The LSU football team spent a couple of weeks preparing for Penn State in Baton Rouge and on Saturday the Tigers took their preparations to Orlando as they made landfall in the Sunshine State shortly after lunch.
“We’re excited to be here in Orlando,” said sophomore quarterback Jordan Jefferson. “It is going to be a fun week. We’re going to work hard this week in practice and get ready to play Penn State.
“It will be great to hang out with teammates at Disney World and all of the parks in Orlando, but we know we are here for football. We want to go out on a positive note this season.”
The Tigers held nine practices in Baton Rouge before breaking for Christmas on Tuesday and they held their first practice session at Dr. Phillips High School on Saturday as the players were dressed in shells – helmet, shoulder pads and padded shorts.
There is going to be plenty of sites for the players to take in during their week-long stay in Orlando, but they also know that this is a business trip first and foremost.
“I am looking forward to Penn State. That is why we are here,” said sophomore cornerback Patrick Peterson. “Everybody here wants to kick the New Year off right. I’m not the biggest fan of hotels, but we will get acclimated to staying several nights here.
“We have to stay focused on the game plan and get in a routine. I am looking forward to Disney World though. I hear they have a new rollercoaster in one of the parks. I am going to have to check that out.”
LSU (9-3) is gunning for its fourth 10-plus win season under head coach Les Miles and to reach that mark the 13th-ranked Tigers will have to go through the 11th- ranked Nittany Lions (10-2).
Penn State arrived in Florida nearly a week ahead of the Tigers and after spending a few days in Daytona Beach, head coach Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions arrived in Orlando on Dec. 24.
The match-up is one of the best outside of the BCS bowl games and it’s getting plenty of press from the national media. The Tigers know what reaching 10 wins would mean for the season and how it could provide a springboard into the 2010 campaign.
“When you look back on the year, we went through a lot of adversity but we have a chance to go out the right way,” Peterson said. “We are a strong team and we stayed together and have one more game together. We want to play well to carry some momentum into next year.”