Tigers turning page from Alabama, preparing for trip to Oxford
Almost all of the questions tossed at LSU coach Ed Orgeron at his weekly news conference Monday were about the game 48 hours earlier, the Tigers’ 46-41 victory at Alabama.
Very few were about this week’s opponent, Ole Miss.
“We’re happy for all the things we’ve accomplished, but still we’ve got to focus on one game at a time,” Orgeron said. “There’ll be bigger games down the road for us to play in.”
Still, Orgeron was reflective on what his team accomplished against the Tide.
“What a great day for the LSU family,” he said. “It was a total team effort. That’s what it was going to take. We felt we were the better team the whole time, but we were going to have to go out there and prove it.
“Today’s ‘Tell the Truth Monday.’ Although we won a big game, we didn’t play our best for 60 minutes. I thought we played our best for the first half. I’m gonna challenge our guys to play our best for 60 minutes.”
Among the players Orgeron singled out for their performances against the Tide were quarterback Joe Burrow, linebacker K’Lavon Chiasson and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Burrow and Edwards-Helaire shared SEC offensive player of the week honors, a rarity for two players from the same school.
Orgeron called Edwards-Helaire’s four-touchdown performance “one of the best efforts I’ve ever seen in my 35 years” in coaching, comparing it to the likes of Reggie Bush and Warren Sapp.
“Unbelievable,” he said. “I don’t know that I’ve seen a performance like that in a big game.”
Orgeron addressed the live video on social media from his team speech in the locker room following the Alabama game, in which the coach is heard uttering profanity.
“I addressed the player that (took the video),” Orgeron said. “He felt bad about it. That’s just the product of (cell phone use) today.
“If I wanted that to get out, I’d have said that outside. It was just a fiery moment, an emotional moment.”
Orgeron knows his team could face a rematch of the Alabama game down the road – either in the semifinals or championship game of the College Football Playoff.
“This could happen again,” he said. “You never can tell,” but, he added, “We have a mature enough team not to look down the road.”
The Tigers came out of the Alabama game mostly healthy, with only tackle Austin Deculus doubtful for the Ole Miss game.
Ole Miss has two new coordinators this season, including former Tulane assistant Rich Rodriguez as its offensive coordinator. The Rebels lead the SEC in rushing yards.
“It’s a totally different scheme on both sides of the ball,” Orgeron said. “We have to play well, especially in the front seven. They can run the football, and so we’re going to have to play well in the box.
“They play their best at home. We’re going to get their best shot.”
After a film review of Alabama Monday afternoon, the page will quickly turn to the Rebels.
“I know (the players) probably enjoyed the last couple of days,” Orgeron said, “but it’s time to get to business and get to work.”
LSU and Ole Miss meet at 6 p.m. Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford. The game will be televised by ESPN.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…