per carry on offense. LSU had a much more respectable 4.5 yards per carry, but they combined for a total of 286 yards on the ground. 

The offenses combined for a total of 567 yards on the day. For comparison, Oregon gained 631 yards of offense against the Huskies today. It just goes to show you that the best team in the SEC will be the team with the best defense.


All stats used are either from ESPN or CFBStats. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.