Orgeron, young LSU squad take lumps for opening loss but far from down-and-out

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Myles Brennan
LSU Tigers played against Mississippi St. Bulldogs during a game in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on September 26, 2020 (Photo by: Beau Brune / LSU Athletics).

A delusional Mississippi State fan looked at a reporter in our offices and then said the following.

“I think Ed Orgeron is the next Gene Chizik.”

That drew a laugh.

Chizik won a national title at Auburn in 2010 and was fired two seasons later.

CBS analyst Gary Danielson had it right days earlier. In the first half of the telecast of LSU’s 44-34 loss to State, Danielson said that no national champion had ever faced the rebuilding job that Orgeron did.

Of course, he’s right.

Not only did Orgeron lose the nucleus of a championship team, but his program was hammered with further talent losses before the 2020 season began.

If nickle back Kary Vincent had returned for the 2020 season and Derek Stingley was healthy, LSU wins Saturday.

Those guys can cover. Those who replaced them just weren’t ready. It was that simple.

The LSU secondary was already hit hard by departures to the NFL. Safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Kristian Fulton were second round picks.

So, all of the guys who made it happen on the back end for the Tigers last year were absent for the opener.

It showed.

Maybe defensive coordinator Bo Pelini should have played more zone against Mike Leach’s Air Raid. Would the results have been different? Maybe so.

Offensively, LSU is breaking in a new quarterback and a ton of new receivers.

Myles Brennan threw three touchdown passes, but he was also sacked seven times.

Brennan did at times hold the ball too long. At times, he also left the pocket too early. Brennan bolted instead of sliding up and around the pocket, a trait mastered by the best quarterbacks like his predecessor Joe Burrow.

Tiger fans have short memories. In 2018, Burrow took some bad sacks.

In Gainesville, LSU led 7-0 and was driving again to make it a two score game when Burrow took a bad sack.

The Gators escaped early difficulty and later controlled the game.

Brennan needs to settle into the job, and the coaches need to adjust. After the game, he said that State defenders were dropping into the short zones, trying to take his throws away.

They were effective.

Now for the bigger picture.

LSU has recruited well. Three true freshman started against State, and seven played.

Those pups have a chance to cut their teeth the next two weeks against Vandy and Missouri before heading to Florida.

The Tigers will improve, Stingley returns this week, and all is not lost.

But you wouldn’t know it.

Apparently, Orgeron is no longer a genius. He’s the next Gene Chizik.

Those Mississippi State fans are singing like canaries this week. And they should. I don’t know why they want to diminish the win by trashing the coach they’ve just beaten though.

But they are State, and LSU is LSU. By the end of the season, both teams will prove it.

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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