LSU Defeats Alabama

LSU senior quarterback Joe Burrow (9) and football coach Ed Orgeron celebrate after the Tigers' 46-41 victory over Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.

LSU football brought back a familiar face in January following defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s departure. The team hired Bo Pelini, who served as defensive coordinator during the Tigers’ 2007 national championship season.

While Aranda was often described as calm and collected, Pelini developed a reputation for his intensity during his DC tenure from 2005-2007.

When comparing the two, an anonymous SEC coach told Lindy’s Sports that Aranda and Pelini “are great defensive minds, but different personalities. One coaches like the Pope, another coaches like he’s in a rock band.”

Orgeron told reporters in February that Pelini has brought lots of energy to the team so far. Orgeron said he believes Pelini’s 4-3 scheme will fit much better with the defensive personnel than Aranda’s 3-4.

Pelini has also made an impact in the recruiting department. Five-star prospect Maason Smith, the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle, addressed his relationship with Pelini.

“It’s definitely much better than it was with Coach Aranda because I had never really talked to Coach Aranda on a personal level, but me and Coach Pelini, well, he’s talked to my parents,” Smith said in a report from Rivals. “I’ve met him in real life already. He’s a cool dude and easier to talk to [than Aranda].”

Aranda was pivotal to LSU’s undefeated national championship run in 2019. However, Orgeron believes the Tiger defense can be more aggressive with Pelini’s playstyle, recording more sacks and tackles for loss.

“I’ve known Bo for a long time,” Orgeron said. “He and I have a great passion for the game and with the coaches we have on our staff, this is an excellent choice. It’s the best choice, I feel, for LSU. I always want to bring the best to LSU. I think we got a great hire.”

“The opportunity to return to LSU is truly unique,” Pelini said after he was hired. “Culturally, with my prior experience at LSU, I know it is a great fit for me. The chance to work with Coach Orgeron, the ability to take charge of the Tigers defense, is something that I’m extremely excited about.”

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