BATON ROUGE, La. — For the only time during this bye week, LSU coach Ed Orgeron spoke to the media Tuesday, hitting all the storylines worth talking about in the Tigers’ week off.
Coming off three straight SEC wins, LSU heads into the bye week in need of some rest and recharging before its pivotal game next week versus No. 1 Alabama. Orgeron talked about how his team is coming back to full health and which performances stood out to him versus Ole Miss before beginning to talk a little about Alabama prep.
SEC Country was on hand and typed Orgeron’s words as he said them. Below is an abridged version of Orgeron’s comments.
What LSU coach Ed Orgeron said:
- We had a regular Monday today. We gave them the day off yesterday. Much needed day. We’ll have a heavier practice tomorrow. We did a lot of self-scouting, a lot of things that have been giving us problems. Tomorrow we’ll have our second annual Tiger Bowl.
- From the Ole Miss game team positives: Our guys fought very hard. I thought our guys went in there and fought for 60 minutes. We knew we had to come out with a sense of urgency. Plus-3 on the turnover ratio was the difference of the game. We played physical and started fast. Phenomenal job by the offense. Defense we created three takeaways. Third down wins were 75 percent. On special teams we were 8-for-8 on our kicks which was great. We held Ole Miss to 0 punt return yards.
- Want to improve red zone offense and gap control on defense. On special teams we obviously have to fix our kickoff and kickoff coverage. The placement of the ball was in the middle of the field. We lost leverage. We didn’t keep proper leverage on the ball. Placement and leverage.
- J.D. Moore’s touchdown was a great play call by Matt Canada. The team was very happy for J.D. Well deserved for him.
- We take what they give us. They were giving us the run. Obviously we want our receivers to catch the ball. But we took what they gave us. When you have 473 yards by tailbacks, we took what they gave us.
- Derrius will get some rest. A lot of guys will get rest this week. Tomorrow is going to be a get-after-it day. Thursday will be a scrimmage type situation for a lot of young players who need practice reps.
- The Tiger Bowl is huge. Some of the older boys will be coaching them up. A lot of these guys like Jacob Phillips and Tyler Taylor and Kary Vincent who have started, they’ll be playing. We look for tackling, taking on blocks, toughness, competition, getting them ready.
- Recruits are excited. Guys are saying ‘Coach, we’re proud of your team for fighting back.’ A lot of guys want to be Tigers right now. But we’ve got to finish strong.
- Line play, obviously. As many linemen as we can get. And we need corners. We think we’re going to lose two starting corners. We need a great safety. We have some spots filled already. But we need a JC offensive lineman. Maybe two. Those are the things that stand out to me. Obviously we’re losing two outstanding running backs. So that’s going to be key for us.
- The offensive linemen got beat 1-on-1. We need to be able to win our 1-on-1s. Either that or double teaming and chipping. I thought Matt did a better job in the second half of understanding who we need to slide our protection to. It’s going to be hard to just dropback against Alabama.
- On Alabama: Physicality. They’re different. They’re bigger, faster and stronger. They run the ball and they tackle well. They know how to win.
- We’re still working on tackling and footwork and proper technique. You’ve got guys who are not practicing all week and trying to play on Saturdays. That’s hard to do.
- Phillips and Taylor: They’re getting better. They’ve still got a long way to go. The speed of the game and fits are something they’ll have to get adjusted to.
- They had a pretty good scheme. They had a counter play that hurt us a bunch. A couple of guys were getting up to Devin White and blocking him maybe that they shouldn’t have.
- We had an extensive study on ourselves this morning, all the plays that are messing us up. What are we doing on formations? That’s what we focused on today.
- Arden is about 250 right now. He’s getting right to where he’s supposed to be.
- K.J. Malone’s still got a way’s to go.
- Michael Divinity should be back with the team soon.