A former Miami football head coach and a key member of the Hurricanes current staff could be considered for the open LSU defensive coordinator job according to the 247Sports LSU website.
Current Miami defensive coordinator Blake Baker and former player, defensive coordinator and head coach Randy Shannon are among the potential candidates to replace former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda who left the Tigers to become the head coach at Baylor. LSU clearly respects the Miami football program.
LSU finished 31st this season in total defense allowing 343.5 yards per game. Shannon is currently the defensive coordinator at Central Florida. The Knights finished the 2019 season 33rd nationally in total defense allowing 346.1 yards per game on defense. Miami was 13th in total defense allowing 309.8 yards per game.
LSU clearly played a much tougher schedule than UCF and Miami. The Tigers had the nation’s sixth-best SOS, Miami was 71st and UCF was 84th. The numbers are telling but it doesn’t dismiss the success that the Miami football team had in 2019. The Hurricanes defense was ranked 15-20 nearly across the board on defense in 2019.
Baker was previously the defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech from 2015-18 where he succeeded his current boss, Miami head coach Manny Diaz. Baker also was a linebacker at Tulane. He is highly respected in Louisiana and potential that he could be considered to replace Aranda shows that.
Current Job: Defensive Coordinator (Miami, Fla.)
Why he could get a look: Known for his expertise in coaching linebackers, Baker’s 2019 unit finished No. 13 in the country, allowing only 309 yards a contest.
He landed at Miami after serving as defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech from 2015-18 where his last Bulldog squad was fourth nationally in team sacks (3.46 per game), 12th nationally in team tackles for loss (7.8) and 33rd nationally in turnovers gained with 22.
LSU beat writer for 247 sports has Blake Baker’s name as a candidate for the DC job at LSU?👀👀
— Shakey Rodriguez (@HurricanesTalk) January 17, 2020
Defensive end Greg Rousseau had a breakout season with Miami in 2019 under the tutelage of Diaz, Baker and defensive line coach Todd Stroud. Rousseau finished the season with 54 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and was second in the nation to Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, a Heisman Trophy finalist with 15.5 sacks.
Baker has received a lot of unwarranted criticism this season partially because of the fourth and 17 North Carolina converted in the second game of the season to keep alive the eventual game-winning drive. In eight of the 13 Miami football games in 2019, the Hurricanes defense held their opponent under 400 yards.
In this era, a sub 400 yard game by a defense should win nearly every time. In losses to FIU and Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl to close 2019, Miami allowed a total of 486 yards. The LSU defense did an exceptional job against Clemson in the second half. Clemson had four punts and a fumble on their last five drives.
Current Job: Defensive Coordinator (UCF)
Why he could get a look: Shannon and Ed Orgeron’s relationship goes back to 1988 and Shannon says Orgeron played a hand in getting him into coaching. Shannon has 10 years of experience as a coordinator at the Big 3 in Florida (Florida, Miami and UCF).
Like Orgeron, Shannon also has experience as an interim headman when Jim McElwain was fired at Florida and he has a wealth of experience at coaching linebackers.
Shannon was a linebacker at Miami from 1985-88. Orgeron was a graduate assistant with the Hurricanes in Shannon’s senior year. Orgeron went on to be the Miami defensive line coach from 1988-91 after Shannon graduated. After two years with the Dallas Cowboys, Shannon returned to Miami to succeed Orgeon as the DL coach.
Shannon has spent 15 years as a college head coach or coordinator. He knows how to run a defense. Baker and Shannon were two of 15 coaches that Geaux Tigers, the 247Sports website listed on their self proclaimed hot list of potential replacements for Aranda as the new LSU coordinator. The developments are worth watching.