After three straight games against top-10 opponents, LSU will travel to Oxford, Mississippi to face coach Ed Orgeron’s former team — the Ole Miss Rebels/Land Sharks/Whatever (4-6, 2-4 Southeastern Conference). Orgeron is undefeated against Ole Miss since taking over as the interim head coach at LSU.
While he was not successful at Ole Miss, Orgeron looks upon his time there as a learning experience.
“Ole Miss was a great opportunity for me as a young coach — I wasn’t that young, but it was my first job,” Orgeron said. “It was in the SEC, I learned a lot of things. I learned how to do things, I learned how not to do things. So I’m very appreciative of that job.”
This week — maybe more so others — will put the 24-hour rule to a real test as the Tigers come off of a win over Alabama to break an eight-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide.
“But yesterday was good watching the film, everybody was really in a good mood, but after you watch the film there’s some things that we, you know, we have a competitive staff, there’s some things that we need to get better at,” Orgeron said. “Obviously I can’t wait to see the team today, I know they probably enjoyed the last couple days but it’s time to get to business today and get to work.”
Orgeron said this year’s Ole Miss team is totally different on both sides of the ball with two different coordinators — Rich Rodriguez on offense and Mike MacIntyre on defense.
Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee has broken multiple freshman rushing records at Ole Miss including total rushing yards at 777 and rushing touchdowns with seven.
Orgeron described the offense as a type of wildcat and emphasized that LSU is going to have to play well in the box to limit Plumlee and running backs Scottie Phillips and Jerrion Ealy.
“On offense it’s more of a quarterback run. Rich Rod is a good coach and does a hurry up offense and not a lot of time at the line of scrimmage, very smart coach,” Orgeron said “Coach MacIntyre is going totally to a 3-4 defense, they were a 4-3 defense before, so it’s a total different scheme on both sides of the ball.”
On defense, Ole Miss gives up only 24 points per game. Their front seven is especially physical and outside linebacker Sam Williams leads the team with 4.5 sacks.
While this week lacks the hype of the last three games against Florida, Auburn and Alabama, Orgeron continues to preach that the Tigers must take each opponent seriously and take each game one at a time.
“This is a game that they want to win,” Orgeron said. “This is rivalry game, for them, they want to beat LSU, this is a team they would like to beat, along with Mississippi State, and we know we’re going to get their best shot. They play great at home, it’s going to be a great crowd, it’s going to be a great challenge for our football team.”