LSU coach Ed Orgeron recaps Arkansas win, moves on to Florida
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he could tell throughout the week that his Tigers were ready to play against Arkansas on Saturday. The Tigers came out and dominated the Hogs 38-10 on the road. It was all building throughout the week, Orgeron said.
"You see in their eyes, everybody is early for the trip. Everybody is early for meetings, attentive, ready to go. We blocked out the noise," Orgeron said on Monday. "We had energy all week, we had energy right before the football game, energy on the whole game on the sideline, just a tremendous job by everybody involved, and I was very proud of everyone involved in our program.
Before the Florida game, LSU will honors 18-19 seniors, Orgeron said. This game though, has a lot on the line for both LSU and Florida, who could punch their ticket to the SEC Championship game as the SEC East representative with a win. To do it, they'll have to win in Death Valley.
"We're excited it's going to be senior day. We're excited we're playing at home. We know we have a great crowd, great Tiger Walk, ex-players are going to be there, 18, 19 seniors that did a tremendous job of leadership for this football team. They have a lot to play for. This game means a lot for them to finish this season," Orgeron said. "Obviously, Florida is a very well-coached football team. We know about their record. We know what they have on their line. It's not about them. It's going to be about us." http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1728017-lsu-prepares-for-florida-...
Orgeron said that the team is having fun especially since they're winning. The LSU team had plenty of fun in the locker room after winning The Boot with a mannequin challenge video being posted by a few players on social media. Orgeron said that's the culture the staff is trying to create.
"Hopefully, it's the culture we create. Obviously, winning does that for us. We try to have fun every day with our guys. It's one team, one heartbeat. It's a family. Just like a family you go through hard times, you go through good times," Orgeron said. "What you felt in that locker room was a release, release of a tough week of work. We all want to get that awful feeling out of us."
With LSU set to honor 19 seniors on Saturday, Orgeron took time to praise them for supporting them through changed practices, schedules and everything, which has also helped the culture change that Orgeron has tried to lead.
"I relied on these guy, all of these guys. I mean, when we took over, these guys stood up, and they said hey, this is what we're going to go. We're going to play and we're going to listen to this coach. He's our coach now, and we're going to do the things we need to do."
After losing to Alabama, LSU was able to "block out the noise" of the week and bounce back rather than do what other LSU teams have done against Arkansas and lose while looking rough doing it.
"I really like the festive attitude in the locker room. Yeah. I think that they want that feeling again as opposed to the other feeling. And when you do win, it makes the whole week better for everybody, and it gives you confidence and gives you confidence in your teammates that we can do it, but it also gave us confidence that we could bounce back from adversity and shut out the noise, the noise that was telling us we won't play well, we're going to have a hangover, and you going to go up there and you're going to fall on your face and all that stuff. If we would have listened to that, it probably would have happened. We were strong enough to block that stuff out."
Tigers starting to show "secret plays" after closing practice
For the first couple weeks of practice under Orgeron, media was allowed to view practice on Mondays. Now, they're closed. The reason is simple.
"Putting in secret plays that I don't want you to know about," Orgeron said. "We come in Monday and want to do some gameplan stuff. We didn't want that stuff out on those little phone things."
The Tigers rolled out the Wildcat formation this past weekend against Arkansas with Leonard Fournette lining up in the backfield. LSU has also put Fournette and Derrius Guice on the field at the same time, added new formations and other new plays since Steve Ensminger took over as offensive coordinator.
This week, LSU will have to go back to work on Florida for a second time this fall. Orgeron said there will be some changes for the team for that preparation as things have changed on both sides.
"There's a lot of plays that are the same. There's a lot of things that we felt we had prepared very well for," Orgeron said. "There's some things that they have changed that we're going to have to change, so I think it gives you an advantage, that you know that opponent very well, but you have to start back from scratch."
Pocic, Guice pick up SEC honors
LSU sophomore running back Derrius Guice and senior center Ethan Pocic each took home conference honors following their performances against Arkansas as Guice was named the SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week, while Pocic was named the SEC Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week. It was the second time this season that the pair took home SEC honors in the same week (previously after Missouri win).
Orgeron said the LSU coaching staff didn't talk about helping Derrius Guice get that type of yardage or a record.
"We talk about plays and execution, and I let Jabbar handle the rotation, and I thought he did an excellent job," Orgeron said.
Guice had the second-best rushing day ever by an LSU Tiger after his 252 yards on 21 carries including the longest play from scrimmage in LSU history, a 96-yard touchdown run, on his last carry of the game.
Pocic had 11 knockdowns against Arkansas and anchored an offensive line that helped the Tigers rush for 390 yards.
- Orgeron on Leonard Fournette's health: "I think that the ankle is a little sore. The guy did roll up on it. I think he's going to bounce back. If he needs a day off Tuesday, he gets a day off. I let Jack handle that. Jack tells me he practices or doesn't practice, and -- but I do believe he's going to be fine."
- Coach Orgeron said that Tre'Davious White will remain the punt returner even after his fumble against Arkansas. "He's going to be our returner, but we're going to be ready to put somebody else in if he doesn't perform."
- For some draft-eligible players, Orgeron said he'll try to recruit them to stay at LSU: "I know I'm going to continue to recruit those guys. Nobody has told me anything, but I've been around long enough to know, that most of them have made their decision already. Most of them are maybe 75, 80 percent could be salvaged, just like Kendell Beckwith and Tre'Davious White was last year, but I know this is the time to be able to recruit them."
- Danny Etling had a solid performance against Arkansas while managing the game. Orgeron was proud of the way he bounced back. "I was really proud for Danny. I think maybe out of all of us, he probably had the toughest week. I know him. I worked with him on the service team. I know how he is. He's competitive, and he fought back. And he just had that look at him before the game, I'm ready to go and represent the LSU Tigers the way he should."
- The Florida visitors section will be near the LSU students this game due to the logistics between moving the game from South Alabama to Florida now. The Gators have sold their allotment of tickets as well.
- LSU will honor 19 seniors on Saturday. The full list: snapper John Ballis, OL Josh Boutte, DE Tashawn Bower, K Colby Delahoussaye, WR Travin Dural, DE Jordan Harper, DB Rickey Jefferson, TE Colin Jeter, DE Christian LaCouture, DE Lewis Neal, OL Ethan Pocic, LB Duke Riley, DL Marcus Roberts, TE DeSean Smith, DB Brandon Surtain, DB Dwayne Thomas and DB Tre’Davious White.