Watch: Orgeron Previews 'Gold Game' vs. Ole Miss

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Watch: Orgeron Previews 'Gold Game' vs. Ole Miss

LSU COACH ED ORGERON PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT – Ole Miss Week

Opening statement
“Here’s a little about the game on Saturday night. Obviously, we are pleased about the win but there are some things that we need to improve on and we are working hard today. Last night, we did a lot of searching on the film about what went wrong and what allowed them to score 21 points on us and I’m sure those corrections will be made this week. As far as some of the highlights, I thought our offensive line played pretty well. Chasen Hines and Badara Traore to be specific. They started and played most of the game and I thought both of those guys were excellent. I thought Coach (James) Cregg has continued to do an excellent job with those guys as we were able to rush for 218 yards. I thought Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) had his best games as he had 136 yards and two TDs. Nick Brossette had 23 carries, 78 yards and three touchdowns. I was happy for both of those guys, they are like brothers and I am really happy for that pair. Joe Burrow had no interceptions for the fourth straight game and I thought Dee Anderson had his best game with five catches for 80 yards. Foster Moreau had his best game with four catches. On defense, Jacob Phillips had 13 tackles and is continuing to have a good year. Devin White had 11 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and three pass breakups. As far as special teams, we had a 45.8-yard average on five punts, three of those inside the 20-yard line. We were one-for-one on field goals and all seven kickoffs went for touchbacks. As far as other things, we lead the nation in red-zone offense. It was something that we wanted to improve on. Since Coach (Steve) Ensminger has been the offensive coordinator, we are 40 of 43 in the red-zone which is phenomenal. We lead the nation in the least turnovers committed, and we are plus 8 overall in the turnover margin which is good for fourth in the nation which is something we have been working very hard on and we are very proud of.

On to Ole Miss, they are very explosive on offense. Matt Luke is doing a great job. Matt was on my staff when I was there and he is an outstanding man. I think that Ole Miss did a great job in hiring Matt. He loves Ole Miss, he’s been a great recruiter there and he is doing a phenomenal job with this team. On offense they are very hard to stop. They score 42 points a game and average 500 yards per game. Jordan Ta’amu is an excellent quarterback and he fits their scheme perfectly. He’s an accurate passer and he is a very good quarterback. Scotty Phillips is a good running back, we had actually looked at him. He was a junior college player. They probably have the best set of receivers that we are going to see all year. A.J Brown and D.K Metcalf are both going to be in the NFL and both are outstanding receivers and their tight end Dawson Knox gave us problems last year so we are going to have our hands full with this offense. Defensively, they are struggling a little bit. They run a 4-2-5 but they have some very good players. Benito Jones is a guy that we tried to recruit and he is a very good nose tackle. They also have Cedric Woods at strong safety who is a good player. On special teams, they are solid.”

On areas to improve on the defensive side of the ball…
“Pass rush. We did not have a good pass rush and we did not have a good pass rush plan and I am part of that so I’ll take the blame for that. We were not rushing the passer the way we should have and we are going to get it fixed this week. Also, our coverage consisted of a lot of one-on-one coverage and we did not get it done this week. We have to clean up what we’re doing. I think we started the game fast. We did not let them run the ball well but we gave up too much in the passing game.”

On the strategy against big receivers like A.J Brown….
“Yeah if you put one guy on him then you have trouble with the other guy in D.K Metcalf, who is probably just as good. It is hard to double one guy because then you open up a can of worms with the other one. I think last year, we did a great job of covering these guys. Corey (Raymond) challenged our guys. We played a lot of man coverage against them and covered them pretty good, not great, but pretty good. We are going to have to mix things up because we have some new guys there this year so we will have to mix things up. It all starts with pass rush though and we need to do a better job of that.”

On the cohesiveness of the offensive line with players being injured….
“Chasen (Hines) has been a plus. He has played pretty well and he is probably going to have to start for us this week so we think that he has done a good job. Obviously, he makes some mistakes but he is big and physical. He can handle all of the physical tasks and he is getting better at the mental tasks. He is going to get challenged a little bit more this week. He is going to have to block Benito Jones in a lot of situations so we will see.”

On the depth at the left guard position….
“We do not know when Garrett (Brumfield) is going to be back but we have a rotation. We still have Donavaughn Campbell as he rotated in at the other guard and he would probably be the other guy to go in if somebody gets hurt.”

On coaching the pass rush with Coach Dave Aranda….
“When I step in the room, I am the assistant defensive line coach as Dennis Johnson is the defensive line coach. When I have to be the head coach, I am the head coach. Dave and I work well together. We always have worked well together. We went over some stuff yesterday and looked at some things. It is his defense and we are going to do what he wants to do. I am not going there, I am just making suggestions. I have to be the coach and I totally trust Dave to do what he has to do. There are some technique and alignment things that we could do better and we are going to do that.”

On the plus-8 turnover margin….
“I think it is both mental and physical. We start practice every day with it. This program is about the ball and we talk about the ball. We do some things with the ball. We had a rookie ball thing in camp where the rookies had to protect the ball. Our varsity had to go and get it. It is just a mindset of we want to go and get the ball and we also want to protect the ball at everything we do. It is working and we have to continue to work it. With us being plus-8, we are way ahead of where we were last year and we want to continue to do that.”

On Dave Aranda‘s response to last week’s performance…
“Dave is a man of few words. Obviously, he was not pleased and he is going to work hard and do better. I could see his demeanor today and I really liked it.”

On replacing K’Lavon Chaisson
“You know Andre (Anthony) had a good game against Auburn. We did not use him like we should against Louisiana Tech. We had a different scheme so he did not rush as much. He did rush at times but we think that we can use him more off the edge and obviously use our speed of the edge. It is something that we did against Louisiana Tech sometimes and sometimes we did not. We need to get better at rushing with our big men. Our big men have not gotten a lot of pressure and we need to do a better job with that.”

On the pressure of coaching against Ole Miss after having coached there previously…
“That is a long time ago. 13 years ago, it was a great opportunity for me and my family but we moved on since and I am glad to be at LSU.”

On teams using more play-fakes on offense…
“I thought they had a great selection. They used a lot of four wide and sometimes that can be difficult. They created some one-on-one mismatches and they won it. That is what four wide does to you but we need to make better adjustments and I believe we will. And we are going to see a lot of this week. They ran some counters against us which gave them big plays. They ran the ball extremely well against us last year. This is going to be a battle for 60 minutes. There is no way that you can let up against this team. We are going have to have our hands up for the whole game. They are going to make plays as they are a good offense and we are going to have to keep battling for sixty minutes.”

On Billy Cannon’s statue being unveiled and the rivalry against Ole Miss…
“It is something that we are excited about. Billy Cannon’s statue will be unveiled on Friday night and it is a big deal because he is one of the all-time greats to play here at LSU. They will be honoring the 1958 National Championship with a reunion on Saturday. I want to personally thank them for setting the standard for all LSU Tigers, and all LSU coaches. Obviously, those guys are icons in LSU history and a lot of them are still around today and a lot of them are very supportive of what I and the LSU Tigers are doing. This is a big deal with obviously his run at night is very historic. You hear about it, we watch it and we talk to our recruits about it. This is a great rivalry. It is a going to be 8:15 at night in Tiger Stadium with LSU and Ole Miss and it is a great opportunity.”

On if Dare Rosenthal could play on the offensive line if needed…
“Yeah, he’s not ready, I wish he was. I wish we could have moved him a lot sooner, he probably would be ready, but he’s not ready right now and I would not put him in. Hopefully we’re going to get of these injured guys back pretty soon.”

On how other defensive backs have reacted being targeted more when quarterbacks avoid Greedy Williams
“Well, you know I thought they did fairly well this year up to this point. They struggled last game, it wasn’t all their fault, one time I counted it was five seconds the quarterback held the ball. That’s on the rush, so we got to get better. A better combination or a better rush. They’ve gotten get better at their technique on the line of scrimmage. We need to help them. This is a total defensive effort; it can’t be just all on them. When you do get a rush and the ball has to get out of the quarterback’s hands in two point five seconds, that’s when there’ll be some short throws where we can come up and tackle him. We can’t give the quarterback that much time to throw the ball.”

On how the team has been able to become more consistent in the red zone…
“Well, first of all, we practice red zone this year on Mondays and Thursdays. Last year, we only practiced red zone on Thursdays. We practiced red zone three times a week in camp, so I think we have a different offense in the red zone than we have in an upfield situation. So that’s different with coach Ensminger. Bringing Jerry Sullivan along, who is our red zone expert and he a bunch of great schemes against all the red zone defenses we see. I think that combination and we have been very aggressive in the red zone. We’re going to go for it on fourth and one if we have a chance there and then obviously the addition of Cole Tracy. I think all that coming together creates a mindset that we’re going to score once we go in the red zone and coach Ensminger has taken on that mindset.”

On what areas Joe Burrow has improved the most since the opener against Miami…
“You know, reading of the defenses, getting rid of the ball quicker, especially the Auburn game. He had, I can’t tell you how many throws. Most of his throws were under two point five seconds, he got rid of the ball. In the Southeastern game, he was holding on to the ball too long and that was when we got some sacks, so I think that’s the one. Getting rid of the ball quicker. And the think the offense has a change a little bit so he can get rid of the ball quicker.”

On how Todd Harris Jr. and Ed Paris played against LA Tech…
“(Ed) Paris had his first interception, I was happy about that and the guys we got, they both played good. I think that obviously, Ed’s a vet and he knows what to do. He has a lot of confidence. Todd’s just gaining confidence, there’s a lot of things he needs to improve on. The long balls and quarters coverage, he opened his hips, he should have come straight back, he just made some technical errors, but I think he’s going to get better and we trust him back there.”

On going up against a premier group of receivers from Ole Miss…
“This is going to test us. This is going to test us. Let me say this again, but I think I told y’all this last week. Louisiana Tech has some very good wide receivers. There quarterback was a little better than we planned on him being and we didn’t get a rush. We’re going to have to get a rush. Ta’amu is a better drop back passer than we’ve seen and these guys are first round draft picks legit. So, we’re going to be tested, we’re going to have to mix things up, but it all starts with the pressure up front. We have to get pressure up front.”

On Dee Anderson‘s breakout performance against LA Tech…
“Dee came in here with a lot of accolades obviously. I remember back on junior day and I think it was my first day or first weekend here and he says coach here’s one of the best receivers out of Texas. I think he’s committed to us, I think it was his junior year and Frank was really hot on him and Frank had recruited him. And Dee came here and I think he had some good games and you know, as we all do, go through some maturity that we have to get done and Dee has done a phenomenal job and I’m proud of what he has done. Dee has, he goes to class, he attends tutors, he’s very respectful, he works hard at the weight room, he has garnished the respect of his teammates and he’s made plays. Right now, he’s probably one of our go-to receivers so we’re proud of him. He’s worked his way up, nothing has been given to Dee, he’s worked his way up.”

On if he pays attention to how other ranked teams do every week…
“I don’t pay attention to it, I don’t. I really don’t pay attention to the rankings. We don’t pay attention to if they say we’re high or if we’re low. That doesn’t matter, that’s not going to win a football game for us. Today’s tell the truth Monday, we’ve got to look at things we do, we’ve got to control what we can. What goes on outside, being a top ten team, being a top twenty team doesn’t win a football game for you, it doesn’t lose a football game for you, it shouldn’t. It’s about the way you play and the type of mindset. We have to remain hungry, we have to be a hungry football team. There’s a lot of these starters on here, we have to remain humble. Focus on our task at hand and I think we’re going to do that.”

On the benefit of the graduate transfer rule…
“Well, it can give you immediate help if you need it and I think that’s a big-time advantage and I think we did. We’re a perfect example of needing immediate help, someone to come in and compete for the starting position. So, I like the transfer rule, I think it’s good, when I get the good player. When I lose a good player, I don’t like it. But I think you have to have the right guy and Joe was the right guy with the right mindset. He was raised in a football family, so he knows how to act in the locker room, he knows how to act in the weight room. When we not around, he understands how to be a part of a football team. If you got a guy to come in that’s a hot shot, can’t gain the respect of his teammates, it’s not going to work very well.”

On how he wants to see the team become more explosive…
“No, I think we’re going to be more explosive. You know we had ten explosive plays last week, which is the most we’ve had this year I believe. We need to score more points, we need to be more efficient, we need to throw the ball better and we continue to work on that. We need to throw the ball better on first down, we need to more efficient, not get behind the chains, but the problem we have is we have such a change on the offensive line. That everything comes down to protection, what protection can we use? What is the best protection to get the ball down the field and we’re limited in some of the things we can do right now with all the injuries that we’ve had, so I think that plays a big part in it.”