LSU's 'Express' defense gets swagger back


Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

The Express was a success.

LSU, with its quicker alignment along the defensive line, looked like the kind of defensive unit in the second half against South Carolina last week that's capable of carrying a team to a championship.

In a lot of ways, it was reminiscent of what the Tigers did to teams a year ago on their way to winning a national title.

South Carolina didn't score a point in the second half and was held to 42 total yards, including minus-7 yards in the fourth quarter. And here's the biggie: The Tigers sacked South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia six times after coming into that game with only nine sacks all season.

The Tigers used four defensive ends up front in an attempt to get more pressure. They call it their "Express" package, and Georgia can expect to see even more of it this Saturday with a caveat.

Ricky Jean-Francois, the Tigers' most disruptive interior lineman, will be back after missing the last two games with a groin injury. He'll play inside at one of the tackle spots alongside Tyson Jackson, who normally plays end. Rahim Alem will slide in at Jackson's end spot, and Kirston Pittman will stay at the other end.

The Tigers are deep enough that they will play eight to 10 players up front.

But what's more important than the depth is playing as active as they did a week ago, something Jackson says Georgia can count on.

"We just ran around and had fun, something we haven't done in a long time," said Jackson, who had two sacks against the Gamecocks. "We ran around and made some plays, four fast men in the game.

"Just catch onto the train, because we're coming. It's the way the LSU defense is supposed to play."

The Tigers had all the motivation they needed last week just by looking at the Florida score from a week before. The Gators romped 51-21 and piled up 475 yards, the second most that LSU has given up in a regulation game under Miles.

"We were determined to come out and get our swagger back, and I think we did," LSU safety Harry Coleman said.