Orgeron and LSU take advantage of open week
In the LSU media guide for this week's matchup against Southern Miss, the headline read: "LSU to Host Southern Miss After Impromptu Open Date." LSU coach Ed Orgeron said his team is focused on the game and not the noise from the previous week.
"We had to move forward and focus on the focus, which is Southern Miss coming for a home game at Tiger Stadium. We're expecting a great week of preparation. We identified several areas on offense, defense and special teams that we want to improve on this week. This team is going to come back fired up and ready to go."
Having a week off, the team is expected to get back to work today and be ready to go.
"We expect to have a great week of practice. We're going to focus on the LSU Tigers. It's our third week in our new season and we're going to take advantage of that."
Orgeron said at his Monday press conference that this was a first for him, but the extra rest and recruiting was helpful.
"This was new. We move forward really quickly. We just treat it like an open date," Orgeron said. "I think the benefit of it was we got to practice for a team all week. We had excellent preparation and in turn we get to use a weekend recruiting and rest our players."
Even though the team didn't play a game, Orgeron will apply the 24-hour rule in a sense, allowing his team to get to preparing for Southern Miss.
"I'm going to compliment them. Everybody went home and protected the team. Everybody is back and ready to go. I'm sure they're going to be in good spirits. We're going to talk about it briefly, put it to bed and move forward."
After a few weeks of chaos in a way, Orgeron is ready to get back to normalcy, but positivity is how LSU approaches each day.
"This is college football. Whatever the day brings, we're going to be positive about it and adjust on the move. We're going to take it one day at a time. Today is about forgetting last week."
Louisiana High School Coaches Continue to Embrace Orgeron
LSU coach Ed Orgeron may have an interim tag in front of his name, but he's not approaching the job like that. Orgeron hit the recruiting trail hard this weekend and was well-received to say the least.
"Coach, can I take a picture? It was amazing. I had to stop and get a little energy drink. The fans were going crazy. I got to see a lot of friends and get high-fives. Everybody said we liked the way the team was playing. Everything was positive."
Orgeron stopped at 10 high schools, nine being in Louisiana, over the weekend, and said he did his usual recruiting moves, gathering transcripts and evaluations on players.
"People were excited to see the LSU head coach. It was a great day."
Orgeron has built strong relationships with Louisiana high school coaches during his time recruiting the state and the connection has been invaluable during his time at LSU and especially now being the coach.
"I've recruited this state a long time. I'm glad to be wearing purple and gold and they understand. I'm friends with most of these guys. Most of these guys have come by our camp," Orgeron said. "You can just feel their happiness that a Louisiana guy is coaching the team."
Orgeron said he used to dig ditches and shovel shrimp earlier in his life and being the coach at LSU is as good as it gets.
"I love my job. I don't think I've ever gone to a coaching job and thought it was a job. I love being around people, I love being around young men, I love recruiting. I love being the head coach of the LSU Tigers."
Leonard Fournette questionable, Thompson closer to return
LSU running back Leonard Fournette wasn't likely to play against Florida and for the Southern Miss game, Orgeron said he remains questionable.
"I don't know if he's going to play this week. He's going to do some things this week. He's better. I'm going to list him as questionable right now," Orgeron said.
Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes has been tweaking the offensive line group to account for some injuries like Will Clapp and Toby Weathersby along the line. Both are expected to miss this week's game, but it allows LSU to rotate other players in there.
"We need to be able to adjust. Injuries are a part of football. We have to have some guys who are ready to play."
LSU linebacker Corey Thompson is close to returning to the team, but Orgeron said he's not ready to play just yet. Orgeron praised Thompson's speed, pass coverage and pass rushing skills that he'd bring to the team's F linebacker position. Right now, Thompson could redshirt, but that will be explored when he's ready to return.
"He will be able to play this year. He's not ready to play right now. We're going to do some things with him," Orgeron said. "There's always options. I told his dad we're going to take it day-by-day."
Coming off an open week, Orgeron said he expects LSU to create their own momentum this week.
"The momentum is going to come from a rested football team, from a healthy football team. Everybody was a little ornery wanting to play and I'm sure the team answered questions about what's going on?"
Nuts and Bolts
- Orgeron said part of the improvement of LSU's offense is making the system more "quarterback friendly."
- UTSA coach and former LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson, whose team just beat Southern Miss, talked with Orgeron on Sunday like the two good friends do every week and praised the Golden Eagles. "He did warn me, they're going to be ready to play."
- Orgeron didn't really address the LSU-Florida decisions saying he lets AD Joe Alleva handle that. "I trust Joe Alleva. There was no such discussion."
- "Mindset" is what is setting the team apart from others on defense according to Orgeron.