Somehow, this story doesn’t surprise me.
One day last summer, an LSU staffer came into Ed Orgeron’s office to ask if the recruits then on campus for a visit were allowed to watch practice. What practice? We don’t hold practice over the summer, Orgeron said.
The practice was being run by the players, he was told. As it turns out, quarterback Joe Burrow had issued an alert to his teammates: practice in the morning. To a man, the roster that would run through an unbeaten, championship-winning season showed up.
Is Coach O’s overnight raging success a matter of being a master delegator, or simply a guy who was in the right place at the right time? I suspect we’ll find out something about that real soon.
From Bruce Feldman’s piece today on Ed Orgeron ($$):
… Even in LSU’s biggest victory of the season, a 20-point trampling of No. 2 Georgia, the Tigers had problems slowing down the Dawgs’ ground game. Georgia opened its second series with runs of 12, 18 and 17 yards — two of those plays featuring the same type of blocking scheme Orgeron is showing on the screen in the combo drill.
“They’re shoving the ball right down our throats, running Inside Zone, combination block on the nose tackle,” Orgeron told The Athletic. “The way (Georgia tailback) Elijah Holyfield hit that hole you thought it was a friggin’ freight train. I watched Holyfield run over my safety (John Battle). That back is hitting that hole quick. That’s his play. I’m like, ‘Aw shit.’ We were playing shade. I told Dave (Aranda) go to zero.”
The adjustment was moving 330-pound nose tackle Ed Alexander from playing as a one-technique shaded over one of the shoulders of the center to head up on Georgia’s Lamont Gaillard, who Orgeron had said was the best center he’d studied on film in years. Georgia ran for 69 yards on that second series of the game. The Dawgs managed just 44 yards on 19 carries the rest of the day.
“We went to zero and we shut their ass down,” Orgeron said. “We played head-up and two-gapped Rougarou (Alexander), and those guys from Georgia said nobody’d ever done that to ’em.
I guess that’s why Chaney and Pittman didn’t adjust. Sheesh.
This is hilarious.
Better not make him say it a third time.
Ed Orgeron’s breakdown of Georgia reads pretty anodyne. It’s much more entertaining heard in the original raspy, somewhat breathless Orgeronese.
It sounds like Coach O’s bold move to discard offensive coordinators like used Kleenex is already paying huge dividends.
The offense may not be ready, but LSU is putting together a solid excuse game.
Given the public reaction, I may be something of an outlier on this, but count me in the group that sees the LSU game as Georgia’s biggest road challenge of the 2018 season. LSU may have questions about the head coach and its quarterback, but overall, it’s still got plenty of talent and one of the most intimidating home environments in college football.
That being said, Pete Fiutak lays out an interesting factoid that may very well turn out to be the key to the game.
The Tigers opened up the 2014 season with a tough win over a Wisconsin ground game that cranked out 268 rushing yards and three scores. Since then, the program is 0-10 when giving up two bills, including the 285 allowed in the 37-7 loss to Mississippi State, and the 206 given up to Troy in the stunner.
Florida came close – running for 194 yards and averaging over five yards per carry – in the too-tight 17-16 loss, and Auburn ran well, too – but lost. Both games were battles, though.
If there’s a team that’s built for 200+ rushing yards in a game, it’s Georgia.
Shorter Les Miles: At least when my teams stopped winning the West, I kept my dignity.
Patrick Surtain Jr.’s decision to sign with Alabama blew a hole in LSU’s recruiting plans, one that it didn’t recover from yesterday, as the Tigers failed to sign a cornerback in its 2018 class. The social media reaction from LSU fans to the way things went hasn’t been kind, to say the least. I doubt this is going to make those folks any more understanding.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron says he already has considered ways to adjust his recruiting approach based on the new calendar. He wants to make sure he still has enough scholarships available for the prospects who are waiting until February.
“We will be more selective in the beginning of the recruiting period next year,” Orgeron said. “We will be more selective with our scholarships at that time. We will fill specific needs then.”
This has not been the world’s greatest offseason for Orgeron, who parted ways with a highly paid offensive coordinator after only one year on the job, at the cost of a huge buyout. Quarterback is a serious question. LSU went 9-4, 6-2 last season, numbers not much different from what Miles was putting up at the end of his tenure there. Admitting that you have to up your recruiting game, something that is generally regarded to be his greatest strength, isn’t a great way to reassure the faithful that better times are ahead.
The end of Orgeron’s presser yesterday, when he’s asked if there’s anyone he misses from his days at Ole Miss is three shades of greatness:
Q. I know it’s been ten years. Is there anybody there that you still talk to that’s in administration or at the school at all? Any connection?
ED ORGERON: No, you know, I used to stop at the Exxon and get a chicken-on-a-stick, and they were fantastic. I hope that cook is still there, and I can stop and say hello to her. That’s about all I remember.
Q. This is in Oxford?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, chicken-on-a-stick. It was phenomenal.
Q. Good chicken-on-a-stick?
ED ORGERON: The best I ever had! Not better than Raising Cane’s! (Laughter.)
Coach O has a sponsorship deal with Raising Cane’s, which is what led to the add on there (and the laughter).
Maybe you don’t have to be a character to be LSU’s head coach, but it doesn’t hurt.