Watch: Ed Orgeron Press Conference

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Watch: Ed Orgeron Press Conference

LSU Football Media Conference
Monday, October 15, 2018

Ed Orgeron

“Obviously a great team win, 36-16 over Georgia. A very good football team. Took a total team effort. Proud of the team and our assistant coaching staff. They did a tremendous job all week.

On offense, zero turnovers, a big part of the game. 475 yards. 275 rushing. Four-for-four or first down. 17 points in the fourth quarter. Our whole plan was to attack the whole game. We took shots downfield, aggressive on fourth down. Great job by Steve Ensminger and the offensive staff.

On defense, we held Georgia to 27 points on their average, 163 yards less than they were used to. Two interceptions. We played with great effort. I think Dave made some tremendous adjustments throughout the ballgame. This was a very, very tough football team. I thought Ed Alexander, one of his best games, along with Grant Delpit and Devin White.

Special teams, another lights-out performance. Five-for-five on field goal, three-for-three on PAT. Watching the film this morning, got to give credit to Blake Ferguson and Josh Growden. Those snaps were right on the money, total team effort.

The two turnovers, the faked field goal by Grant Delpit is one of the best plays I’ve ever seen in football. He was rushing. You guys seen it. He felt the wing goes out, Devin had the wing covered, tackled the kicker. One of the most spectacular plays I’ve seen as a coach.

On the kickoff, Ed Paris caused a fumble. Those are very, very important turnovers for us. It was good to see Avery Atkins recover it.

Tell the truth Monday, we’re going to digest it, look at it, move forward. We have a tough Mississippi State team coming in. Out-physical-ed us last year on both sides of the football. We still have that taste in our mouth. This is a very good football team led by Nick Fitzgerald, one of the best quarterbacks we’re going to see.

They switched up their offense a little bit against Auburn, had 369 yards rushing, dominant effort by them. On defense, Jeffery Simmons is probably the defensive tackle in the country. Montez Sweat is one of the best pass-rushers. They have skill people. This is going to be a tremendous challenge.

I invite our fans to come out early, homecoming night, to Tiger Stadium. I want to thank them for their support for the Georgia game. It was a home-field advantage. We’re going to need it again this Saturday night.

Any questions.

Q. You mentioned that defensive front from Mississippi State. What is it that makes them so tough? Do you think there’s any chance that Garrett to return to practice this week?
ED ORGERON: It was hard for us to block Simmons last year. He’s physical. He plays over the guard. Big, long and lean. He reminds me a lot of Leonard Williams, coached him at USC, a first-round draft pick. Montez is tall, great pass-rusher. I don’t think Brumfield is going to be ready this week. I think he’s very questionable.

Q. Ed Alexander has been playing a lot more lately. How much of that is him getting healthy and in shape?
ED ORGERON: He’s a two-gap nose tackle that you’re looking for. Breiden is a good football player. Breiden is a really better end for us, more athletic end that you can move around, take on a single block.

Ed did a tremendous job on the center. I thought one of the best players. Ed had a tremendous game against him.

Ed is still struggling with some problems with his lower extremities. He gets very sore. You can see he got off the field. Not going to practice today. I think he will be ready to play. We’re going to need him against Mississippi State.

Q. Dealing with success now, getting your team refocused, Foster Moore had some complimentary words about doing that each week. He said you mix it up each week.
ED ORGERON: Just a feel. Been coaching for 35 years, trying to feel the pulse of the team. Look at practice, see if we’re practicing hard enough, number one. Number two, if we’re practicing too hard, scale back. Know that each week is going to be different.

You’re dealing with 18- to 22-year-old men. Got to feel the pulse on the team, make an adjustment when you have to.

Q. Do you see Dee Anderson being back this week, and Sheldon?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, they’re both going to be back.

Q. With the run game of Mississippi State, you shut down Georgia, with a running quarterback…
ED ORGERON: This is different. This is totally different. They’re more of a pro style attack. It wasn’t a dual threat attack. They run what we call a zone read option, power read option. These guys are different in formations. They spread you out, try to run the ball up the middle, around. This is a different attack. It’s RPO, check with me, look over. This is a totally different scheme.

Q. Coach Kirby was complimentary of Joe Burrow in terms of the checks he made at the line. Some people may look at his stats and say he didn’t play that great of a game. What does he do that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet?
ED ORGERON: Manage the game, take us out of bad situations, put us in good situations, very smart with the football. That’s what I was most pleased with, no turnovers.

Q. Chasen Hines, a true freshman, I think he played every period after the first. What did you see out of him on the film?
ED ORGERON: Did very well. Very athletic. Sometimes unsure of himself. He didn’t really let loose, explode like he can. He was a defensive lineman also. Can come out of his hips. He’s very strong. He’s very smart. Knows his plays. Athletic, can move his feet, handle one-on-one blocks. We feel you’re going to see a lot more of him this week.

Q. That D-line was criticized a lot last week. When you reviewed that group, who stood out?
ED ORGERON: Fehoko, Rashard had his best game, I thought Glen Logan had his best game. Pass-rush wasn’t what we wanted. Playing a three-man rush. Great game plan. I thought they played good against a very good offensive line. One of their better games.

Q. Looked like Mississippi State was trying to make Nick more of a passer earlier in their year, turned him loose against Auburn. Speak to his ability, where he’s at as a quarterback and runner.
ED ORGERON: We knew he could throw the ball. He is a very dangerous runner. He can pick and choose his holes. He likes to run them between the tackles. Big, strong, quarterback.

We watched him this morning, watched his runs especially against Auburn. He’s very dangerous. He can get up the field, can make you miss. Very smart with the football, make decisions. This is going to be one of the best quarterbacks we see all year.

Q. Cole Tracy was five-for-five. If you take those away, the game is a lot closer than it was. How important is it going to be to have a guy you can send out there?
ED ORGERON: It gives us a lot of confidence. When you don’t have a field goal kicker, you change your whole game plan when you get inside the 50. That’s not so. I’ll just keep on telling him, Get it to the 33, just get it to the 33, we’re going to kick it.

When you walk away with points at the end of a drive, it gives your team confidence. Also when you kick the ball through the end zone, they have to start deep in their own territory, it gives you great field position.

Q. Early in the season when Nick started out running really well, you said that he deserved the lead role. Now that Clyde has emerged with some big games, do you go into weeks wanting to get them both an equal amount of action?
ED ORGERON: We have certain plays that they run very well, and we let them run those plays. Obviously Clyde is a good zone runner. Nick is more inside. That doesn’t mean Clyde can’t run inside. If I say that, he’s going to get mad at me, because he can run inside.

They do different things. We have different packages for each of them. I would see them as equal now.

Q. You’ve been around a lot of big games. How do you describe how emotional that victory was Saturday, everybody out on the field? We know the players embrace it. Do you embrace that as a head coach?
ED ORGERON: Sure. It’s good for recruiting, good for our fans. Never going to be about me. I was just happy for the LSU family. I grew up watching LSU football, seeing that happen a couple times. Always wanted to be a part of it.

You’re so entrenched in the X’s and O’s, motivation, you don’t know what’s happening at the time. I still haven’t seen a picture. Wife on the field, thank God we had security guards. Happy to see the fans where they were.

Q. Talk about Clyde’s ability to get to the edge, stretch the defense.
ED ORGERON: He’s a good outside runner, counter runner, not to say he can’t run inside. Those are things he does really well.

Q. Through seven games, exact same number of rushing yards and passing yards, 1415. What do you like about the offense so far this year, and what are the areas you like to keep improving?
ED ORGERON: I like the daily operations. I know when I walk into that meeting, we have seven coaches, whatever the amount of coaches in there, working on football all day. They all on the same page, led by Steve. Giving the LSU Tigers their best shot. Covering everything from A to Z. We watch every bit of practice film. If it’s broke, we fix it. They’re doing everything I ask them to do.

I know when I go in there and make a recommendation, they do it right away. Okay, coach, sounds like a good idea. Know game day Steve is going to be able to take what the defense gives him. He’s going to be able to make adjustments with our staff. I think we have a very cohesive staff. I think that’s the thing I’m most pleased with.

Q. A lot of teams have had an open date. You’ve been grinding for a while. Is there a feeling of let’s find a way to win this game, we have that on the other side?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, I know Mississippi State had an open date, but it’s not going to be about them. We have to stay through the process. We can’t look past Saturday, can’t look past anything else. Today is Tell the Truth Monday.

Our team must be tired a little bit, I realize that, I’m going to pull off them a little bit this week. This is a big game for us. It’s going to be a physical game against a very talented football team. We have to get ready to go again.

Q. Your defense, the pass defense, struggled against Louisiana Tech, came back against Ole Miss, performed well. The run defense struggled against Florida, came back last week against Georgia. A little bit of a pride situation?
ED ORGERON: It’s a good point. We have a thing today called Tell the Truth Monday that I’ve said many times. We put up what we did well. We put up three things we did well on offense, defense, special teams. We put up three things that we must and will improve. Those are things that you’re seeing.

We have a saying: if it’s broke, we want to fix it.

Q. This past week it was Kary Vincent, JaCoby Stevens. Are you finding guys and abilities for putting them in positions to win?
ED ORGERON: Yes.

Q. Speak to their plays this weekend. Big picture, how you’re identifying a guy here or there that can make a difference in a game.
ED ORGERON: We feel JaCoby Stevens is an outstanding athlete. We need to find him some places to stay. One play, one sack, pretty good ratio. We need to play him some more.

I seen (indiscernible) move on offense. I think he is going to play better. Racey McMath is a move tight end for us. Racey is also doing tremendous on special teams.

Q. (No microphone.)
ED ORGERON: Yes, we’re doing that. We always are looking at our roster. I don’t like sitting on the sideline. When I see 11 guys on the football field, I see a better athlete sitting on the sideline, that’s not LSU football. We want to put our athletes in the best position to make plays. That’s my job.

Q. Every time we talk about Avery Atkins it’s about him kicking the football through the end zone. Fumble recovery was aggressive. Is that something that is taught or something with Avery we don’t ever get to see?
ED ORGERON: I would say it’s a combination of both. It surprised me, to be honest with you, his aggressiveness. He’s a quiet, mild-mannered kid. He’s a stocky kid. He can go in there and battle. Very smart, 4.0 grade point average. When I saw him get after that ball, it was kind of a cool thing to see.

Q. Michael Divinity has seemed to come on the last couple weeks. What do you see from him?
ED ORGERON: Michael is tough. I like Michael. He’s got an energy about him. He’s got a seriousness about him. He’s very smart. He’s a good pass-rusher. He has a nice spin move. He’s gotten a couple sacks off his spin moves. He comes to play. He plays with a high motor.

Q. I know a couple times I’ve asked you about the fourth down decision-making process. This last game that was a huge element of the game. Were you even giving the go ahead or was it predetermined if we get within this distance we’re rolling?
ED ORGERON: If we have a shot, we’re going to take it. Fourth-and-one, that’s what we’re going for, even on the 38. Took a little while to set the chains up. We were going to hurry up. We were going to hurry-up offense. Worked a couple of times.

Any situation in this football game we had a chance to attack, we were going to attack. The 38 was a little dicey, but it worked.

Q. Can you speak to the Mississippi State runningback room?
ED ORGERON: Kolin Hill, really good runningback, yeah. Special teams guy, really good running back. I think he’s 5’9″. They always have tough runningbacks. I played them many of times. This is a tough, physical team. He’s another tough, physical runningback.

Q. Kirby Smart really attested his loss to your team’s ability to be more physical. How have you seen that grow in your team? How important is it going to be?
ED ORGERON: I attribute that to the way we practice. I’m going to say number two to the way we practice. Number one, the way we recruit. If you come to LSU, coach at LSU, physicality is part of your DNA. That’s always been LSU football. Some people like that, some people don’t. The people that don’t don’t come here.

We practice physical. One-on-ones Tuesday. Nine-on-seven. The guys like it. They like that being a part of the game. That’s a big compliment coming from them because they’re very physical.

Q. How much has Mississippi State’s offense changed this year versus last year? Different personnel. Do you go back to the tape from a season ago, see what happened?
ED ORGERON: Oh, definitely. Definitely. There’s a lot of the same plays, lot of the same plays. Very, very similar.

Q. It may rain Saturday. You had the Ole Miss game you dealt with. How do you prepare for that?
ED ORGERON: Same way. If there’s a chance for rain, we’ll have a rain ball, practice with a wet ball, do all that stuff. Whatever it takes, go win the game.

Q. With Thaddeus Moss, you said he might have a couple plays on Saturday. Is he just slowly recovering?
ED ORGERON: I’m trying to figure it out myself. Sometimes he practices, feels better. It’s a lingering injury. When it comes to game time, doesn’t feel like he’s full speed, stuff like that. It’s something that he’s not completely healed. We want it to heal a lot faster, but it’s not healing the way we want it. He wants to play. When he tries to play, he can’t. One of those things.

Q. Is versatility your biggest strength on offense, tempo, power?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, I think so. I think using the spread, spreading the ball around, figuring out who we are.

I didn’t say this. I thought our offensive line played fantastic. We gave up a couple of sacks, run the ball 275 yards. Credit James Cregg for those guys. I think it’s a combination of Joe being able to operate the offense the way Steve wants him to do it.

We have different weapons. We’re running from a spread, can spread the ball around. But it all starts up front. You have to be able to belong. These guys blocked a pretty good front.

Q. Only two penalties for 19 yards. Talk about the discipline.
ED ORGERON: I was proud of ’em. I talked to them about that look. We had that look Saturday. It was a good feeling to see. When you’re fired up, it’s something else. When you’re disciplined, together as a football team, you’re focused. Saturday was one of those days. It was going to happen, you could feel it.

We don’t want to give anybody nothing. We felt wet didn’t play well against Florida. We worked hard on penalties. Had our guys run, all that stuff.

Again, this team, most of the things I’ve asked them to fix, they’ve fixed.

Q. A couple weeks ago you said you weren’t a fan of profanity in music, the crowd. Hot topic after this weekend. Is there a fine line between a college atmosphere and keeping it classy?
ED ORGERON: Here, it’s my decision. I love our fans. I love the tunes. I love all that stuff. But the words used I would prefer those words not to be used.

Q. Seems like one way y’all dealt with the pass-rush of Georgia, get that tempo, get everybody dog tired out there. At what point during the week did y’all start to think that might be something you could exploit?
ED ORGERON: Monday. Monday. We have to attack. We have to get it. We were pissed on Monday, okay, to be honest with you. We’re not going to do that again. Let’s go for it. Not that we didn’t go for it against Florida. We had to change our mindset. We wasn’t going to just sit in there. We were going to do everything we could. Hurry up. You see the big defensive linemen they have. Hurry up was a big part of the game plan. You have to be careful, especially if their offense is moving the football. We don’t want to hurry up and tire our defense. We talked about it as a staff. Stay on the attack, and we did.

Go Tigers, and have a great day.