LSU Football is officially back in Baton Rouge.
The Tigers play their first game of the 2019 season against Georgia Southern, and they present a special type of challenge to prepare for. The team runs a triple option offense -- one that LSU has spent time studying since early this year.
“I would say we started breaking them down last February, started looking at them in the spring. Analysts did a great job in recruiting, the recruiting period. We had extensive meetings on them, walk-throughs on them. Been preparing for them since the spring.”
Matching the Eagles’ tempo will also be something Orgeron has in mind as the two teams square off.
“Speed of the game, they’re going to come out all fired up, we’re going to have to adjust to the speed of the game. They’ll have some kind of nuance we have to adjust to on the sideline. We are well equipped as a coaching staff to fix it.”
As for the Tigers, they’ll keep things fast and furious.
“We will slow it down if we need to slow it, but we want to go fast, especially in certain situations. We’re going to be no-huddle. I told the guys to get in the huddle the other day. They don’t know what that is any more. Georgia Southern does use some tempo. More or less they like to get on the line of scrimmage. They like to look at what defense you’re in, call the plays. I don’t expect a hurry up from them. We will be in some hurry up.”
On the other side of the ball, keeping the defense aggressive but restrained enough to stay in position against such a different type of offensive scheme will also be a priority.
“Tackles for loss is going to be a premium for us,” Orgeron said. “Sacks are going to be a premium for us. It’s hard to sack them when they don’t throw the ball a lot. They do have some play-action passes, throw the football. I do believe in this game plan that we need to play assignment football. Tackle for a loss or not is not the premium, it’s who got the dive, who got the quarterback, who got the pitch. We have to tackle the guy when we get there. There’s going to be a lot of one-on-one tackles in space that we have to make. If we don’t make them, it will be a big play.”
Heading into the season, LSU’s offense has exactly the type of leadership it needs in quarterback Joe Burrow, and both his teammates and head coach couldn’t have more confidence in his abilities.
“Joe has been stellar since he got here,” Orgeron said. “He’s quiet, unassuming. I know sometimes in his interviews he’s not. But he is very professional when he comes to work. He’s into it. Wants to win. Wants to get better every day. He’s had an excellent camp. He thrives in this offense. This is his type of offense.”
The Tigers open the season ranked No. 6 in the nation -- hardly the underdogs they were last year. But that doesn’t phase Orgeron.
“None of those rankings matter to me till the season is over. That’s when you look at it. That has never been mentioned by me in a meeting. Never been mentioned by any of the coaches. That’s just something that’s out there that’s called noise, in my opinion.”
LSU and Georgia Southern are set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.