After great week of practice, LSU ready for Florida (finally)
The LSU Tigers are ready to rock, coach Ed Orgeron said at his Thursday post-practice press conference. The game that was originally scheduled for early October in Gainesville, will now take place at noon on Saturday in Baton Rouge.
"It's time to get ready. We prepared very well. They're excited to play a good Florida team at home," Orgeron said. "I know it's going to be an exciting crowd, great day to be an LSU Tiger."
The two teams were very different back in October when LSU potentially without Leonard Fournette and the Gators being much healthier as a team. Orgeron said the Tigers are better for the most part.
"We've gotten better on some of the things we're doing on offense. We have more confidence in some of the things we've done. We've gotten simpler on defense. Dave (Aranda) has a good feel for his players and the position to put them in. We feel very confident in that. We have gotten better in special teams although we have a long way to go."
Florida is starting Austin Appleby at quarterback, who gives the Gators more of a dual threat to compliment the team's solid rushing attack and great defense.
"Their offensive line is really blocking well. They're running the ball well. Their quarterback can manage the game well. (Antonio) Callaway can hit you with the deep threat at anytime," Orgeron said. "Defense is third in the nation. Very strong against the run. 111 yards per game. Something is going to have to give. They are very opportunistic on defense."
In a smash mouth football game like this, it's all about playing a complete game, Orgeron said.
"We've got to play for 60 minutes. We've got to start fast, but if we don't, we have to play for 60 minutes. I think the team that takes care of the football, able to run the ball and take care of the football is going to win the game."
Senior Day for Orgeron all about the team
LSU will honor 19 seniors before Saturday's game, none of which Orgeron recruited. On Friday, the team will have a meeting and talk about what the group has meant to the program, Orgeron said.
"Just prepare. Tomorrow we'll have a little meeting and talk about them and what they've meant. This is about the team. Those guys are a part of the team, but so is everybody," Orgeron said.
When asked what he might say to the group, Orgeron said he'll think of something.
"Something is going to come up. Those guys have been very good. I'm proud of them. They know that," Orgeron said. "I'm close with all the guys. I didn't recruit any of them. The defensive line, I know those guys. It's about one team, one heartbeat."
Injuries & Notes:
- Orgeron said John Battle, who was nicked up at practice on Tuesday, will play and is fine.
- Linebacker Tashawn Bower will play, Orgeron said. Bower was among the worst in terms of injuries after Arkansas, Orgeron said.
- Leonard Fournette is fine, Orgeron said after watching him at practice this week.
- Frank Herron's experience with Lewis Neal out for some plays against Arkansas was a testament to his preparation and Pete Jenkins, Orgeron said.
- Coach Orgeron said the team will go to bed at 9 pm on Friday instead of watching a movie. "We'll put them in their rooms at 9, but I don't know if they'll sleep."
- Orgeron said he thinks the team has forgotten about the circumstances surrounding the game being moved and the game against Arkansas proved to him that they can block out the noise.
- Florida runs a little more Pistol offense with Austin Appleby at quarterback, but for the most part, the offense is about the same, Orgeron said.
- LSU worked short-yardage and goalline at Thursday's No-Repeat practice.