The Harold Perkins experiment is starting to yield some impressive results. Instead of using Perkins primarily as a pass rusher this year, Brian Kelly and Matt House have been utilizing his speed and athleticism in various positions, showcasing his exceptional versatility.
Throughout the season, we have witnessed Perkins take meaningful snaps on the defensive line, in the box, and even at slot corner. This strategic decision has allowed him to adapt to different roles and maximize his potential on the field.
Despite Perkins getting comfortable in his new role, LSU made a defensive switch following their loss to Ole Miss. Recognizing the need for improvement in their overall defensive play, they simplified their strategies and transitioned to a traditional four-down defense. The objective was to free up their players' minds, enabling them to play more instinctively and with greater freedom.
Since this change, we have seen the entire defense benefit immensely. After conceding 22 points in the first three drives against Missouri, the defense rose to the occasion, limiting their opponents to just 17 points for the remainder of the game. It was during this crucial match that Harold Perkins truly embraced his new role as a slot corner, making the play of the game by intercepting Brady Cook on Missouri's fourth drive, preventing LSU from falling behind 29-10 early on.
In the Tigers' last two games against Missouri and Auburn, Perkins has spent a significant amount of his playing time in the slot, accounting for 73 out of his 129 snaps. To put this in perspective, prior to the Missouri game, Perkins had only played a total of 49 snaps in the slot.
Following his transition to the slot position, Perkins delivered a standout performance against Auburn, potentially marking his best game in his sophomore campaign. In that game, he recorded five tackles, four stops, four pressures (on just nine defensive line snaps), three hurries, two tackles for loss, one sack, one pass breakup, and an impressive -3 receiving yards allowed.
Perkins, is gradually growing into his new defensive role. As Perkins continues to develop and expand his versatility, he will undoubtedly become an even more formidable force on the field. It's clear that Perkins is poised for greatness. Make sure to keep an eye on this rising star as he continues to make his mark on the college football landscape.