It's still too early, two weeks and one game into the season, to dub LSU as the best defense in the nation or say that they can win a national championship without a competent offense. But as the season develops, it's getting harder to make the contrary case.
The Thursday night game against Mississippi State was more of the same. The Western Division Bulldogs gained 190 yards on 69 offensive snaps -- an average of 2.8 yards a play. The running game that is State's bread and butter was shut down, held to 49 yards on 34 plays for an anemic average of 1.4 yards a carry.
And while the offense wasn't what you would call great, it wasn't exactly a disaster, either. Jarrett Lee was 21-of-27 for 213 yards and a touchdown, though his single interception came at the worst possible time. But when you have an offense that will promptly shut down the other side for a three-and-out, you can do that. Meanwhile, the Tigers ground out 3.9 yards a carry on the ground to help kill the clock. Again, with that defense, that's going to be more than enough most days.
Even in the SEC, it's hard to win a championship entirely on defense. There are going to be shootouts in the future, and the offense will have to win one game -- right?
Maybe not. Les Miles has certainly never been one to follow conventional wisdom, so it wouldn't be out of the question for him to win a championship in a way that's rarely done. And after Thursday night's game, it's awfully hard to bet against him.