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Tuesdays with Ed: Mississippi State

Coach O previews Saturday’s season opening game against Mississippi State

LSU v Mississippi State Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Tuesday LSU football coach Ed Orgeron had his first meeting with reporters of the 2020 regular season.

O recapped the Tigers’ final preseason game held inside Tiger Stadium this past Saturday, gave reporters a COVID update and shifted his focus to the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

“It was a mock game,” Orgeron said. “There was a lot of energy for the mock game. We wanted to make it game like. We talked about substitution situations, halftime adjustments, a big day in the kicking game. We had a maroon team that was in maroon jerseys. There was a cowbell on the sideline, kind of made things game like.”

The first question Orgeron was asked was if there would be any players out due to COVID. Orgeron said they are “very low with guys that do have COVID” and that his players will be tested three times this week. It certainly sounds like the players we all expect to see Saturday will be available.

The conversation then shifted toward Myles Brennan, who is set to make his first career start Saturday afternoon. Orgeron said he’s always been a believer in the redshirt junior and praised his arm strength and accuracy.

The biggest question with Brennan is how does he handle being the starter, but Orgeron expressed his confidence.

“The only thing that we don’t know, and I do believe that he’s going to do very well, is how he’s going to do in the fire” Coach O said. “And the only way to know that is put him in the fire.”

Going up against a Mike Leach-led team means defending the air raid offense. Orgeron updated the status of his secondary.

“I think you can expect to see Cordale Flott in the nickel spot. Jay Ward if he’s 100 percent healthy,” Orgeron said. “I don’t know how much he’s going to be able to play this week. Maybe not. He’s questionable right now.

Orgeron also said that linebacker Jabril Cox could be asked to play nickel if injuries to the secondary demanded it. Orgeron is hopeful it doesn’t come to that but admitted “we’re very thin at corner.”

After evaluating his own team, Orgeron was asked about this week’s opponent, the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

“We’re going to have to play very well. Mike Leach has done a very good job wherever he’s at with the air raid. He has some tremendous offensive weapons at Mississippi State,” Orgeron said. “One, Kylin Hill one of the backs that I had some of the most respect for in the SEC last year, a very dangerous back and especially in the spread offense. We’ve been studying his offense at Washington State, and his running backs could hit the hole, could bounce it out and make people miss.”

Orgeron also praised Mississippi State’s new defensive coordinator Zach Arnett, who comes to Starkville after making a name for himself at San Diego State.

“On defense, Zach Arnett’s coming from San Diego State. Very impressive numbers. Gave up 12.7 points per game, was second in the country. I think he had a top-five defense overall,” Orgeron said. “I have a lot of respect for Mississippi State. We’ve played them a bunch. Those men are very tough. They love football. They’re going to be very well coached. So it will be a tremendous challenge for our football team.