BATON ROUGE, La. — With two days to go before his Tigers take on Arkansas, LSU coach Ed Orgeron met with the media Thursday.
Orgeron talked about the biggest topics surrounding his team going into the matchup versus the Razorbacks, including the health of his team and how he plans on manipulating his depth chart for Saturday afternoon’s game.
SEC Country was on hand for the press conference and typed Orgeron’s words as he said them. Here’s an abridged version of Orgeron’s transcript.
What LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday:
- Today was no-repeat Thursday. We spoke to the team about focus. When we have played well, the things that we’ve done when we’ve played well. Our guys are going to go to bed early Friday night and get up at 7 o’clock Saturday morning and be ready to play. We expect a great crowd, a big physical Arkansas team. From what we hear, Austin Allen may play. We have a game plan for him, a game plan for Cole [Kelley]. They’ve done well against LSU in the past. I respect him. I respect coach Bielema. We were ready.
- It was the biggest football team in college that I’ve ever seen personally. I love the way they practice. I love their run game. I think they have a great screen game which complements their run game. Bret and I have met each other on the road. I think he’s done a tremendous job everywhere he’s gone.
- I think that if you don’t prepare them ahead of time [it’s challenging to wake up.] But I’ll give you an example: We played Louisville and we were ready to go. Last time when we had that meeting, Arden Key was the first one to that meeting. We knew we were ready to go.
- If Cole plays, you’ve got to tackle him. They’re going to run the ball with him. You’ve got to tackle him like a tailback. But him being a freshman, I think Dave Aranda has a good plan. This offense does not revolve around their quarterbacks. It’s about their running backs and their lines.
- I’m waking up at 6. This is a regular day for me. This is not going to be a problem. We’ve blocked out the noise this year.
- I wanted them fresh. This time of the season, I wanted them fresh. 7 o’clock game they get to rest a lot in the hotel room. They’re not going to get that rest. This time of the season you can cut back on practice. But I wanted that execution. I wanted them to focus.
- I attribute the [health] to Jack Marucci and our training staff. They get these guys back a lot faster than any other team I’ve been around. Jack is one of those guys that helps me with the pulse of the team. I think they do a tremendous job. When we went into camp, I didn’t think we’d have an offensive line. Besides K.J. being questionable, this is the healthiest we’ve been. I didn’t think we were going to last long. Give credit to Tommy Moffitt and to Jack and to the way we’ve practiced.
- I’d like to say Arkansas was an extra energy week last year. But this year that strength staff has been phenomenal. It’s not false energy. It’s real. We’ve played some tough games where our guys have been intense the whole games.
- Obviously we’re not going to get everybody from Louisiana. There are going to be guys we don’t offer scholarships to. There are some guys on their team that we wish we had. They want to play a game in Tiger Stadium and say ‘Hey, you should’ve recruited me.’ They’ve got some guys I wish I recruited.
- You can throw out the record in this game. I’ve watched this game all my life. These guys are going to come after it. The best team is going to win that day. We need to be the best team that day.
- It’s a lot of screens off of misdirection plays. If you miss one, especially in man coverage, he’s gone. We’ve got to force them inside. We’ve had problems with screens. Auburn gave us problems. We’re very weary of their screen game.