Doubting Orgeron, Ensminger, Aranda and Burrow ends now
Can the ridiculousness just stop now?
Like me, I am sure you have heard countless times, particularly by national pundits but also from many LSU fans that Ed Orgeron is not the man for the job, that he is overmatched, that he was a third or fourth choice, that he lacks game management skills.
For that matter, the ludicrous comments of a couple of national media personalities that Orgeron was on the hot seat to start the season and he could be dismissed if LSU started 0-3 can now be laughed at.
Get over it.
Cole Tracy made a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 12-ranked LSU football an upset win at No. 7 Auburn, 22-21, on Saturday on The Plains.
I scoffed at the critics at the time and will continue to do so. They will continue to doubt him. He is guilty until proven innocent in their eyes. I get it. Orgeron still has a long way to go but overall, he has done a solid job since taking over from Les Miles. It remains to be seen if he will lead LSU back to elite status but he certainly has the Tigers on the right track.
For those who question the hire of Steve Ensminger, they will continue to do so until the LSU offense puts up 50 on the Southeastern Louisiana’s of the world or drives the field on an outstanding defense like Alabama several times.
Get over it.
Ensminger is doing an excellent job.
He has a chopped up, modest offensive line, a host of young receivers and one dependable running back to work with. He has a quarterback who has scarcely played and had never started at the college level previously. Still, they are getting the job done.
Dave Aranda is the highest paid defensive coordinator in college football. Some question that logic and feel he is overpaid, not worth the investment.
Get over it.
Aranda’s defense put the clamps on Auburn early and late Saturday. His units are always well prepared, typically in the right position and they play hard.
LSU played physical and played tough.
For critics of Joe Burrow, consider this.
He has not committed a turnover in three games. He has quarterbacked LSU to victories over a pair of top ten teams.
Many continue to harp on his completion percentage. Burrow was 15-of-34 for 249 yards and a touchdown against an outstanding Auburn defense.
Get over it!
When you are constantly taking shots down the field, a huge part of the game plan for Steve Ensminger and Ed Orgeron Saturday, you are going to miss quite a few. That is fine, provided you hit a few. LSU hit some and got huge pass interference calls by doing so.
Burrow is a good game manager, similar to Danny Etling, in that regard. He has some toughness and moxie, which you love to see in a quarterback. His teammates seem to embrace his leadership skills. His 71-yard touchdown strike to Derek Dillon was a thing of beauty. It looked like a rare bad decision when it left his hands and the coverage appeared tight, front and back, but the throw was so good that Dillons caught it in stride and simply outran the defense to score.
Do you want completion percentage?
Jared Stidham, who all consider better than Burrow, connected on 16-of-28 passes but for only 198 yards and he suffered two interceptions.
Of course, it helped to have a pair of pass interference calls to set up the game-winning field goal.
The LSU kicking game again came up huge.
Avery Atkins kicked touchbacks. The one time he did not, Auburn got a very good return.
Zach Von Rosenberg continues to punt the ball very well. He bombed four kicks for an average of 52.8 yards. Pooch kick expert Josh Growden had a punt downed inside the 10-yard line.
Then, there is Cole Tracy.
The young man is cool as can be.
With cameras fixed on him as everyone was anticipating the game coming down to Tracy, he was smiling, shaking his head in affirmative fashion. To be good, you have to believe in yourself, to have confidence. He nailed the game-winner from 42-yards away dead center.
LSU had 370 yards to just 328 for Auburn. The Tiger defense got huge stops time and time again after falling behind 21-10. LSU got a pair of interceptions, one by Grant Delpit, which set up the first score, and one by Greedy Williams.
The Tigers, despite throwing it quite a bit, still won time of possession 35:04-24:46.
Now, LSU must avoid the letdown syndrome.
Last year, it was Troy who shocked the Tigers and spoiled what could have been a very good season.
This year’s Troy is Louisiana Tech, a well coached, talented team that is capable of giving LSU a very tough game, if not all they want.
Tech will be beyond motivated. LSU also got some players banged up and will be without John Battle for a half next week.
It will not be easy.
Then again, who among you truly believed LSU would be 3-0? I certainly did not, though I had the Tigers 2-1, beating Miami and losing at Auburn. Virtually everyone loses at Auburn, even Alabama. LSU did not lose Saturday. The Tigers were a big winner, thanks to a head coach, his two coordinators and a borrowed quarterback named Burrow. LSU upset Auburn for the second straight year in comeback fashion.
For the second straight year, Auburn will have a hard time getting over it.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…