Facing the Utah State Aggies will be unlike any other smaller school matchup the LSU Tigers have faced this year.
They run an up-tempo offense that is perhaps even faster than the one that LSU runs, and have solid play at the quarterback position from Jordan Love.
“We’re going to practice just like they run their plays. Offense has what we call warp speed. So we’re going to practice -- our second unit will practice warp speed against our first unit,” Orgeron said when he met with the media on Monday. “We’ll put the best players in the best positions we can to simulate what they have on offense. And I think we’ll do a pretty good job of it.”
With the open date, Orgeron and the Tigers had a lot of time to reflect on changes they needed to make on both sides of the ball.
“And what we found is, first of all, the way we were running the ball, what we’re running, how we want to run it, how we want to practice it, that was a big thing on offense,” Orgeron said. “On defense, it was about tackling and causing turnovers. And more or less not the actual tackle, which is important, but the approach: How was our footwork? Where was our weight distributed? Where was our eyes and our angles? We practiced that all week. We practiced it a lot on punt return on being able to give our returners some room. We practiced different stuff on punt return. So those are things that we found last week that we could be a lot better at.”
He also noted that the offensive line had made strides this season.
“I think the guys have -- like I said, in camp was the most improved unit. And now that we’ve got Ed Ingram back, I do believe we’re going to be better. There’s some things we need to do to run the ball better. We need to finish better. We have not been challenged in pass protection yet. We may get challenged this week, but I know for later on we’re going to get challenged. So we need to get ready.”
As for the defensive line, LSU would certainly like to see more players healthy than what they had in their last matchup against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
“Rashard Lawrence is going try some individual today. He’s still a little gimpy. Michael Divinity is going to practice today. He’s still a little gimpy. So we have to see as the week goes to see if these guys are going to be ready.”
Many aren’t pleased with the 11 a.m. kickoff against the Aggies, but Orgeron is taking it in stride.
“First of all, I do believe that Saturday night in that valley is a great experience for both sides. And it’s a great advantage for us. And the more we can play Saturday night in Tiger Stadium the better off we are,” he said.
Obviously, there’s nothing that either team can do about the start time of the game, though.
“But scheduling is out of our control,” Orgeron said. “So we’ll never make an excuse for it. I do believe that Derrick told me the last of our last six games, three of them started at 11.00 a.m. This is the third one that starts at 11.00 a.m., and we’ve been very successful in those 11.00 a.m. games. So we’re going to continue with our game plan. Do I wish it was at night at Tiger Stadium, yes, I do. But there’s nothing we can do about it, so we’re going to make the best of that situation.”