According to ESPN’s College Football Power Index, LSU finished with the No. 4 defense in the SEC. The Tigers were fifth in points per game allowed in the conference and ninth in yards allowed per play.
Despite not reaching the top-3 level, it was still a relatively successful first season for defensive coordinator Matt House’s unit. The Tigers had an almost entirely set of players in the secondary and lost one of their best defensive players on the season’s opening series – Maason Smith – but still carried an inconsistent offense for stretches this year. Additionally, Not only Perkins flourished as a starter by season’s end, he arguably became LSU’s best player on defense once it was all said and done. It’s hard to believe that he wasn’t a starter to begin the year. Perkins ended his freshman campaign leading LSU in sacks (7.5) and tackles for loss (13) while finishing third in total tackles with 72. According to Pro Football Focus, his 41 quarterback pressures finished second to BJ Ojulari.