Monday Press Conference

Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron signed with LSU out of high school and knows a lot about the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry. He says you can throw out the records when the two teams meet this Saturday night at The Vaught at 6:45. Read about it in his Monday press conference.

The following are key excerpts from Coach Ed Orgeron's Monday press conference prior to the Ole Miss-LSU game this Saturday.

Notes: The game is a "hard" sellout with standing room only tickets the only thing available. They are $42 each. . . Ole Miss encourages you to get to the stadium early due to the safety precautions that are required as you enter the stadium. . . If you leave the stadium, there will be no pass-outs to get you back in during the game. A torn ticket will not get you back in the stadium.

Coach Ed Orgeron's Opening Statement: From looking at the film from the Arkansas game, we are really pleased with the play of Larry Kendrick, Robert Lane and Ethan Flatt on offense. We were really pleased with the way the DL played - they are really coming together. All four of them played excellent football. Our linebackers fit the run very well, just like we worked on. Obviously, we have to work on correcting what went wrong in the second half. We did not hit their protections right with some of our calls. We were in poor position on some plays that they were able to hit the first downs.

Overall, we are excited to play LSU. We were ready to win against Arkansas, but didn't get it finished. We have to find a way to get it done. LSU is the best team we've seen so far - tough and athletic. Joseph Adai, Jamarcus Russell, big talented receivers and a physical OL on offense and the most talent we have faced on defense all year is what awaits us. Anyone who loves to compete would be looking forward to that challenge.

Q: Being from Louisiana, is this a special game for you? Did you face LSU when you were at Miami?

Coach O: We played them when I was at Miami in Baton Rouge and beat them 44-3. I remember them screaming "Tiger bait!" and things like that, but this is about now and about our team. It has nothing to do with me.

Q: Discuss the rivalry.

Coach O: It is heated and I understand it. You can throw out the records in this one. It's always been a great football game. I go back to the years with Johnny Vaught and the Billy Cannon run. It's been a great rivalry since before I was born. I know a lot of the great players who played there from both teams.

Q: Since you can't go to a bowl, do you have to make the last two games like a bowl in terms of the atmosphere?

Coach O: Just playing LSU is enough - bowl or no bowl. Being able to compete against them is enough to get your juices flowing.

Q: What about Mico McSwain and Lamark Armour?

Coach O: They are both definitely out this week and I'm not sure if they will be back for the last game against Mississippi State. I know they will not play against LSU.

Q: If you beat LSU, could that help recruiting in Louisiana, which you hit hard?

Coach O: It would be big to be able to go in a prospect's house from Louisiana and tell them we beat LSU, of course, but that is not why we are playing the game this week. We are playing for this football team - the 2005 Rebels. We want to win it for that reason. It helps all the other stuff, but this is about now and this game alone.

Q: What is the situation at RB without Mico?

Coach O: Larry Kendrick, Alan Abrams and Antonio Turner - if Antonio is back, which I'm not sure of right now. Maybe we can find someone else playing another position. We aren't afraid to try. (smiled)

Q: You said you were impressed with Ethan's play. What impressed you?

Coach O: He threw for over 300 yards. He operated the offense, for the most part, pretty well. He came back after the hit he took, showing a lot of toughness in that situation. He did pretty good, all things considered, and I look for him to make progress this week going into the LSU game. We felt he was a little rusty, but he'll improve a lot this week.

Q: When will you name a QB starter?

Coach O: Ethan is our starter.

Q: Can you discuss the LSU personnel a little more?

Coach O: Adai is very fast, 6-2 214, and a tough runner. Vincent was All-Everything the year they won the national championship. Their wide receivers are great players. Skyler Green is awesome. Russell is an excellent QB - big and physical. Their OL is big and athletic. I recruited most of these guys so I know their ability level. It's way up there.

Q: What style defense will they play?

Coach O: Bo Pellini is their DC. He and I both worked with Pete Carroll. His defense is very similar to what we run here.

Q: Have you considered running Spurlock at RB?

Coach O: No. We need him to be our second team QB. But everybody else has thought of that. (laughs)

Q: Where do you need to improve on offense?

Coach O: A lot of it falls on the offensive line. We didn't do a very good job protecting Ethan. That falls on the OL and the RBs. We need the RBs to be more physical in protection.

Q: What about Green and his returns for LSU?

Coach O: We will have to do a tremendous job in coverage. Our special teams are not performing the way we want them to. We have looked hard at the personnel. We need to put better people on our special teams, but we will solve all that this week in practice.

Q: Talk a little about LSU DL Kyle Williams.

Coach O: I love watching him play the game. He and that whole DL are excellent. They get after it. They have NFL players. Their defense plays very well and is fun to watch.

Q: Evaluate your kickoff and punt return games.

Coach O: We are missing a lot of blocks on kickoff return. We had some new people in there last week who did not perform. We missed assignments. On punt return, we are more of a block scheme, but we don't have enough speed on that team to be successful. We are looking at all that this week and will make necessary changes.

Q: Talk about getting the TEs in the passing game more.

Coach O: I want the ball in Robert's hands as much as possible. Ethan can get him the ball. We have to disguise it some and move him around, but we can get him the ball. It is good to see our TE position coming alive a little in our offense and we need that.

Q: Talk about your time at LSU.

Coach O: I spent two weeks there. They moved me from offense to defense and that's all it took. I was on offense (center) and was craving to play on defense so I went somewhere else where I could play defense. Charlie Mac was the coach and I loved him, but I just didn't want to play center. Now that I look back on it, they were right. I would have been a good center, but my love for defense was overwhelming and still is. It's why I'm where I am today. If someone like me comes to Ole Miss, I would move them to center too and it would be a good move, but I'm just a defensive guy and always have been.

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